Ten out of Tenn @ Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO

Pictures and words by Duane Clawson
Now this is a cool formula.  You take your singer/songwriter buddies out on tour with you and introduce the world to their music.  I bet the record execs in Nashville hate these guys.   As much as I hate to type it, this is kind of like American Idol on tour but with real talent.  In a way, I was dreading writing this article.  In no way did my dread have anything to do with Ten Out of Tenn’s performance.  The dread was how do you take a stage full of talent, give each member their just praise, do the research on each artist, and include the highlights of the show.  So instead of me rambling for days and days, I’ll condense it the best I can and hope that someday I can see each artist individually for review purposes.   The group began in 2005 with Kristen and Trent Dabbs and a handful of their singer/songwriter friends.  Over the past six years, members have came and went but the level of talent remains constant.  


This year’s incarnation of Ten out of Tenn consists of Amy Stroup, Gabe Dixon, Katie Herzig, K.S. Rhoads, Tyler James, Matthew Perryman Jones, Trent Dabbs, Butterfly Boucher, Jeremy Lister, Andrew Belle, and the steady backbeat provider on the drums, Will Sayles.  Ten transformed the stage of the Old Rock House in to a revolving door as at any given time group members performed duets, swapped instruments, while others left the stage for break on the Old Rock House’s side patio.  It should also be mentioned that many of Ten’s members have solo projects and have had their songs featured in various TV shows.  To begin the evening Ten out of Tenn placed Gabe Dixon in the spotlight first with an original called “Running on Fumes”.  This song may have been an appropriate choice as the group is winding down their current tour.  To be noted, each member of Ten performs two songs during the course of the evening.  Jeremy Lister followed up with “Turn the Pages”, a song that would fit nicely in Coldplay’s music catalog.  

Katie Herzig took her place behind the keyboard for her song, “Make a Noise”, that just happens to be on her album “The Waking Sleep”, which just happens to have dropped the Tuesday preceding her performance in St. Louis.  Matthew Perryman Jones showcased his writing talents during “Rain or Shine”.  Not to outdone by Matthew, Amy Stroup showcased a woman’s ability to write as good as any of the boys with the breathy tune “Just You”.  Trent Dabbs took a moment to shine with “Mountain Song”, a Neil Young-styled driving rhythm is prevalent throughout this song.  Andrew Belle held the Old Rock House audience’s attention with the haunting “In My Veins”.  K. S. Rhoads made his contribution with “Where I Come From”, which conjures up memories of Simon and Garfunkel.  Butterfly Boucher brought the rock with her song “5678”.  Tyler James rounded out the first round of music paying homage to the sounds of The Band with “Mama Hold”.  

It would be very easy for me to go in to great detail on every song performed by each artist during their second go round on stage.  In my opinion, each musician saved their best stuff for last.  So I will only hit the highlights of round two.  Katie Herzig and Andrew Belle changed up the setlist with their duet on “Static Waves”, a song that apparently had been dropped from the set but was brought back by popular demand.  Katie Herzig is a perfect duet partner for Andrew Belle’s voice.  K.S. Rhoads mesmerized with his one-man band production entitled “Invincible Fortress”, a song that starts off with a loop of K.S. beatboxing joined by loops of keyboard, guitar, and vocals.  Trent Dabbs picked up the pace of the show with his song “Neil Young”.  This song is written in the hope that Mr. Dabbs music will someday have the same powerful effect on someone as a Neil Young song.  

Tyler James combines pieces of the Eagles, Little Feat, The Greatful Dead, and K.S. Rhoads slide guitar work in his rockin creation “Old Brass Billy”.  “Wish You Well” placed the vocal and songwriting talents of Katie Herzig front and center.  “Wish You Well” is a breakup song but in turn thanks a partner for the time that was shared and maybe Katie’s way of thanking her Ten bandmates.  I was highly anticipating all members of Ten out of Tenn return to the stage for an encore and was not disappointed when they did.  One member of Ten proclaimed they were from Tennessee and could not leave without performing a song that represented their state.  The song chosen was Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”.  The Ten cast, complete with horn section left the stage, single file, and snaked through crowd while performing “Ring of Fire”, even making their way up to Old Rock House’s balcony.  As Ten left the building I realized I had just witnessed something very special.  

I have stated before that I love doing what I do for Music Taster’s Choice and tonight was no exception.  I have also mentioned that I get to be a part of the human interactions that happen when it all comes together.  Again, tonight was no exception.   Before Trent Dabbs launched into his song “Neil Young”, he said how great it was to share the stage with the members of Ten.   Dabbs also said that the Ten out of Tenn tour had one more week left and likened it to the last week of camp before everyone went their separate ways.  Probably not too many people noticed the slight quiver in Trent Dabbs chin as he was making the analogy of the tour ending to camp ending.  That slight quiver told me how proud Mr. Dabbs was of this assembled cast, as he should be.  

For more on Ten out of Tenn please feel free to visit their website.  A sampling of each of the members of Ten out of Tenn’s music can be found at the band's Myspace page.   I would like to give a big thank you to
Nathalie Levey of Katie Herzig’s team for the invite to cover the show and to an unnamed security guy at Old Rock House for making my job easier.  Pictures of the show are below:


Jeremy Lister
Katie Herzig
Matthew Perryman Jones
Amy Stroup
Trent Dabbs
K.S. Rhoads
Butterfly Boucher
Andrew Belle
Tyler James
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Ten out of Tenn @ Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO Ten out of Tenn @ Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 5:08:00 PM Rating: 5

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