Neighbor to Neighbor: John Barrett


John & Guitar copyNeighbor to Neighbor
Name: John Barrett
Years in neighborhood: 8 years
Profession: “Jack of all trades” songwriter, woodworker, beekeeper, potter, furniture repairman

Tell us about your “East Nashville Now!” podcast.

After about 70 weeks of podcasting about Bitcoin, it only seemed natural to me to start a podcast that would be relevant to what I’m doing every day: Hanging out in East Nashville. I love East Nashville and see the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it is and what it’s becoming.

What’s the good you see?

It just feels like a small town. It doesn’t matter where you go, if you get around, you’re going to run into someone that you know. … You get to see people grow and evolve, just like you would see in a small town and not in a big city where you see people come and go, out of it. In East Nashville you see people evolve within it.

How do you pick topics and interview subjects?

I’m not going for a podcast about music in Music City I’m not going for a podcast about retail offerings and the best places to go shopping. And I’m not a restaurant review podcast either. But I am very interested in the off-the-beaten people and places.

I don’t really believe in strangers. For me, I derive a great deal of pleasure in just speaking with people. … It’s not really possible for me to talk to an employee more than twice and not want to know more about them. …

I am just incurably curious. If I see something that I’ve never seen before, or a person that is doing something that I’m not familiar with, I want to know what they’re doing. Maybe I’m just nosy.

Diversity seems to interest you.

I think really for me, I’m not pointedly trying to cast a light on the diversity, but the diversity is what interests me. I certainly don’t want to limit myself in terms of what type of people or what color of people, or what ilk, or genre of people, or socio-economic class of people that I interview.

Tell us about your co-host, Maxwell

Maxwell [Barrett’s Siberian Husky] was just the natural one to be the podcast host. For 43 episodes he’s been my host. He usually is right there in the chair as I’m putting the show together … and right there in the room entertaining my guests as I interview.

What’s next for the podcast?

I want to show people things that they haven’t seen before. Introduce them to people and places that they didn’t imagine existed here.

I do want to get into some of the nitty gritty of what’s going on here.

We have hardworking people, who have next to nothing, living very close to very hardworking people who have a great deal. …

So if you live just a block away from, you know, children who are hungry and malnourished, I think you’ll do better in your life to know that than to not know that. And you may have some way of helping that if you know that.

How to listen:

Send interview ideas to: John Barrett at