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Jason Minton and An Art Crawl: What's Not to Love About the First Friday of the Month in Franklin?

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Two long-standing Williamson County traditions were on full display on Friday, November 03, 2023 as musician Jason Minton and the Downtown Art Crawl in Franklin took place on a cool but pleasant night in Middle Tennessee.


Independent artist Jason Minton at his monthly residency in Franklin.

Jason Minton is an independent artist who grew up surrounded by the sounds of Nashville but his heart led to a love of English new wave bands such as Squeeze and Crowded House. Minton's music reflects these and other rock influences which he showcases at The Legendary Kimbro's the first of most months. The club is a few blocks from historic Main Street where the Franklin Art Crawl takes place. So, it made for a good pairing as we headed there for the 8 o'clock start time.


Jason Minton's band included David Reed on guitar and Ric McClure on drums.

Once inside the always cozy and crowded Kimbro's we were ready for a show. The Jason Minton Band wasted no time kicking it up a notch with a lively "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" (Bad Company) before leading into the Ace hit "How Long" for a cover that really suited Jason's vocal stylings. In fact, Minton is at home singing either Paul - Rodgers or Carrack - in convincing fashion. A bit later his band showed off their chops on Santana's "Black Magic Woman", David Bowie's "China Girl" and much more over the course of the night.


The Legendary Kimbro's Pickin' Parlor on Margin Just Off of Main.

The Jason Minton Band is comprised of his longtime and always sturdy guitarist David Reed. New to the configuration this time around was drumming legend Ric McClure (Connie Smith, Grand Ole Opry, Lorrie Morgan) who added his ample bonafides to a backbeat that is pushing the band to new heights. In fact, the group rounded out by Phil Wolfe on keys and Boyd Lefan on bass was the strongest incarnation of the Jason Minton Band yet and the standing room only crowd seemed to agree with us.


The Franklin Square lit up for the art crawl and approaching holiday season.

Some fans watching the action were seen dancing to the classic rock catalogue in front of the band at Kimbro's. Others were seen mouthing the words to Jason's many originals that are so good they really should be on the radio more often. One young couple in town from Utah for the Dave Ramsey seminar that was taking place in nearby Brentwood were also taken in by the many talents of Minton proving to us anyway that while he is definitely a local hero he should be a national treasure making music on larger stages throughout the land. But, then again - that is the fickle nature of art.


The woodwork was very artistic at the Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church.

The Downtown Franklin Art Crawl runs from 6 to 9 P.M. on the first Friday of every month giving lots of artists a good amount of time to reach a wider audience for their work. The 2 hours we spent perusing the offerings afforded us the opportunity to take in most of the showcases taking place in and around the Main Street hub that served as a great environment for the expansive event.


Rachel Gore played songs from her debut album at the Art Crawl.

A mixture of shops, galleries, church sanctuaries, museums and the street itself served as the host for the Art Crawl. Many - but not all - the businesses participated in various capacities. An upscale salon rearranged their room to face a stage where live music was presented. They were also serving wine. Other establishments had similar set-ups which means that the art included not just physical pieces but sensory pieces as well.


Cassandra Coffey put her varied work on display at the Williamson County Museum.

The Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church had both. Outside a group of youngsters were playing fiddles and inside the sanctuary which itself was visually pleasing there were a number of artists displaying their works including fine handcrafted woodworking pieces and a local photographer's shot of Franklin landmarks presented on an aluminum canvas. The Williamson County Museum was open too. Visitors could investigate their historic displays while enjoying colorful paintings from Cassandra Colley.


Local artist Mark Mabry takes realistic photos of famous Biblical characters.

There was a spiritual theme threaded throughout many of the exhibits and we saw a lot of painted angels on display during our stroll in the city. But, we really enjoyed the work of local artist and photographer Mark Mabry who takes realistic shots to recreate biblical scenes incorporating real human subjects and modern technology to thrilling effect.


They really do want you to check out the Art Crawl in Franklin.

What was also thrilling was the chance to discover new music as there were many artists playing their songs in a live setting. We enjoyed watching performer Rachel Gore - a North Carolina native now making waves in Nashville in 2023. Most recently, Rachel was chosen as American Songwriter's May/June 2022 Lyric Contest Winner by esteemed judges Scotty McCreery, Judy Stakee, and John DeNicola for her song "Ain't No Wrong Way", co-written with GRAMMY nominated bluegrass musician Thomm Jutz - and this is just the beginning for Gore who is just starting to apply her Belmont University training to her own emerging career path.


Music and spiritual themes were common at the Downtown Franklin Art Crawl.

The Downtown Franklin Art Crawl is supported by a long list of high-profile local patrons who are working hard to build excitement in the community to provide a celebration of the arts that enrich lives and bring people together. Having been to a few similar outings in nearby Nashville we can say the Franklin effort is a top notch take on the theme in a more relaxed and pastoral setting. The Art Crawl is a free event that celebrates Williamson County's artists while providing an outlet for them to sell their works with complimentary refreshments served during the evening and a generous amount of live music. So, mark your calendars for the first Friday of each month to enjoy Franklin's Art Crawl and the Jason Minton Band at Kimbro's.


We can't wait to attend our next Downtown Franklin Art Crawl.

Related Links: For more information on JASON MINTON and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Jason Minton | The Legendary Kimbro's Pickin' Parlor | More Fine Fare with Jason Minton at the Kitchen Downtown | Jason Minton Starts Cooking Again in Nashville at the Kitchen Downtown | Jason Minton Molds a Strong Friday the 13th Show in Franklin | Downtown Franklin Art Crawl


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