Showing posts with label UFC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UFC. Show all posts

May 6, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No. 3



Stars of  mixed martial arts’ premiere promotion will again come out Saturday night, so that means Kevin Broughton & Jeremy Pinnell are back to hold forth on a grab-bag of topics. And our Kentucky troubadour is feeling his oats. Let’s mix it up. 


KB: Let's do the pop culture stuff first. We recently posted a video of Tyler Childers fronting Bobby Weir's band, doing one of my favorite Dead songs, "The Greatest Story Ever Told." Not sure I would have pegged Tyler as a Dead Head, but you never know. (I myself saw the Dead for the first time in the Bluegrass State; Freedom Hall, 1989.) Pick one living artist or band you'd love to step on stage and jam with, and the song. (And why?)


JP: How many hippies does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. They just sit around and watch it burn out then they follow it for 30 years. Never understood The Dead or the fascination. Especially when there are people like Freddie King or Albert King. I don’t know, crucify me I guess but you know I’m right. 


My pick for a dream performance would probably be with one of the last greatest songwriters, Mr. Willie Nelson himself. Most of my favorites have passed, sadly, but he might be the GOAT?


KB: Hmm. I’ll put you down as “undecided” on the Grateful Dead. You do share a sentiment with a fellow pop-culture icon, though:



Moving along, at your suggestion, I've started watching Tokyo Drift, er, Vice. Tokyo Vice, on HBO. It's grabbed my interest; it's well-written and -acted, and based on a true story. I haven't researched anything, to avoid spoilers. What drew you to this series? Is the "yakuza" thing just a different flavor of the classic American mob tale?


JP: I really dig stories of the underworld. It’s just such a fascinating subject. Japanese culture is fascinating by itself, but add some criminal activity and you’ve got my attention.


KB: One of the things that’s impressed me about it is that with few exceptions, all the characters – even the criminals – have some endearing or sympathetic qualities. That’s a mark of good storytelling. 


If you can listen to only three albums the rest of your life, what are they?


JP: I can do this one, Kevin. Waylon Jennings, Honky Tonk Heroes; Guy Clark, Texas Cookin’; and Danzig, Lucifuge.


KB: One of these things is not like the other. Nice. 


Let's get to the main course, because UFC 274 is the best card -- on paper, anyway -- I've eyeballed in more than a year. At the bottom of the main card, there's a career-sunset bout between Cowboy Cerrone and Joe Lauzon. Next up, it's 40-year-old Shogun Rua (he lost the 205 belt to Jonny Bones in 2011) vs. OSP -- probably a "loser retires" match. Then there's Michael Chandler against Tony Ferguson -- a once-great fighter on a 3-bout losing streak. 


My favorite UFC fighter, Thug Rose Namajunas, looks to cement her claim to greatest strawweight fighter of all time against Carla Esparza. And in the main event, Justin Gaethje is a slight underdog to champion Charles Oliveira. A fine menu; let's take it in chunks:


(a) Who do you like in the main event? Based on the recent history of both guys, I'll go out on a limb and say this one doesn't go the distance.


JP: Aaaaaaaannnnd IT’S TIME!!!! I’m a Gaethje fan although I like Oliviera. But Justin is a banger! He will give Charles a hard time and give us a great show.


(b) Does Cowboy make it out of the first round? Hate to put it like that, but he's lost five of his last six, and it hasn't been pretty. He's a betting favorite, but Lauzon is a smart fighter. 


JP: Dang, man. I like Cowboy so much so he’s my pick whether it’s a good one or not.


(c) Chandler won his UFC debut against Dan Hooker, then ran into the buzz saws who'll fight in the main event Saturday. Two guys really needing a win here. Does Ferguson have a shot? He’s a 4:1 dog.  


JP: I’m not a Chandler fan, but I think he gets the win. But a Ferguson victory could turn things around for him and really make things interesting.


(d) Thug Rose: She seems to be cleaning out the straw-weight division with two wins each over Joanna and that bad ass Chinese chick. Does Esparza have a shot? 


JP: I’m not sure why Carla is fighting Rose who has the belt right now, but whatevs.



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Jeremy Pinnell is touring his ass off. Catch a show, but don’t request “Uncle John’s Band.”


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Kevin’s plays for UFC 274, which are worth exactly what you’re paying for them:


Rose Namajunas (via decision) - +165


Joe Lauzon over Cowboy Cerrone - +150


Lauzon via submission - +700


Charles Oliveira over Gaethje -  -172



Apr 8, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1 No. 2



By Kevin Broughton


This weekend marks another UFC pay per view event, so we check in with Brother Jeremy Pinnell. Fresh (well, maybe not so fresh) off a Thursday night gig opening for Dale Watson in The Bluff City, our partner was a little sassy this morning. (Note to self: don’t hassle a dude about deadlines if he could choke you unconscious.)


