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Contributed Photo by Jiro Schneider / Mandy Barnett

The Nightfall summer music series takes its final bow this weekend, and a native of Cumberland County, Tennessee, has released an album that pays homage to Nashville.

— Nightfall bids farewell to its virtual 33rd season with the Tennessee Ruminators opening for Early James at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28. The Ruminators, also known as Kathy Veazey and John Rawlston, describe their music as a blend of blues, rock, Tin Pan Alley, folk and Americana, plus originals. Early James is an Americana/blues band from Birmingham, Alabama, whose influences range from Hank Williams to Miles Davis. Watch the performances on the Nightfall Music Series Facebook page or on YouTube at Virtual Nightfall.

— Mandy Barnett, who has been called a "song's best friend" for her emotional depth and expressive vocal delivery, has released her new project, "A Nashville Songbook." The album was inspired by Barnett's popular road show, which she has toured nationally and internationally since debuting the anthology with the Nashville Symphony in 2016.

Barnett, a frequent guest on the Grand Ole Opry, includes 13 pop and country standards that have been particular favorites in her stage show, such as "Help Me Make It Through the Night," written and first sung by Kris Kristofferson, and "It's Now or Never," popularized by Elvis Presley. Other tracks highlight works by Ray Price, Roy Orbison, Tammy Wynette and George Jones, Hank Williams, Anne Murray, Hank Snow, B.J. Thomas and Brenda Lee, among others.

Early response has been overwhelmingly positive, including this praise from Hits Nashville Editor and the Country Music Association's reigning Media Achievement Awards winner Holly Gleason: "She is one of the most amazingly nuanced vocalists in terms of tone, emotion, interpretation, and technique. A Judy Garland for our time."

Barnett has a show scheduled Dec. 3 at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville.

Email Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

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