STILL LIFE PODCAST
A Podcast about Life, Whiskey, and Everything in Between
Hosted by Andy Nelson, Co-founder and Head Distiller of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Still Life is a podcast designed to shine a light on the people and stories that form the modern spirits industry. Going beyond the expected discussions of how whiskey is made, sold, and assessed, Still Life focuses on the vibrant and diverse characters whose passion and knowledge propel the industry forward.
Every one of these people has a story to tell, and each story leads to a greater perspective on whiskey, life, and everything in between.
New episodes monthly on your favorite podcast service.
Still Life Podcast | Episode guide
Episode 12: Khalid Williams
August 28, 2023
Khalid Williams is a bartender, writer, scholar, and hospitality super genius whose insights into the social and cultural history that informs his work help elevate craft into the realm of humanist art. But not to worry: Andy and Khalid also get deep into the distillation weeds. A fascinating conversation with a fascinating man.
About Khalid Williams
Khalid Williams describes himself as a “dynamic and innovative beverage industry professional.” But that scarcely begins to tell the story. “The Barrel Age is my signature brand and its purpose is finding the magic in life through four activities: drinking beverages that are made with care, eating food with history, providence and innovation, listening to music that inspires, and finally thinking about concepts and opinions with an open mind. Website: https://www.drinkthebarrelage.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebarrelage/ Blog: https://www.ctbites.com/blog?author=647de288dc412519410c42f7
Episode 11: Libby Callaway
July 31, 2023
Andy gets down to cases with Nashville’s premier luxury brand PR/communications representative, East TN native Libby Callaway. They discuss her background as a music and fashion critic in NYC, her transition to PR, the shrinking media landscape of Nashville, the way brands have to be about more than quality craftsmanship, and the challenges and rewards of sobriety—especially in the hospitality industry.
About Libby Callaway
Libby Callaway moved to Nashville in 2004 from New York City, where she worked as a journalist for almost a decade. She has contributed to some of the country’s most widely regarded magazines and newspapers, including the New York Post, where she was a staff writer and fashion editor from 1997 to 2004. Elsewhere, she has penned stories for publications including Architectural Digest, Elle, InStyle, T, the New York Times Style Magazine, Los Angeles, and Glamour, where she had her own fashion advice column in 2006 and 2007.
A noted secondhand shopping expert, Libby’s closet and home are frequently in the press. Stories about her unique personal style and interior design ethos have appeared in Domino, InStyle, Vogue, Elle, The Selby, Cherry Bombe, and The Coveteur.
Libby is the former media director for the Nashville denim company imogene + willie and marketing director for the Alabama fashion house Billy Reid. She is on the board of directors at the Nashville Sexual Assault Center and the Nashville Arts & Business Council. She is a member of the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club. A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, she lives in East Nashville.
Episode 10: Stefan Parsons
June 26, 2023
If you’re wondering what stock car racing has to do with the craft spirits industry, you’re not alone. Fortunately, in this month’s episode, Andy gets down to cases with NASCAR Xfinity series driver Stefan Parsons—whose car and suit advertised Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey at the Nashville Superspeedway on Sat. June 24—and discover one or two surprising similarities. (Note: This episode was recorded three days before that somewhat ill-fated race, which adds a degree of historical interest to the conversation.)
About Stefan Parsons
Stefan Parsons (born June 15, 1998) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes part-time in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Parsons’s father—Phil Parsons and Benny Parsons—are both NASCAR legends.
EPISODE 9: Rhonda Cammon
MAY 30, 2023
Andy sits down with the charismatic and inspiring founder of the celebrated mixer company Perfectly Cordial to discuss the many ways in which their stories of building a business in the spirits/hospitality industries overlap precisely, despite radically different circumstances.
About Rhonda Cammon
A hospitality veteran with over 20 years of nursing experience, Rhonda Cammon founded Perfectly Cordial in 2019. Rhonda has a passion for people, hospitality, and libations and has pursued her passion via several successful ventures. She is the current Treasurer of the United States Bartender Guild (USBG) Nashville chapter and is the chapter’s first African American female board member.
Find Rhonda’s incredibly delicious mixers at www.perfectlycordial.com.