Let’s mix it up. 


Since last time, I’ve had a chance to listen to The Wilder Blue's self-titled album, and Ian Noe's River Fools and Mountain Saints. These seem like some hot rocks to me. Your thoughts?


I absolutely love that Ian Noe record. He’s an amazing songwriter. I haven’t had too much time to dig into The Wilder Blue but the harmonies are killer and they sound like some talented folks. It’s also 9:00 a.m. and we’re in Memphis so I’m a little out of it. I’ll apologize for my answers after being berated by you last night for a slow turn around.


Moving right along…Say you're a presenter at The Americana Awards. You make what you think is a harmless remark about a nominee's wife's bald head (my hypotheticals are laced with irony.) Husband approaches you, winding up for an open-hand slap. What's your best jiu-jitsu counter move, knowing you have to keep the show flowing?


Hahaha! If I saw said guy approaching, I’d probably close the distance. I’d maybe shoot a double leg and go side control to mount.  I’d control the position until security came or just try to keep distance. But I feel like that is a pretty threatening act which would call for immediate action.



I wasn't crazy about this UFC 273 card at first, but you kinda changed my mind. I think the Korean Zombie is kind of a weird matchup for Volkonovski. That could be a good fight, with the Zombie's length. The rematch of Yan vs. Sterling ought to be lit – given the controversial way Sterling “won” the belt. 



And Burns/Chimaev has potential for a great fight. What are you looking forward to in this PPV?


I was stoked on this card as soon as I saw it. Volkonovski is a banger but Zombie is a murderer. I think everyone knows Sterling doesn’t deserve that belt; he said it without saying it when they put it around him. His pace in the last fight was awful. I’m not a fan. Yan is obviously a way more measured fighter.


Also, Chimaev - Burns is gonna be a war. There’s so much hype with Kazmat right now and, I’m really stoked on that. 


If you were able to competently play one instrument besides acoustic guitar, what would it be, and why?


I’d probably play piano, if I could be a modern-day Mickey Gilley or Jerry Lee. Maybe you can buy me some lessons for Christmas.


Mar 4, 2022

Mixed Music Action, Vol. 1, No. 1


Welcome to the inaugural edition of Mixed Music Action, a hybrid back-and-forth between Jeremy Pinnell and Kevin Broughton that touches on the worlds of music and mixed martial arts…and whatever else may suit them.

When Kevin interviewed Jeremy last fall in advance of the release of his phenomenal album, Goodbye L.A., he was delighted to learn that Jeremy practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu and, like himself, is a big fan of the UFC. Two guys, two great topics and a platform like FTM? To quote UFC ring announcer Michael Buffer – though much more succinctly – “It’s time!”

KB: I caught a show with an artist last weekend -- the second-to-last show on this tour. He was really struggling with his voice, and I didn't envy him on the next night's show. That has to be a common problem in your line of work. Do you have a go-to, emergency throat remedy, beyond gargling salt water?

JP: First of all I want to say I’m happy we’re doing this. Gonna be fun.

So, losing your voice happens a lot. When you’re singing two hours a night -- and we’ve done four-hour nights -- it’s unavoidable. I supplement while on the road: Vitamin C, Vitamin D… I try not to smoke cigars. Throat Coat has been proven to work when necessary. But you have to go hard.

KB: When I recently asked you what's good to listen to these days, your first answer was the new Cactus Blossoms album. They remind me a lot of the early Jayhawks, right down to the Minneapolis roots. What about them do you find so appealing?

JP: I just dig their Everly Brothers sound. The harmonies, the hooks, the songwriting, etc. I also dig the Jayhawks and have seen them twice. Once when I was 16, they opened for The Black Crowes at Riverfront Coliseum 1993. The lights were on and people were strolling in when The Jayhawks played.

KB: Two poignant answers there. In a subtle way, you let me know that I’ve got a decade-plus on you, and now I’m jelly that I never saw the Jayhawks open for the pre-implosion Black Crowes. Whose idea was this feature, again?

Anyway, what's up with JP these days? You touring, raising young 'uns, rolling in the BJJ studio? A little of everything?

JP: I’ve been able to hit the Carlson Gym a little more, but touring is picking up quite a bit. I’m looking forward to summer. Yesterday was open mat at the gym, and my son and I went down, and some surrounding gyms showed up and everyone rolled for a couple hours. It was really cool seeing my son use the things he’s learned and enjoy himself. He’s seven, by the way. He and I have been enjoying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu quite a bit.

KB: Looking ahead to this weekend's UFC 272 card: The main event has "must see" written all over it, and to say there's bad blood between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal is like saying Jon Tyler dabbles in conspiracy theories. Covington is a sizeable favorite, and his only recent losses are to Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. Jorge is a fan favorite who needs a win. 


