Photo credit: Joseph Llanes
"We're like a Swiss Army knife," says producer Beau Bedford. "We love being used in any kind of helpful way."
He's talking about the Texas Gentlemen, a Dallas-based collective of sidemen, singers, and ringers who’ll be joining members of Nashville-based musical co-op The Tennessee Help for tonight’s “East Nashville Revue of Willie Nelson” at The Basement East.
Originally launched as an all-star studio band, the Gentleman have performed on a string of Bedford's albums, firing twin barrels of roadhouse roots-rock and country-soul twang along the way. The guys also take their show on the road, backing up artists like Leon Bridges and Kris Kristofferson.
The Tennessee Help’s Chase McGillis, Philip Creamer, and Leroy Powell round out the sizzling backing band for a rotating door of soul singers, country crooners and heartland heroes — including Bonnie Bishop, JP Harris, Emma Swift, Nicole Atkins, Paul Cauthen, JP Harris, Keith Gattis and nearly a dozen others.
"We're all here to be part of timeless American music, and to support great art," says Bedford, who doubles as the group's keyboardist. "We've played with most of these singers before, but there were a few new faces at last night's practice. That's how we're able to grow. Tomorrow, we're flying out to Austin so we can back up Shakey Graves at a festival, and we met him because we did a Neil Young tribute together. It's through events like that one, and the Willie Nelson revue, that we get to meet people and invite them into our crew."
Tickets for tonight's show are $10. Doors open at 7 p.m. Music begins at 8.