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Yamaha Sessions: Theo MacMillan

Jan 31, 2024


Last fall, in the patchy autumn shade of hackberry trees beside Nashville’s Percy Priest Lake, Theo MacMillan (of Theo & Brenna) and his band set up for an exclusive Yamaha Session at Solar Cabin. MacMillan, who brought along Jed Clark (bass), Harry Clark (mandolin), and Cory Walker (banjo), pulled his Yamaha acoustic guitar out of the case and performed two original numbers.

The first, a high-energy, newgrass track entitled “The One That’s Broken,” leans forward at a breakneck pace, channeling the frustration of a messy relationship’s end with cattywampus stops artfully executed by the band, tight and together. MacMillan’s voice is brassy and warm, a perfect complement to the low-tuned banjo. “Whenever there’s a problem/ You wanna run away…” he sings, with Jed Clark on harmonies and tasteful harmonics by Walker. It’s a rollicking, excitable song that showcases MacMillan’s distinct style as a lyricist.

For his second number, he released his band members and perched atop a single stool to play another original, “Early Sign,” solo, with a technical and Tony Rice-esque, picked introduction that opens to a winsome and lonesome melody as entrancing as any Lightfoot played by Rice. Here, MacMillan places his voice more forward, tenderly caressing each word, his custom shop Yamaha the perfect accompaniment.

MacMillan and his sister, Brenna, are in-demand musicians and songwriters, together and separately, in Nashville – with enormous social media followings between the two. Watch for these tracks from Theo to be released as singles, the earliest slated for release as soon as the end of February.

Video Credit: Schuyler Howie & Robert Chavers, Solar Cabin Creative

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Yamaha Sessions: Theo MacMillan
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