EPISODE 8: LP O'BRIEN
APRIL 24, 2023
Years before LP O’Brien was blowing minds on the Netflix competition series Drink Masters and transforming the spirits industry, she was instrumental in helping launch Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. Andy catches up with his erstwhile colleague for an intriguingly candid conversation about the art of the cocktail and the process of self-discovery it can help animate.
About LP O’Brien
LP is a highly decorated and award-winning Afro-Latina mixologist. Her dedication to education, innovation, and cultural integration through cocktail
creations motivated her to establish LP Drinks.
LP's notable achievements include being one of the owners of Siponey Spritz Co.™, which is the first B Corp certified spirits-based canned cocktail company.
Additionally, her expertise in the beverage industry was recently recognized on Netflix's new television series, Drink Masters, where she emerged as the winner.
EPISODE 7: CHRIS FLETCHER MARCH 27, 2023
This week, Andy is joined by Chris Fletcher, Master Distiller at a scrappy, up and coming distillery called Jack Daniel’s. Their conversation delves into their shared and disparate experiences as legacy members of the spirits industry, and the peculiar nature of trying to carve out one’s own identity in the contemporary world while honoring the past.
Chris Fletcher Bio
Born and raised in Lynchburg, TN, Chris Fletcher was named Master Distiller for Jack Daniel’s in 2020. This was only fitting as Fletcher’s grandfather, Frank Bobo, served as served in that same role for that same distillery from 1966 until his retirement in 1989.
Fletcher’s work at Jack Daniel’s stretches back to 2001 when he worked as a part-time tour guide while attending college. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Tennessee Technological University in 2003 and began work as a chemist with Brown-Forman in Research & Development for eight years. Following several years working in the bourbon industry, Fletcher came back home to the Jack Daniel Distillery and was named Assistant Master Distiller.
“Chris has whiskey making in his blood,” said Larry Combs, Jack Daniel Distillery SVP and General Manager. “But he also has this incredible and unique combination of knowledge, expertise and creativity that will position us well into the future. Folks like Chris don’t come along every day, and backed by our tremendous senior leadership team, I have no doubt he will flourish in this new role.”
"It's an honor to be named Master Distiller here at Jack Daniel's and join a line of folks who’ve made the best whiskey in the world,” said Fletcher. “Over the last 17 years, I’ve been able to learn and work alongside so many talented whiskey makers, and I am very grateful for the mentors I've had, including Jeff Arnett who taught me so much. Our distillery and team here in Lynchburg are the best in the business, and I cannot wait to continue to work with them crafting the world's favorite Tennessee Whiskey."
Fletcher lives in Lynchburg with his wife and three-month old son.
EPISODE 6: MARIANNE EAVES FEBRUARY 28, 2023
Andy gets down to cases with the mighty Marianne Eaves, whose bona fides were cemented in 2015 when she became Kentucky’s first female bourbon master distiller. Her career since has followed a steady trajectory of conspicuous successes. Their conversation touches on many of them, as well as the unlikely route that led to her becoming one of the most visible and respected players in the spirits industry today. (All this between sips of exotic bourbons from Eaves Blind, her audacious mobile spirits lab/ subscription service/ education program.)
About Marianne Eaves
Born in Tennessee and raised in Kentucky, geography alone may have been telling Marianne Eaves that her destiny was to be a whiskey maker. However, it was courage to buck tradition, her creative engineering mind and a voracious appetite for learning that actualized her place in history as Kentucky’s first female bourbon master distiller.
After a fast and early failure in art consignment, Eaves decided to follow her long love of math and science and pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville. Little did she realize that she would find herself in a history-making position in which the creative and the scientific would come together. A fortuitous confluence of circumstances – her love of science, analytic mind, exceptional sensory skills, creativity, and a fateful internship choice with Brown-Forman – led to her being the first woman to earn the title of Master Distiller with Castle & Key Distillery in Frankfort.
Eaves has been recognized in Whiskey Advocate Magazine as “the Next Generation” for the bourbon industry, and has been honored by Forbes and included in the 2015 Food & Drink 30 under 30 list. As she stepped into the role of Master Distiller herself, taking on the herculean restoration project of Castle & Key Distillery, she was recognized by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as one of America’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers.