Your thoughts on the matchup, please, and give me the winner and method of victory. I'll even go first and say Covington by unanimous decision; his wrestling's too much.

JP: So I talked to my BJJ instructor and asked him his thoughts. I’m a Jorge fan obviously, but he said Colby will probably wear him down by using his wrestling, and probably win by decision. But the cool thing about a fight is, anything can happen! I think Jorge is fighter’s fighter. I don’t think anyone will like Colby even if he does win. 

KB: Hmmm. Going to a ringer for advice on picks? I mean, I’m not calling Brent Cobb or Leroy Virgil for advice on what music questions to ask, but whatever.

Finally, pick me another winner on this fight card.

JP: I like Kevin Holland, but Alex Oliviera is fierce. I’ll take Alex. I’m also taking Edson Barboza over Bryce Mitchell, even though I like Bryce more. But who knows?*

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*Solid, underdog picks from the Kentucky Troubadour here, ladies & gents. Serious value plays.

--KB



Oct 1, 2021

Jeremy Pinnell: The Farce the Music Interview


By Kevin Broughton

 

When Jeremy Pinnell released OH/KY in the summer of 2015 to stunned acclaim, it felt like an entire career compressed into one knockout album. Hailed as a “Mind-blowingly good” (GregVandy/KEXP) and a ”tutorial on classic country music” (Popmatters), Pinnell’s debut immediately differentiated as authentic and unflinching. 

 

Dogged touring through Europe and the States and celebrated radio sessions followed, cementing Pinnell’s position as a no-fuss master of his craft. His 2017 album, Ties of Blood and Affection, presented a canny lateral move. Instead of doubling down on the stark themes and values of his debut, the sophomore album saw Pinnell finding comfort in his own skin, achieving the redemption only hinted at in his previous batch of haunting songs. 

 

If the third time’s a charm, Pinnell is all shine and sparkle on the Goodbye L.A. Produced by noted QAnon adherent and Texan Jonathan Tyler, the tunes buff the wax and polish the chrome on country music’s deeper roots. Rooted in his steady acoustic guitar, Pinnell’s songs are shot through with honest and classic elements. The rhythm section, all snap and shuffle, finds purpose in well-worn paths. The pedal steel and Telecaster stingers arrive perfectly on cue, winking at JP’s world-wise couplets. Here slippery organ insinuates gospel into the conversation. You can feel the room breathe and get a sense of these musicians eyeballing each other as their performances are committed to tape. And through it all comes this oaken identity, the centerpiece of his work. Honest and careworn, Jeremy’s voice can touch on wry, jubilant, and debauched -- all in a single line. At his best,  Pinnell chronicles the joy and sorrow of being human, which is the best that anyone could do. Goodbye L.A., nearly two years in the making, is a triumph. 

 

It was a pleasure to visit with Pinnell to talk songwriting, touring, sobriety and…mixed martial arts. 

 

This album has been in the can a while. Y’all recorded in February 2020, played a few gigs, and then the bottom fell out. What was the long layoff like, and did you use some of that time to tweak the mix or anything like that? 

Yeah, we recorded it and got it done just under the wire. This is probably a made-up story, but this is the way I remember it, anyway. We recorded the record and came home, and a week later I flew down to see Jonathan again and we recorded the vocals. I came back that Saturday, and I think the next Monday they started telling people to stay home.  But as terrible as this thing’s been for the last – almost two years now – we did have a little free time to do everything right, you know? 

 

Your producer said of you, before going into the studio, “He’s just out there grinding, playing three or four shows a week, driving from town to town. Jeremy’s really putting in the hard work, and his band has gotten so tight.” How long have you and this version of your band been together?

 

We’ve been going at it about two and a half, almost three years with this group of guys. Junior Tutwiler is on guitar and Charles Alley is on drums. And we switch out a bass player…kind of like the drummer for…

 

Spinal Tap?

 

…(Laughs) Yeah, Spinal Tap! Except in our case it’s the bass player, so you never know who you’ll end up with. But yeah, Junior – obviously, Kevin, if you’ve heard the record – you can hear how talented he is. And Charles on drums, he’s so good and has a real knack for just finding the pocket, you know? 

 

This is such a country album to me, and I guess that’s a tautology. But it reminds me of some of the “neo-traditionalists” of the mid 1980s like Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakum and Lyle Lovett, just in its authenticity. Who are some of the artists who’ve impacted you the most? 

 

For this record, I found myself listening to a lot of ZZ Top, like that “Legs” stuff…and there’s a Waylon record, Never Could Toe the Mark with that song “The Entertainer,” from the mid 1980s. There are lots of great songs on there like “Sparkling Brown Eyes,” and I just wanted a feel-good record. So many of those 80s albums were just fun records; people just wanted to have fun. And I wanted to try to bring that back. 

