Todd Kerns/The Basement/Nashville

Alter Bridge and Visa renewals.

The running joke throughout the evening, as Todd Kerns gave fans who traveled from India and Japan a hard time about the reasons they had actually flown thousands of miles to Nashville to catch his acoustic show at The Basement.

But it became clear the second Kerns stepped on stage that he was a guy worth flying around the world to see.

If you don't know who the hell I'm talking about, Todd "Dammit" Kerns is the bass player for Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. He's also an incredibly talented songwriter, vocalist and musician.

He's also tall and handsome and tattooed and has beautiful, long, rocker if you're noticing a theme here in my interaction with artists I admire, I did not say "hello," even though he was just hanging out before the show. No one needs another Tina Belcher moment.

Kerns hit us with some magic right from the beginning with "Say Hello to Heaven."

I was immediately blown away by Kerns' voice...I'm familiar with him through Slash's band, and had checked out some of his more popular solo songs, but I had no idea I'd hear, like, the most amazing sound ever echoing off the brick walls of The Basement.

Other standout performances include "Devil in Me," "The Maker," and a brand new song--which Kerns claimed was still a work in progress, though it sounded pretty damn good to me--"Obvious."

Of course, we're in Nashville, and Kerns' outfit was SO Cash, we had to bring some country to the table. "I could cover Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson...or I could just cover them all!" He declared before performing an impressive version of "The Highwaymen."

Awesome kid alert: 14-year-old Stratton Wilson joined Kerns for "November Rain," tackling Slash's solos. "Inspiring and depressing at the same time" is how Kerns described the teenager's talent.

Exactly...but what a cool kid.

However, no one is cooler than Todd "Dammit" Kerns. I was expecting great music at this show, but I was not expecting to have so much fun.

Whether it was poking fun at the group of fans sitting on the floor in front of the stage ("Is this a John and Yoko love-in?...not yet!" "Whatever is on that all have it now!"), pointing out that his schedule "is decided by whatever Myles Kennedy is doing," a killer Keanu Reeves impression, or consistently launching into Rush's "Tom Sawyer," ("The River?...") Kerns' kept us smiling and laughing the entire time.

Except when he was breaking my heart with his gorgeous voice.

Before sharing the beautiful "You Can Always Go Home," Kerns gave us an upbeat moment in "It's Not You It's Me," which I still can't get out of my head, and I'm totally okay with that:

I can proudly announce I have now been baptized into of the Church of Dammit. This gathering on 8th Ave. was the kind of revival my soul needed. I haven't been this inspired by a show in a long time. This guy writes captivating, thoughtful songs and sings them with a power and beauty I can't describe. Why doesn't everyone know who Todd Kerns is? I'm about to start knocking on doors to spread the Gospel.

Check out his most recent release, TKO, and the excellent Borrowing Trouble if you like well-written songs that tell a story you can get lost in.

Geoff Grayson of the band Flat Earth Committee started the evening off with a few heartfelt tunes, and even brought some blues to The Basement.

If you want to give some support to the most rockin' 14-year-old ever, Stratton Wilson is on facebook.

Certainly not least, the whole reason for the night, was to raise money for People For Animals, a group doing very important work to prevent unwanted pups and kitties from being born in Middle Tennessee. An anonymous donor is tripling any money given to the group this week--donate here.

Thanks for reading, and to those of you who were lucky enough to be at the show, I hope this brings back some fun memories! I'm looking forward to seeing you around again soon!

--Mrs. W.


  1. It truly was an amazing show. Please check out before May 15 and your donation will be tripledl! PFA did over 2,000 surgeries to help stem the tide of unwanted animals born in Middle TN. Surgeries for spay and neuter average only $40 each. If you enjoyed Todd at the show or on line, please be generous. So kind of his wife, Monique, and him to care about the animals and offer PFA this event!


Post a Comment