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Joseph LeMay is an Americana singer songwriter who delicately tows the line between the old and the new with his music. His spirited lyricism harkens the sacred and time-tested roots of the folk and Americana genres, while the delicate nature of his vocals and musicianship display the youthful soul of the generation to which he was born. These qualities prove to be the beating heart of LeMay’s debut full-length record Seventeen Acres that released earlier this week.

It was in a single-wide trailer on a seventeen acre farm on the outskirts of his hometown of Dyersburg, TN where Joseph moved with his new wife from Nashville, where he had spent the last several years of his life that he found the inspiration for his ambitious new record. “I was constantly alone and in a period of self-doubt. I was worrying how I would measure up as new husband, more or less thrown out in the wilderness,” said LeMay when describing both his geographically and emotionally isolated state that led to the conception of Seventeen Acres. Having both written and produced the album on the rural Tennessee farm located in the northwest corner of the state, each song exudes the spirit of the location that monumentally shaped this chapter in LeMay’s life. It is the extreme level of care, intensity and personal reflection that went into Seventeen Acres that makes LeMay’s music stand out among a muddled landscape of aspiring folk musicians.

Below you can see the new video for the album’s single “You Still Do It,” which also released this week. The song has a gentleness to it that unfolds like an old love letter, ripe with subtle yet penetrating harmonies. “This song came together in pieces, very organically over time,” says LeMay when describing the tune. “It was one of those that you don’t need a guitar to write.” The video, one of a series titled “Trailer Trash” (also released as a live EP via Noisetrade), was made in the same single-wide trailer in which it was written, thus bringing the spirit of the album on which the song appears to life visually.

LeMay will be celebrating Seventeen Acres with an album release show in Nashville on Thursday, May 29th at The Basement, located at 1604 8th Avenue South. Joseph will be backed by a band of musicians whom with he collaborates with regularly, many of whom also appear on the video for “You Still Do It.” Lily Hiatt, Matt Reed and Charlie Whitten will open the evening. The show starts at 9:00PM and is only $5. Trust me, as someone who has seen LeMay live multiple times, there is no better way could spend $5 on a summer evening in May. Joseph’s raw sincerity when he plays the songs he wrote in rural West Tennessee live is twice as prevalent and authentic as it is on Seventeen Acres, if that’s even possible.

– Christian Lerchenfeld


If you are looking for a way to ring in the fast approaching summer season with perfect warm weather tunes, then the line up at The Stone Fox this Thursday is one you will not want to miss. Headlining the evening is the vastly talented New York indie folk band Swear and Shake. Formed in 2010 in the college residence of band members Adam McHeffey and Kari Spieler, the two co-eds cut a rough demo of their first song “Johnnie”. The Americana hooks and spirited presence of “Johnny” quickly yielded the enlistment of McHeffey’s childhood pals Shaun Savage (bass) and Thomas Elefante (former drummer) and still remains a driving force in the band’s current sound.

In the months that followed, the newly formed band took on the name Swear and Shake and recorded their first EP, Extended Play. In the years since, Swear and Shake has gone from playing multiple hot spots in New York and Brooklyn to extended tours up and down the east coast. With the addition of new drummer Ben Goldstein, the band released their first full-length record Maple Ridge (also produced by Goldstein) in the summer of 2012. They also released two new songs, “Brother” and “Fire” last year.

Joining Swear and Shake at The Stone Fox is Brave Baby, an indie rock band from Charleston, South Carolina who has played multiple CAS shows. Their debut album Forty Bells that was released last year draws similarities to My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire, Cold War Kids and Coldplay, but wastes no time in establishing Brave Baby’s signature sound. This band has quickly become on of my absolute favorites as Forty Bells has not left the CD changer of my Honda Civic since I picked it up at their first CAS show last May. After having around 500 artists play Cause A Scene shows in the past couple years, it’s no stretch to say Brave Baby is easily one of the Top 5 we’ve had play.

Opening up the evening is Nashville singer songwriter Ben Cameron. Cameron has written and recorded two full-length albums since 2010, the most recent of which, Pas Tout La, released in 2013. Cameron released his new single “I Believe” this past February and is due to play Governor’s Ball Music Festival in NYC next month.

Doors for the show open at 8:00 PM at The Stone Fox in West Nashville (712 51st Ave. N.). Music will begin at 9:00 PM. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here in advance.

