‘The Nightingale’ tells female WWII story

‘The Nightingale’ tells female WWII story

Kristin Hannah has written 20 novels and her 2009 release “Firefly Lane” sold more than 1.2 million copies. Her bestselling “Home Front” is currently being developed by filmmaker Chris Columbus into a major motion picture. Yet the Seattle-based author said this month’s release of “The Nightingale” is still “cause for celebration.”

According to Hannah’s website, her latest story revolves around “two ordinary French women living in a city under siege and in a country at war, where surviving can sometimes mean doing the unthinkable.” (more…)

Marty Robbins’ old car sparks ‘rat rod’ hobby

Marty Robbins’ old car sparks ‘rat rod’ hobby

When Tommy Ring and his pal Ronny Robinson pulled the 1933 Plymouth out from the bottom of the creek, he had no idea what would become of the nearly 80-year-old car.

Country Music Hall of Famer and onetime NASCAR driver Marty Robbins had discarded the car back in 1976.

All those years ago, it had slid sideways into the water with the suicide doors open, and the body broke free from the frame when it hit the creek bed. Now, on a drizzly Saturday morning in 2010, Ring and Robinson cut the weeds back that had grown high above the roof line and found the old Plymouth along with the remains of several other classic cars.  (more…)

Move to gospel earns songwriter first Grammy nomination

Move to gospel earns songwriter first Grammy nomination

Songwriter and musician Tim Menzies had gone a lifetime without even being nominated for any sort of music award, much less a Grammy.

It’s only fitting that last month, on Dec. 5, it would feel like another lifetime while the Thompson’s Station resident waited to find out if his first-ever gospel album, “His Way of Loving Me,” was among those receiving a nomination for the upcoming Feb. 8 awards show. (more…)

Southern author finds inspiration up north

Southern author finds inspiration up north

It all started the moment Lisa Patton wrote the opening line to what would eventually be her first novel.

And so it began, the years-long transition from the music industry to bed and breakfast innkeeper and back to the music industry before settling into a career as a best-selling author.

Patton calls it an adventurous spirit. (more…)

Steel Panther promises hair-raising spectacle

Steel Panther promises hair-raising spectacle

The idea of Steel Panther ever becoming a worldwide phenomenon sounds almost as exaggerated as the onstage personae of its four members, Michael Starr, Satchel, Lexxi Foxx and Stix Zadinia.

However, what originally began as a Monday night parody lampooning the excesses of the 1980s heavy-metal era that dominated the Sunset Strip has evolved not only in name — the group began as Metal Shop, became Metal Skool and then Danger Kitty before settling on Steel Panther — but also now has a legion of followers that affords the band opportunities to support luminaries like Judas Priest on a U.S. tour or KISS in South America. (more…)

Mt. Juliet dancer takes Marvel LIVE by storm

Mt. Juliet dancer takes Marvel LIVE by storm

Even when a summerlong trip to Los Angeles resulted in Chelsea Hough being represented by one of the most respected dance agencies in the country, the Mt. Juliet native never imagined that she would be cast in Marvel Universe LIVE!

Hough, 20, will be performing as iconic character Storm this weekend at Bridgestone Arena along with a cast representing more than 25 Marvel superheroes. (more…)

‘Wildflower’ is like ABC’s ‘Nashville’ for teens

‘Wildflower’ is like ABC’s ‘Nashville’ for teens

Kentucky native Alecia Whitaker recently released her second novel, “Wildflower,” which is the first of a three-book series set in Nashville.

It follows 16-year-old Bird Barrett, an aspiring songwriter, as she attempts to balance her strong family values with the ambition of becoming the next female voice of country music. (more…)

Franklin father turns ‘animal crackers’ for kids into feature film

Franklin father turns ‘animal crackers’ for kids into feature film

Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience.

Back when Scott Christian Sava, 45, became a father of twins — Brendan and Logan — 11 years ago, the animator had no idea that fathering twin boys with his wife, Donna, would lead the family to Franklin, Tennessee, and a career as a filmmaker.

“It gave me a voice,” said Sava, who created various comic book stories — “Ed’s Terrestrials,” “Pet Robots” and “Animal Crackers,” among them — to share with his sons.

“I learned that I like telling all-age stories and I wouldn’t have known that had it not been for my kids. It gave me purpose. It gave me a direction.”  (more…)

Tab Barker

Why is Tab Barker living in a teepee?

By living simply—look where he sleeps—and devoting his life to others, Tab Barker has built seven schoolhouses and three water systems in Nicaragua, and he doesn’t plan on stopping soon.

Every night when he’s Austin, Thomas “Tab” Barker sleeps in a teepee in the backyard of his home. It’s a magical ritual for the founder of Project Schoolhouse, which builds elementary schools and clean water systems in rural Nicaraguan communities.

“Sleeping in a teepee connects you to things you don’t understand, and you don’t understand why you feel connected to them, but it feels good,” says Barker, 40, a native of Wyoming who moved to Austin 12 years ago on a musical whim. (more…)

Make some noise: 8 most influential local music stars

Make some noise: 8 most influential local music stars

I had a chance to highlight the very best local music stars who have helped shape the Hamptons music scene into a vibrant magnet of creativity.  (more…)

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