Her combination of technical knowledge, hands-on experience, specialized palate and focus on thoughtful innovation are a unique formula for her role as Master Distiller. Praise for her recipes come from hobbyist consumers and spirits aficionados alike. Her newest blend for celebrity clients Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick, Sweetens Cove, recently earned a double gold at the New York Spirits Competition. Those who have tasted the product she designed and distilled at Castle & Key Distillery agree that the future is bright for Eaves and her creations.
As she transitions into her new role as a consultant and ambassador for Kentucky’s finest spirit, Eaves is well poised as a leader of the new generation of spirits professionals that will shape the industry. She hopes to use her expertise in process and product development to raise the bar for craft producers and help other passionate makers turn dreams into a reality. Most recently, she has founded Eaves Blind, a palate development and bourbon education program that allows enthusiasts to explore the art and craft of bourbon “without needing a chemical engineering degree to understand it.”
Eaves’s role in changing the dynamic in this predominantly male industry is clear. She is proud to be a leader and a face for the movement and rise of women in spirits.
EPISODE 5: KETCH SECOR
JANUARY 30, 2023
Still Life returns from its holiday hiatus with a bang as Andy sits down with Ketch Secor, co-founder and leader of Old Crow Medicine Show. Their discussion ranges far and wide—from the humble beginnings of Secor’s music career, to the challenges of trying to keep traditions alive in a changing world (and more specifically a changing city!), to the relationship between punk rock and old time music, to the definition of the word “authenticity.” There’s even some whiskey talk in there. Happy new year, and welcome back!
About Ketch Secor
For over twenty years, multi-instrumentalist Jay Ketcham Miller “Ketch” Secor has been frontman and fiddler for Old Crow Medicine Show. Described variously as alt-country, folk, and mountain music revivalists, the Grammy-winning collective is an American roots string band with punk rock attitude and energy, whose rise coincided with an international resurgence of interest in banjo-driven old-time songcraft. They become members of the Grand Ole Opry in 2013. In addition to the band, Ketch leads a busy life of diverse passions. His his interest in Appalachian history and musicology led to an appearance in Ken Burns’ 2019 documentary film Country Music. He was the author of an illustrated children’s book, Lorraine, The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away, a retelling of a Southern folktale (2018). And in 2016, he founded The Episcopal School of Nashville.
EP.04: CHIP TATE
NOVEMBER 21, 2022
Andy has a long chat with one of the most notorious—and fascinating—figures in the world of craft spirits, the inimitable Chip Tate. Of course they discuss you know what (and if you don't know what, aren't you curious to find out?), but the conversation takes many more surprising turns, covering themes from the nature of truth, epistemology, the future of craft spirits in general, and how to assess the metal you make your still out of. All are welcome, whiskey biz deep divers encouraged.
About Chip Tate
Chip Tate launched in to distilling and founded his first distillery in 2008 after a lifelong fascination with fermentation and the culinary arts. Previously dabbling in IT, physics, religion and philosophy, Chip was also an accomplished brewer. Drawing on all of his experiences, he applied his knowledge to whiskey making to found a new Texas whisky tradition. By welding and hammering his own copper pot stills and re-fabricating other equipment in a tiny old welding shop under a bridge, he forged a foundation for excellence that paved the way for the success Balcones has enjoyed to date. Today, his work is internationally acclaimed by leading industry experts and has received nearly 150 national and international awards. Chip is known for drawing concepts and methods from centuries of distilling tradition and adding his own creative spark of innovation. His creations are new and innovative spirit styles that aim to set the bar for excellence in distilling. He has literally become an icon in the craft distilling movement having been awarded Whisky Magazine's Icon award for craft distillers or highly commended every year since he has been in the field. In 2014, one of Chip's creations won the World Whiskies Awards' Best American Whisky overall award achieving the seemingly impossible for such a young distillery. Going forward, Chip hopes to lead the craft distilling movement's charge into a golden age of authentic, quality locally made spirits.
