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Border Bash: Rob Nance

July 04, 2016 | 8 pm
Downtown Bristol | MAP

Incorporating a wide range of musical styles and instruments- everything from pedal steel guitars to retro Casio synthesizers, Rob made a conscious effort to push his latest release, Signal Fires, into places he had not ventured on his first record. After releasing Lost Souls & Locked Doors — an album rooted mainly in the traditional fingerpicking guitar style of the roots genre— Nance hit the highway, playing shows in more than 20 states in 2014 alone. His brother, upright bassist and pedal steel guitarist Jordan Nance, joined him for most of the gigs with a full band tagging along for special occasions. Being on the road was an eye-opening experience for Nance. As the scenery outside his car window changed, so did the music he found himself listening to. A folk-rock fan that grew up admiring the greats of the genre from the 60s and 70s, Rob began broadening his musical horizons during the hours spent on the highway between towns. He found new influences starting to creep onto his radar, listening to everything from Talking Heads to Father John Misty. Those new influences soon seeped into his own writing, a fact that he could not ignore when it came time to begin work on his sophomore album. Recorded in Asheville, North Carolina, Signal Fires still sounds like a Rob Nance record. The hallmarks of his roots-rock sound — electric guitar tones that could’ve come from the ’70s, melodies delivered in a breezy baritone, lyrics that paint stories of various characters in small, southern towns — haven’t gone away, but they are most certainly joined by some new additions. “At least half of these songs were played on the road before we recorded them,” he says, “and that really shows you where the holes in your songs are. For Signal Fires, we wanted to tighten up and push outward. I think the result is an offering that is both musically diverse and familiar."

Border Bash, a free summer concert series held annually May through August, celebrates its17thanniversary including children’s activities, arts & craft and food vendors in addition to live music and much more. All the events will be in the 400 & 500 Block of State Street this year, except for June17th, which will be held in the Downtown Center and July4thwhich will be held in Cumberland Square Park.

Border Bash is hosted by Believe in Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music® the Cities of Bristol and Bristol Pediatrics. Border Bash would not be possible without our community sponsors. Our sponsors in 2016 includeBorder Bash is a free community event supported by Anne and Ben Cowan, Bank of Tennessee, Blackbird Bakery, Blakley-Mitchell Co., Brown, Edwards & Co., Burke, Powers & Harty, Camellia Digital, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Express AV Productions, New Peoples Bank, Renasant Bank, Revolution Curbside Recycling, Strongwell Corporation, The Bristol Hotel: McCall Capital, LLC, Tom and Barbara Smith/ Merrill Lynch, Tri City Tent and Event, Walling Distributing, Wells Fargo and media sponsors Bristol Herald Courier, Radio Bristol, 99.3 The X, Electric 94.9 FM, WCYB-5, and WXBQ 96.9 FM.