Saturday - July 27, 2024

Emily Nenni

Door: 9:00pm
Show: 10:00pm

Emily Nenni has a confession: she didn’t always plan on being a performing artist. “I thought I was just going to be a songwriter,” she admits. Clearly, life had something else in store. The singer and guitarist has emerged as one of the freshest and most electrifying voices in Nashville, with a sound rooted in classic honky-tonk and spiked with serious country, soul and rock ‘n’ roll fire, and sweet-and-sassy lyrics that chronicle hard living, hot nights, heartbreak and other universal truths about the human condition. Over the past several years she’s enraptured audiences across Music City with sizzling sets in smoky bars and clubs, honing her command of the stage, perfecting her skills as a band leader and sharpening an already astute world view, all of which are on full display on her newest studio album, Drive & Cry.

The record is a marked departure from her previous full-length, 2022’s celebrated On the Ranch. Whereas that effort saw Nenni uproot herself to lend a hand – and write – while assisting at a ranch in southern Colorado, Drive & Cry drops the listener smack in the middle of her boisterous and bustling Nashville world. The album kicks off with “Get to Know Ya,” a honky-tonk rave-up that celebrates the end of the work day and the beginning of a music-filled, come-what-may night. Nenni busts out her biggest hoops, jumps into the jeans she can “really only stand up in,” and heads to the local bar. “Play ‘til the sun’ll come / when the daylight’s done,” she sings as the instrumental accompaniment races in step behind her.

From there, Nenni leads into “Greatest Hits,” a pedal-steel-inflected Dolly Parton-style number in which she tips her hat to underground honky-tonk venue Santa’s Pub, a dive bar squeezed inside a double-wide trailer that has become her home-away-from-home in Nashville. “When I first came to town, I was 21 and singing at clubs with folks who were twice my age,” Nenni recalls of moving to Music City from her native California. “Then a buddy of mine said, ‘There’s a place where people are making this music that are actually your age, and where you’d really fit in.’ And that was Santa’s Pub. It’s where I learned that music doesn’t have to be perfect – everybody is just having fun and there’s no judgment. You can show up however you’re feeling that night, have a good time and be surrounded by friends.”

Emily Nenni Website