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Hear The East Nashville Band Everyone's Talking About: Cordovas

Cordovas perform at Nashville's The Local during AmericanaFest.
Val Hoeppner
Cordovas perform at Nashville's The Local during AmericanaFest.

Last month at the Americana Music Association's AmericanaFest in Nashville, public radio station WMOT, NPR Music and World Cafe presented five days of live performances at a tiny venue called The Local. The run featured a broad range of sets from diverse musicians in alt-country, roots-rock, bluegrass, R&B, blues and folk, including Richard Thompson, The War and Treaty, Kathy Mattea, Ruston Kelly, Asleep at the Wheel, Sam Morrow, Nicki Bluhm, and Alejandro Escovedo.

Closing out the fifth day was East Nashville band Cordovas, fronted by Joe Firstman. The band released its sophomore record, That Santa Fe Channel, on ATO Records this year. The collection was produced by The Milk Carton Kids' Kenneth Pattengale and features strikingly simple, countrified folk-rock songs steeped in the tradition of records like Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline and Workingman's Dead by the Grateful Dead. Songs like "I'm The One Who Needs You Tonight," "This Town's A Drag," and "Your Town" — all performed during this set — are anchored with electric guitars, mellifluous pedal steel and sweet, warm harmonies.

In a live setting, Cordovas projects more of rock energy than the mote sedate That Santa Fe Channel suggests. During its set at The Local, Firstman and his band performed songs from their first two albums and ended with a fun cover of the Grateful Dead's "Truckin'." Hear it all in the player above.

Copyright 2018 XPN

Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.