DS Photo Gallery: Dave Hause and the Mermaid, Jordyn Shellhart in Nashville, TN 8.17.22

I’ve been hooked on Dave Hause for several years now. It was Hause and Brian Fallon that both opened a whole new world of punk that I previously had no idea even existed. The folk/ Americana genre, comprised of Tim Barry, Dan Andriano, Chuck Ragan and the likes, that I have now come to love was completely unknown territory about 5 years ago until I made a monumental discovery. It was Fallon’s record Elsie and Hause’s single “We Could be Kings” that really pulled my heart strings and broke me into listening to anything that wasn’t hard, fast punk-rock.

The real game-changer for me was seeing Hause play the historic 95-person capacity Bluebird Cafe in 2018. Over the years, Bluebird has seen shows from notable punk greats Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift (I hope you pick up on my sarcasm here), as well as a wide plethora of other Grammy-winning artists. To my knowledge, Hause (joined briefly by Northcote) was the first punk act the grace the Bluebird’s historic stage. After a Brian Fallon performance there a couple months later (a show that still haunts me to this day for not being able to make), no other punk-rocker has played since. The raw intimacy grasped me and made me a fan for life.

This show differed in that Hause was joined by a full band rather than just his brother Tim, but the small-venue intimacy had not disappeared. This time taking place at the Basement with a rough capacity-estimate of around 100, Dave Hause and the Mermaid damn near blew the fucking roof off the place.

Nashville-native Jordyn Shellhart kicked things off and man was I impressed. She reminded me of the sheer cesspool of songwriter talent that calls Nashville home. After her performance, there seemed to be hope after all that something may come out of Nashville other than shitty pop-country and hot chicken.

So, we meet again Mr. Hause. This reunion has been long overdue but the anticipation made the performance even more worthwhile. In all honesty, when Dale Doback said “You sound like a combination of Fergie and Jesus“, he wasn’t talking about Brennan Huff; he was talking about good ol’ Dave Hause (I hope you get this reference).

In all seriousness, this had the feel of an old school punk show: the shoulder-to-shoulder audience packed into a literal basement dive-bar, running into old buddies from around town that I hadn’t seen in ages, seeing a songwriter hero of mine play 10 feet in front of me. This show was about as perfect as it gets, and only got better when fellow Nashvillian Will Hoge hopped on stage to close the set.

From a photography perspective, this was a nice challenge. Up until now I’d had little to no success shooting shows at small, dimly-lit venues, especially when my options are limited by the crowd like this one was. Overall, I’m happy with how these turned out and I’m happy to share them with whomever has made it this far through the article. As always, your time is much appreciated and help spread the word that Dying Scene is back and firing on all cylinders. Cheers!

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