Now/It's: A Video Premiere - "Birth" by Black Venus

There's a belief in the world of business that any endeavor can reach sustainability through a simple contingent of 1,000 devoted customers. The same can be said for social media and the like, and thus, we'll loosely apply it to a rambling culture and arts blog (Now/It's, in case you don't follow). Whether or not such a notion is true remains to be seen, but, it's that notion of devotion, or regular return appearances from friends of the site, that bring great pride, especially when the content they're sending our way is top of the line.

Such is the case with our friends Black Venus. You might remember their double single premiere on the site with our pals, Brother Man, but if not, you're in luck - consider this a reintroduction - because they've come to us with a fantastic video for the newest single, "Birth."

Gary Dougherty and Ben Cureton teamed up with East Nashville photographer Jeremy Harris and editor Panther Mac to not only bring some visuals to the tune, but also, offer up some gratitude and reverence to the oft forgotten Jefferson St. cultural district. For the uninitiated, Jefferson St. was a pivotal player during the Jim Crow era South, as well as a cultural epicenter that saw the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, and Little Richard roll through the clubs of Del Morocco and Club Baron (1).

Unfortunately, Jefferson St. has experienced a bit of a downturn as of late, like many other neighborhoods in Nashville that find themselves in the midst of "redevelopment." It's an unfortunate reality that a neighborhood with such robust and rich cultural history can fall by the wayside, but it's admirable that the guys in Black Venus want to highlight the neighborhood they live and practice in.

In a way, "Birth" sounds like the gospel according to Dougherty and Cureton, minus the dogma of general spirituality. It's a realist video with a humanist flair, as Dougherty takes time to appreciate Jefferson St. and those within it - like JB, from JB's Barbershop, who during filming was playing his own guitar, and came to be integrated into the video as well - as well as an appreciation for the unmistakable murals beneath the I-40 overpass.

Consider it a gospel, consider it an homage, or consider it to be something wholly unique, "Birth" is a tune with depth and breadth that most have come to disregard in an ever changing Nashville.

"Birth" was written by Gary Dougherty and Ben Cureton, recorded by Sam Pita, mixed by Cureton, and mastered by Joe Hutchinson.

The video for "Birth" was filmed by Jeremy Harris and edited by Panther Mac.

Article(s) cited within this write-up:

History Repeats Itself in North Nashville

Curious Nashville: Why Did Jimi Hendrix Play Jefferson St.?