EP.03: Nicole Austin
September 8, 2022
Host Andy Nelson’s frank and funny conversation with one of the whiskey industry’s most prominent figures covers a lot of ground—from learning how to fake confidence until it becomes real to the risks and rewards of political engagement and beyond. They discuss some heavy personal matters and explore the unusual predicament of sharing a name with an internet celebrity whose bottom line is radically different from your own.
About Nicole Austin
In her role as General Manager and Distiller of Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., Nicole leads the strategic direction of the company, with responsibilities across operations and marketing for the distillery and its whiskey brands. Since joining the Cascade Hollow team in 2018, she’s been instrumental in the development and release of several award-winning products that bear the name of George Dickel.
Nicole graduated from Manhattan College with a major in Chemical Engineering in 2006 before landing her position as a Master Blender for Kings County Distillery in 2010. She then joined The Oak View Spirits consulting firm, where she handled everything from raw material sourcing to contract negotiations. Nicole also served as a Project Commissioning Engineer for William Grant & Sons at the Tullamore Distillery in Ireland. She’s been a fierce advocate for the distilling industry as a founding board member of the American Craft Spirits Association and co-chair of Legislative, Convention and State Guild Committees.
EP.02: Ciona Rouse
July 28, 2022
Andy’s conversation with Nashville’s unofficial poet laureate goes deep into the mystery and power of poetry in fractious times, the importance of seeking out voices of people outside one’s own culture, and, perhaps more to the point for this show’s purposes, the historic relationship between writers and alcohol—specifically bourbon in Rouse’s case (and Andy’s, too, as luck would have it). Related topics: Lucille Clifton, Langston Hughes, the pros and cons of puns, Andy’s musical theater issues, the Louisa Nelson Awards (Rouse received one in 2019), and the deep pleasure of reading Shakespeare aloud among friends.
About Ciona Rouse
Ciona Rouse is a poet and educator. A long–time Nashvillian, Rouse's Vantablack was the first chapbook published by Third Man Books (2017). Her work is also found in Oxford American, Wildness, The Slowdown podcast and the exhibition Kara Walker: Cut to the Quick from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, for which she co-curated at Frist Art Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum and Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Recognizing the kindred nature of the arts, she often collaborates with other poets and artists. In 2017-2018, she served as a resident poet for the Nick Cave: FEAT exhibition at Frist Art Museum. Her poetry was featured on NPR Music in collaboration with musician and poet Adia Victoria and poet Caroline Randall Williams in August 2019. A 2019 winner of the Louisa Nelson Award, Rouse loves her bourbon neat, but exclaims that the only bad bourbon vibe is to imbibe none at all.
EP.01: John Edwards
June 22, 2022
For his inaugural episode, Andy turns to friend and podcast pro John Edwards for pointers, and the conversation takes some surprisingly personal turns.
About John Edwards
A former sportscaster and reporter for a number of national and regional stations, Edwards also worked in IT before developing a taste for whiskey, which—when combined with his natural gift for talking into a microphone—led him and his friend Zeke Baker to create Dads Drinking Bourbon in 2016. Over 350 episodes later, DDB has become one of the most popular and well-regarded spirits-related podcasts around.
ABOUT ANDY NELSON
Andy Nelson is the Co-founder and Head Distiller of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, TN. His introduction to the business came by chance in 2006, when he and his younger brother Charlie learned that their triple great grandfather, Charles Nelson, had been one of the most prominent whiskey distillers in pre-prohibition America. After a period of immersive research into their family history—and the business of making and selling whiskey in the 21st century—the Nelson brothers dedicated themselves to the resurrection of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. Their efforts over the ensuing decade have generated a great and ongoing success story. Though the brothers’ roles overlap, Andy’s specialty within the company is the art and craft of distilling. His work first bore fruit in 2012 with the launch of the multiple award-winning Belle Meade Bourbon and the associated limited-edition lines it has inspired. Further success came in 2019, when Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey—based on Charles Nelson’s original 1860 recipe—was released in Nashville, with a national roll-out to follow. Most recently, the distillery launched its newest expression, Nelson Bros. Whiskey, which has already garnered nationwide praise and awards. Andy lives in Nashville with his wife Kristin, son Jeffrey, and their dog Clyde.
Please note: Opinions expressed in this recording do not necessarily reflect the views of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery or Constellation Brands, Inc.