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East Side Storytellin' turned 40!!
cast and crew


Hello everyone, and welcome to another great round of East Side Storytellin’. Wait, before I get started here, recognize and reflect that we have done 40 (I repeat, FORTY) East Side Storytellin’ shows NOW! Crazy stuff, and it keeps on getting better and better for everyone involved.

I mean … 40 shows, y’all!!!!!!!

Similar to the 39 previous shows we’ve put together from East Side Story, we’ve come together here to get you cultured up just right in the form of a local Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing and talking about their original music, and then a round-up creative conversation with all featured guests of this event to talk about their individual journeys and personal ties to Nashville. This is East Side Storytellin’ 40. Let us begin.

The first featured guest of this momentous show was another native Nashvillian author that has been writing stories, crafting novels, scribbling in journals, and teaching, reading, selling, and breathing literature for over 20 years (very cool since she is only 22 years old). Recently, as we’ll discuss more later in the recorded link below, she has teamed up with fellow fiction writer and East Side Storyteliln’ alum Susannah Felts in co-founding The Porch Writers’ Collective. She has an MFA in fiction writing from Colorado State University and her short stokes have appeared in and An award winning writer and author of the novel “The Color Wheel”- available for you at East Side Story, I was very excited, alongside a packed room of other people at Mad Donna’s, to welcome Katie McDougall to the stage.

Katie commanded the crowds attention with her smile, confidence, and prose. She quickly dove into four sections of her latest release, breaking down each excerpt with precision and explanation before reading through the pages like wildfire. It was eloquent, exciting, and a page-turner to say the least. She executed the reading like a pro, and I think she was even more excited to get off the stage to give the spotlight to her good friend and her music.

The second featured guest of the show was also a native Nashvillian. A graduate of Sewanee, THE University of the South, she lives quite the healthy double life. By day she is helping bring hope to our future in the minds of kids as an elementary school teacher (having done so for 16 years, again … fascinating because she is only 22 years young), but by night she is a talented musician (taking the plunge for her true passions of singing, playing guitar, writing songs, and performing around 2001). This spring she took another creative plunge, with the help of some musical friends, and released her first album of original songs titled “Pine.” The crowd couldn’t contain themselves, especially the mother of the musician (which I met before the show and instantly loved), when asked to give a round of applause for LULU, aka Lauren Hagen!

Lauren took to the stage with two of her talented musical friends that helped her record her latest album. Michael Kelsh grabbed his numerous electric guitars and banjo while Mark Winchester leaned on his gi-normous stand-up base guitar, and they went to town with Laurens sweet pickin’ and words. It felt like I was back in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s, listening to Johnny Cash’s back-up band playing live music in Nashville for June Carter. It was quite refreshing to say the least. The words, the humility, the honesty, and the pure joy of playing personal music that told stories and conveyed authentic musical storytelling was pretty amazing. I could have sat there in the crowd and listened to Lauren and the gang all night long. But, as always, everything changes … the music had to end.

I managed to get the girls back on stage for a little bit of Q & A. You can listen to the entire show and the interview below, but I just have to say that these guests were as sweet as apple pie on the 4th of July (not the sad 4th that Lauren sang about though). I believe everyone had a wonderful time, and it might have been the first 40th birthday party I’ve been to where ladies didn’t cry. I’d call that a huge success, if I say so myself.

That said, here is the recording for the 40th East Side Storytellin’ show. Enjoy it over and over and share it with all of your friends and your mother’s friends too:

Before I say goodbye for this round of fun, I’d like to give a big round of thanks for Katie McDougall and Lauren Hagan (as well as Michael Welsh and Mark Winchester) for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more from Katie McDougall-

Lauren promises to have a website soon, very soon!

I’ll keep the gratitude going for Tom Eizonas, for the recording and sound of the night, Clay Brunton for the art print, for Kevin at 5 Points Digital Imaging ( for printing those art prints,and to my lovely wife and everyone that came out live to support the show … and to everyone who has helped continue to spread the word and support the show online afterwards.

You can listen to this show, edited, soon, alongside the previous shows too, on our website,, at our In Our Own Words Tab – see here –

But we are not finished!!!! 40 is the new 20, right?

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

Date- Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Time- 7 pm sharp (Central)

Location- Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland Street)-

With poet Amy Wright ( and musician Sara Marie Thompson (

That’s all for the East Side Storytellin’ 40 show. Thanks for coming out and sharing the good word. Remember to be nice to one another out there. Thanks and good day your way.

Much love.


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