Eric Brace & Thomm Jutz: Nashville Folk via the C & O Canal + Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds

Date/Time Sun 14 May 2023 8:00 PM

Price Online - £10 + £1 booking fee; On The Door - £12


Eric Brace and Thomm Jutz have appeared at TwickFolk a couple of times already, alongside fellow songwriter, the late Peter Cooper.

Two extraordinarily talented people, Thomm and Eric have taken very distinct paths to arrive at their Nashville collaboration.

Eric began his musical career in Washington D.C. where he was a journalist with the Washington Post. In  Washington, he launched his acclaimed roots-rock band Last Train Home in the late ‘90s, touring with the group extensively across the U.S. and Europe, releasing seven albums and one concert DVD. The band moved to Nashville in 2004, where Eric met another journalist, Peter Cooper, who covered music for the Tennessean newspaper. They began a part-time duo, which soon became a nearly full-time thing, and so far they have four records to their name, all released on the label Eric founded in East Nashville, Red Beet Records.

Many years back, a 13-year-old Thomm Jutz was watching TV in his family home in Germany, when Bobby Bare came on and sang his hits “Detroit City” and “Tequila Sheila”, and like a bolt from above, he knew right then that he was going to play guitar and move to Nashville. The Black Forest of Germany is not a region not known for its country, folk, and bluegrass tendencies, though it kind of makes sense once you think about it, and when Thomm moved to Nashville in 2002, his transition was seamless. He immediately became an indispensible sideman to acclaimed artists Nanci Griffith, Mary Gauthier, and Maura O’Connell. After building a studio, he has become one of the most sought after producers of acoustic music in Music City.

Thomm has joined the short list of writers such as Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov whose works in their second language of English are as evocative as anything a native speaker can conjure. To grasp the truth of that, listen to Thomm’s three albums of original music about different episodes in the Civil War, titled *The 1861 Project,* volumes I, II, and III. They feature such artists as Bobby Bare (yep, they’ve become friends), Marty Stuart, and Kim Richey, are astonishingly evocative.

Thomm is also one of the most successful songwriters in the bluegrass world, having charted four #1 bluegrass chart hits over the past year (as recorded by Shawn Camp, Irene Kelly, and Chris Jones & the Night Drivers), and has had five more compositions in the bluegrass radio top ten.

Together, Eric and Thomm weave stories, songs, harmonies, and guitar playing into something very special. The lyrics are as thoughtful as those of their heroes, a list that includes John Prine, John Hartford, Kris Kristoffersen, Tom T. Hall, Paul Simon, and Townes Van Zandt. Add harmonies that bring to mind the Seldom Scene, Emmylou Harris, and the Everly Brothers, and sumptuous guitar arrangements, and you have a truly memorable evening of music.

The top video is from the Red Dragon Listening Room in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2011, recorded by Jamey Firnberg. Here’s one featuring Thomm Jutz, recorded by Paul Eliow in Germany 2014:


Naomi Bedford‘s unique voice has long gathered support from all corners of the musical fraternity. Her emotive hybrid of plaintive British folk and high lonesome Americana has gained plaudits from such diverse artists as Peter Buck, Shirley Collins, Chris Difford, Linda Thompson, Iggy Pop and many others.

In a series of albums with musical partner Paul Simmonds (The Men They Couldn’t Hang), Naomi has forged a clear modern identity as both an interpreter and creator of folk song. Her last album Singing It All Back Home was a Guardian Folk Album of the Month and she is a previous BBC Folk Award nominee in Best Original Song category.

Her latest project brings all her influences into a larger ensemble setting; a mix of Transatlantic Session and Country Fair revue. In the Ramshackle style, a rolling cast of musicians come together to create a vibrant celebration of both Bedford’s voice and the folk and country styles that she inhabits so authentically.

“Amazing, Naomi pulls no punches” Iggy Pop
“Naomi is the best singer of Appalachian ballads that i know” Shirley Collins
Folk Album of the month – The Guardian June 2019