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Mudhoney and Bacon Go Well Together in East Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Who doesn't love a slab of honey-glazed bacon especially when it is generously offered up free for the taking? Well, this isn't exactly what happened when grunge rock pioneers Mudhoney made a tour stop in Music City on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 for an outdoor early evening show at Gifford's Smoked Bacon in East Nashville. But, fans got a real taste of one of the legends in the genre with a long set of music that rocked the Straightway Avenue suburban neighborhood in a way they won't soon forget.


The influential Mark Arm surveys the crowd in Nashville.

According to the gospel of grunge in the beginning there was Mudhoney. That is - the four horseman of the plaid clad apocalypse were Mark Arm, Steve Turner, Dan Peters and Matt Lukin. They were the harbingers of the new west coast sound and their music pre-dated the arrival of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden who would put Seattle on the musical map for a few short years in the early 90's.


The free concert took place at the Home of Gifford's Bacon.

So, when we learned that the progenitors of this powerful and angst-driven movement were coming to town - we knew we had to be there. Heck, Kurt Cobain listed Mudhoney's 1988 EP Superfuzz Bigmuff as one of his Top 50 favorite records of all time. And, when lead singer Mark Arm appeared on stage in Nashville it was like getting a glimpse of how Cobain may have appeared had he been able to beat back his demons and survive until the present day.


Mudhoney circa 2022 in Music City.

Alas, that won't be happening but we still have Mudhoney flying the flag for their musical form and their set at Gifford's was eye-opening, providing a little insight into what that early Seattle movement might have been like. Certainly it was loud as it presented new wrinkles on the English and American punk scenes that preceded it. By the time the opening four songs of "When Tomorrow Hits", "In 'n' Out of Grace", "Nerve Attack" and "Inside Job" were complete the sound reverberated off of the walls of the pork-seller's outbuildings like a sonic distress call revealing their musical statement to be even perhaps more relevant today than when they started out over three decades ago.


Mudhoney in action at their energetic East Nashville performance.

A few well-placed fliers and word of mouth really brought out Nashville's underground Seattle contingent as a great crowd showed up to be in the presence of real rock royalty. We have to thank our good friend - the one time nationally syndicated radio host Jack Blood - for giving us the heads up about this show. Blood has mostly stepped away from the broadcast booth but he has immersed himself into the Pacific Northwest music scene in recent years making connections with many players out there like the guys in Mudhoney.


Nashville's own the Country Westerns were the opening act for Mudhoney.

Opening for Mudhoney was Country Westerns - a three-piece rock band from Nashville that sounds nothing like its name. Drummer Brian Kotzur (Trash Humpers, Silver Jews) and singer-songwriter-guitarist Joseph Plunket (The Weight, Gentleman Jesse) began working on songs together in 2016. Following a couple of years writing and playing shows with varying lineups, Sabrina Rush (State Champion) joined the band as bassist. The now complete Country Westerns debut album reveals Plunket's raspy bravado and subtle twang, his insistent 12-string guitar riffs, Kotzur's dynamic and metronomic drumming, and Rush's harmonic bass playing as they create hyper catchy rock songs, with lyrics that bend towards poetry and punk rock sneer in equal measure.


Nashville's Northwest underground army came out in force for one of their own.

Gifford's Bacon is a premier smoked bacon company located in East Nashville, Tennessee. This family-owned business was started by Nathan and Nicole Gifford in their garage, and has now expanded its operations into the only USDA processing facility in East Nashville owned by their umbrella company, Prime South Meats. Gifford's Bacon's products have grown to include Gifford's Smoked Bologna, Gifford's Bacon and Gifford's Sock Sausage.


Southern meats and music - what more could you ask for on a Tuesday night?

Related Links: For more information on MUDHONEY and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Mudhoney | Country Westerns | Gifford's Smoked Bacon

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