Christian Lerchenfeld

Swear and Shake- ‘Brother’

Brave Baby- ‘Magic and Fire’

Ben Cameron- ‘I Believe’


Don’t miss your chance this Tuesday, May 13th to catch D.C.-based folk act Vandaveer with local singer songwriter Jake McMullen in the 12 South area of Nashville. As we inch closer and closer to summer, this fantastic alt-folk lineup is sure to help welcome the longer days. This acoustic show is the latest installment of our ever-growing series of secret house shows with that provide intimate settings to experience your favorite musicians like never before.

From the mind of Ohio born and Kentucky raised alt-folk musician Mark Charles Heidinger, Vandaveer is a project that has changed and morphed continuously through the course of four full-length albums and one EP since it’s conception in 2007, the most recent of which, Oh, Willie, Please… released just last year. In that time, Vandaveer has carved the niche in the folk scene with an Americana sound that intricately weaves haunting themes and tones with infectious and inviting melodies. Collaborating musicians often change from tour-to-tour and album-to-album, but harmonious songstress Rose Guerin has the most prominent. Vandaveer has received glowing press from the likes of The Washington Post, La Blogotheque, Daytrotter, and Consequence of Sound.

Jake McMullen’s masterfully ability to blur the lines between indie rock and country/folk will serve as the perfect compliment to Vandaveer this Tuesday evening. Former frontman for the band York, the Orange County, CA native, now Nashville transplant has spent the last few years focusing on his solo material, and I for one can’t knock the decision. In the time since he has continued writing his own material while also collaborating on a split EP with friend and Boston native Ellex Bree, aptly titled Ellex Bree + Jake that released in 2013. Since his first EP release in 2010, when he was still a teenager, McMullen has successfully crafted a sound that wonderfully displays his expert musicianship and talent as a songwriter.

Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a unique acoustic showcase of some of the best talent in folk music, in the most intimate of settings. Space is very limited with only a select number of tickets available, so get your tickets here for only $10. Secret 12 South location will be disclosed following purchase. Music will begin promptly at 8:00 PM. Doors open at 7:30 PM.

Christian Lerchenfeld

Vandaveer- ‘Pretty Polly’

Jake and Ellex- ‘In the Valley’


Just yesterday, Nashville-based folk-rock band Lulu Mae debuted the music video for the title track off their forthcoming record Mean River. If the single is any indication to the quality of the the new record, you can rest assured that it will retain the same folksy lyricism, soaring harmonies and rock n’ roll attitude that made us here at CAS such fans of the band’s first album, The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree.

Lulu Mae has spent the better part of the last year writing and recording the material for Mean River, which was recorded live to tape in a four night marathon session at Soundstage Studios right here in Nashville. The recording sessions were part of a prize package the band won when they finished first in the annual Nashville band/artist competition, “Music City Mayhem,” curated by local independent radio affiliate Lightning 100. The video Mean River, which can be seen below, certainly showcases the raw intensity and soul of the band that was so well captured in the live recording sessions.

Cause A Scene will be presenting Lulu Mae’s official album release show at Exit/In on May 16th, with opening acts El El and The Oak Creek Band. Mean River officially drops on May 13th.

Christian Lerchenfeld


The title is fairly self-explanatory; below are the four moments that I would have sacrificed a number of small appendages to have witnessed in person.

1.  Muse covering Nirvana’s ‘Lithium’

A longtime fame of Muse, I can’t think of a more perfect Coachella moment. Nipping at the heels of Nirvana’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just last week, the timing couldn’t have been better. Even though the video quality isn’t great, it still leaves me regretting not exhausting my bank account on a trip to Indio, CA.


2.  Ellie Goulding covering Alt-J’s ‘Tessellate’ and James Blake’s ‘Life Round Here’

I’ve been on a huge Ellie Goulding kick as of late and this cover mashup leading into mega hit ‘Anything Could Happen’ blew me away. I’ve heard both covers before, but seeing them flow into one another so seamlessly was something else. The video of her Coachella performance has unfortunately been removed since I saw it this past Sunday, but the performance was so good, it couldn’t be removed from the list. Below is a video of a similar set that she performed last month at the O2 Arena in the UK.


3.  Bastille performing ‘Pompeii’

I haven’t been able to stop listening to this song for the better part of a year now. Bastille set a Mojave Stage record with crowd they drew in at Friday evening set last week. Hope to experience a performance that is a fraction of this magnitude when they come through Nashville at the end of this month.


4. CHVRCHES performing ‘The Mother We Share’

Just a badass song and a badass performance by a badass band.


There you have it. Tell us if you agree or if you think we missed any!

Christian Lerchenfeld