I hadn’t heard of Ten out of Tenn until recently, and I don’t know exactly how that happened. TOT is a group of awesome indie folk/rock artists from Tennessee who play together and release CD under the Ten out of Tenn name, even though each one is trying to make it big on their own. The result of this collaboration is something like a mix CD on stage, which is just about the greatest idea ever.
Ten out of Tenn came to Iota Saturday for their Christmas tour, and the venue was definitely decked out to reflect that–white Christmas lights on the ceiling, giant red bows on the mike stands, and stockings in the back with each TOT artist’s name on it. I was ready: bring on the holiday cheer.
They started big, with the funky “Santa’s Lost His Mojo” by Jeremy Lister. I am generally a fan of original Christmas music (honestly, how many times can you listen to “Winter Wonderland”?) and my favorite part of this one was the great trumpet hook. Although only about half of the songs turned out to be Christmas themed, they were by far my favorites of the night, with the highlight being Katie Herzig’s haunting rendition of “Silent Night.”
The artists only played one song at a time and then stepped aside for someone else (as everyone knows, a good mix CD never has the same artist twice in a row), and I think everyone got to lead at least two songs. They all brought something different to the stage, whether it was k.s. Rhoads’ beatboxing, Tyler James’ keyboard stylings, or Butterfly Boucher’s more rockin’ sound. I’ve got to say, though, the one artist that made everyone in my group of friends go “wow” was Erin McCarley. The girl is gorgeous and insanely talented–watch out for her.
I think part of what made this show so enjoyable was how apparent it was that they were enjoying themselves. They all seemed to get along really well, and played various instruments or sang backup for one another. This is a group to keep an eye on–even if they don’t make it big, at least you’ll leave the show with warm fuzzy feelings.
TOT Christmas Tour, photo by Jasmine