 

Normally I wouldn’t broach this, but the first sentence of the liner notes reads, “Jeremy Pinnell tried dying once.” Your past struggles with addiction are also mentioned. So, would you mind fleshing that out a little? How has your journey to sobriety affected your craft? 

 

Yeah, so…I didn’t play music for a couple of years. There was a time when I…Kevin, I normally don’t talk about it much, but I don’t mind talking about it a little bit. Yeah, there was a time when I was broke and homeless, really with nowhere to go, just going from detox to detox, to homeless shelter. It’s funny, while we were recording with Jonathan, he mentioned being on Jimmy Kimmell’s show in 2010, and I laughed and said, “I was in a homeless shelter in 2010!” 

 

But for a guy like me, sobriety has been really good; a lot better than I’ve been to sobriety. It’s been a positive thing. 

 

Tell me about the guy in “Never Thought of No One.” Is he taking the first look in the mirror for a long time?

 

The way I wrote that song, I just imagined this character – I had the chorus and a piece of the verse – but I tried to picture a character who just couldn’t turn the corner. Because we’ve all been there, and felt like we can’t find our part for a given situation. Or we’ve known someone like that, who could turn the corner if they could just see their own part. It’s about being in denial without knowing you’re in it. Maybe I’m getting too far off track; but it’s about not being able to see your own faults. Somebody with just a blind spot, really. 

 

In the title cut, there’s an ear-catching line – “Hello L.A., you got some pretty ladies, but they don’t want babies and I do” – that makes me wonder if you ever spent time in Southern California. 

 

(Laughs) Yeah, so we were in L.A. and had just played a concert and were loading in the van. Just me and my buddies hanging out, and there are beautiful women everywhere. And I made the remark – or our drummer made the remark – that, “yeah, but they don’t want to have babies.” Sort of the most ridiculous thing, right? But I thought, “Maybe the girls back in Kentucky will want to have babies.” And I thought about it and, yeah, I’m gonna use that, because it just struck me as hilarious. And it’s kinda cool, so that’s how I came up with it. 

 

Tell me about recording under the conspiratorial eye of Jonathan Tyler….

 

(Laughs) I love it!

 

 …I’ll grudgingly acknowledge that he seems to have done some good work here. 

 

Yeah, working with Jon is such a positive, just being able to take his direction. And he has such an eye – or ear, I guess – for music, you know? It was really nice to be in the studio…you know, we came in with the songs, and he would listen and say, “Why don’t we try it this way?” It was just a positive atmosphere. If you know Jon, you know you’re gonna have fun. 

 

I’ve interviewed one artist who’s a Thai boxer, but I’m pretty sure you’re the first jiu-jitsu practitioner. How long has that been a thing for you?

 

It started at the beginning of the pandemic. I didn’t have anything to do, and the government was giving me money, and I always wanted to know how to fight. You know, you grow up getting beaten up, or maybe get in the random bar fight here or there, but that’s different than understanding your own body and how to interact with another human being. 


 

But yeah, I started at the beginning of the pandemic. It’s been about a year and a half. And I wish I had started at a younger age; I had no idea of the power of martial arts. It’s been amazing. I wish I could do it all the time, but I’ve got a six-year-old. You can kinda get carried away with it. There are a lot of times where I’d rather be in the gym training than playing music. 

 

Do you follow the UFC? Care to give a pick for Volkonovski-Ortega this weekend?

 

I am a big fan, and I like Ortega a lot just because of his jiu-jitsu.* I’m really excited about the Nick Diaz fight.

 

Yeah, that one ought to be good. It’s been such a long layoff for him.

 

Two hundred and nine months or something like that. 

 

Looks like you’ll be touring pretty solid for the next couple months. Will you be back out on the road in 2022?

 

Yeah, man. I was doing nothing but playing music up until the pandemic, and then went home. My wife and I have bills to pay, so I’m really looking forward to getting back out on the road as soon as we can. 

 

What else would you like the folks to know about Goodbye L.A.?

 

Yeah, we’re just really excited about it. We spent about a year writing and then rehearsing these songs at sound check. Then we recorded a few demos for Jonathan, and finally we got into the studio and made the record. And Sofa Burn records offered to put it out, and there was no one knocking on the door during the pandemic, know what I mean? So I was really grateful for their generosity in helping us get this record out. 

 

So, we’re really excited for people to hear it. It’s the culmination of a lot of long nights away from home, making hardly any money. Yeah. It’s time. 

 

__________


Goodbye LA is available today everywhere you stream and purchase music. 

 

 

*While Mr. Pinnell has made one of the best country albums of the year, this doesn’t necessarily carry over to UFC predictions. 

 

Dec 1, 2016

Sam Hunt vs. Connor McGregor



Sorry, I know you'd have rather seen a fight...

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