You’d drive right past Easy Eye Studios and never know it. On a commercial strip of road in East Nashville, its a short milk-truck trip from the hip Pacific Northwest-inspired Barista Parlor, whose high-brow brews started most mornings for Hanni El Khatib and Dan Auerbach during the Head in the Dirt sessions. Like Hanni says, the studio is more of a clubhouse than anything, the walls that aren’t lined with vinyl are covered in old motorcycle memorabilia: cutoff denim jackets emblazoned with deep sewn signatures, old helmets from dudes who probably never wore them, portraits of heroes and outlaws like Muddy Waters, and gear galore. One could blame Easy Eye for the sound of Head in the Dirt, but that’s an oversimplification. It’s Nashville, the city, the pace, the people, who tell the story. Like Larry Sexton’s engines, Head in the Dirt is forged from fuel, fire, and a craftsman’s hands. It’s the deafening roar of a red-line engine, and the classic cool of a cat’s purr coasting in third gear.
(image by Nick Walker)
Head in the Dirt is available 4/30 on Innovative Leisure.
Thanks to Nick, Hanni, Jamie, Nate, and Dan.