East Nashville club the Basement East has developed a reputation for its regular tribute shows – usually an army of artists takes the stage to play the hits of a legend. During the venue’s most recent tribute night, however, it was a salute to the icons who died last year.
Titled “Sing Me Back Home: A Celebration of Artists Lost in 2017,” the evening featured musical homages to Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, Chris Cornell, Fats Domino, Those Darlins’ Jessi Zazu and more. Among the highlights: Langhorne Slim delivered “Blueberry Hill” for Domino, Paul Cauthen and Cody Jinks reprised their version of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” for Cornell and the entire cast tackled Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”
But it was country artist Cam, known for moving ballads like “Burning House” and her rollicking latest single “Diane,” that provided one of the evening’s most unexpected performances. Backed by Nashville ace Leroy Powell on guitar, the California singer summoned a Nineties howl to sing the Cranberries’ “Zombie” in honor of the late Dolores O’Riordan. Cam’s rendition of the 1994 hit was full of the whispers and shrieks that defined the performance style of O’Riordan, who died January 15th at age 46.
“Sing Me Back Home” was presented by Wildwood Revival and helped raise awareness and funds for the Polaris project, an organization founded to combat human trafficking.