Country music isn’t a guitar, it isn’t a banjo, it isn’t a melody, it isn’t a lyric. It’s a feeling.”
– Waylon Jennings
Roses are red, salsa is too, I want to drink tequila with you
– Side of a building, Nashville
In Nashville, if people don’t like someone, they say, ‘I don’t really like him,’ then add, ‘bless his heart.’ In Hollywood, they kind of leave that last part off.
– Brad Paisley
By – Jaunty Staff; occasional vacation day drinkers
Night two in Nashville…
Kelly, our Uber driver, scoops us up. Fifty-something & mother of twins, Kelly’s amiable and happy to chat while en route to dinner. It turns out Kelly’s a singer (most of our Nashville Uber drivers were in the music biz) and occasionally has gigs around town. While discussing the music scene, Kelly says, in a reflective tone “…I’m not gonna become a star … but I just Love to sing!”
Nashville’s a wonderful amalgamation of friendly locals, deeply rooted music culture & great food, all condensed into a small town built for revelry! If you haven’t already, put Nashville on the calendar…
The Music –
Sure, Country music is on full display in Nashville. But Rock, jazz, blues etc… can all be found as well. You can get your toe-tapping on to a wide array of talented artists, performing all over town
Although Bristol, Tennessee is considered the birthplace of Country music, back in the 20’s, Nashville is the home of country music. The Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry provide a fascinating look into the history of American music, which is really a confluence of Hillbilly, Country, Gospel, Bluegrass, Blues, Folk, Jazz, Rockabilly, & Rock, all intertwined.
The Food –
From eclectic dining at Skulls on Printers Row, Adele’s in the Gulch, a killer omelette & Latte at the Frothy Monkey, to an Elvis Panini (Peanut butter, bananas & bacon) at the Patterson House, fun and tasty gastronomy is all around Nashville. There are literally hundreds of great restaurants to choose from within the neighborhoods of Nashville
The Sports –
The Nashville Predators, Tenn Titans & Nashville Soccer club
(2020) all call Nashville home. Bridgestone Arena, home of the Predators is on one end of Broadway & the Tenn Titan’s stadium is on the other. Wrap a trip around professional sports and music?
Festive, friendly, great music, dancing… a cocktail here, a cocktail there. You get the picture. Nashville’s party atmosphere is upbeat & lively!
The Neighborhoods –
Nashville is broken up into unique neighborhoods (all a quick Uber ride away, or take a scooter, if your sober) offering great food, music, shopping, history and architecture. To name a few, the Downtown, the District, The Gulch, 12 South, Germantown are all worthy of exploration. Get out and visit as many as you can fit in.
Places to visit in Nashville…
The Ryman Auditorium
Known as “ mother church” the Ryman was founded in 1890 as a religious gathering place by River boat Captain Thomas Ryman. Eventually, Mother Church would evolve into the original Grand Ole Opry. The 2400 seat, all wooden pew theatre boasts outstanding acoustics for concerts, which draws wide mix of talented artists. Take advantage of the interesting tours or catch one of the many concerts. Not a country music buff? No problem. ColdPlay, Foo Fighters, BB King, Mumford & Sons & many more have all played the Ryman. The day of our tour, John Anderson from “Yes” was setting up for his show.
The “Honky Tonk highway”
A collection of bars on lower Broadway, each with great live music (no cover charges, by the way) & raucous, celebratory patrons. While there are many neighborhoods where you can catch great music in and around Nashville, It’s worth the spectacle to hit Broadway, grab a drink (or 2) & pick a band that suits your tastes. Nudies, Tootsies, Layla’s or Luke Bryants are worth a look. 10am to 3am.
The Country Music Hall of Fame
Considered the “Smithsonian of country music” the Country Music Hall of Fame is an unbelievable collection of American Music history & memorabilia. The 350,000 Sq ft museum recently poured $100,000,000 into renovations. Guided tours & audio guided tours available. Plan on 3 hours to explore.
The Grand Ole Opry
Starting in 1925 as a radio broadcast from the Ryman auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry has evolved into a live entertainment spectacle with a world-wide audience. Relocating in 1974, the Opry is now about 15 minutes outside Nashvilles’ downtown. Each show features several acts from newbies to famous headliners. As each act is introduced they’re awarded badge of honor as the number of times they’ve appeared on “the Opry” is announced. If an artist is making their debut at the Opry, they and their band members are congratulated with thunderous applause… for they’ve arrived! It’s hard not to feel as though your participating in a wholesome slice of Americana, as the radio show unfolds. Chris Janson (Take a Drunk girl home) was the headliner the night of our show. While I wasn’t that familiar with his music, I’m certainly a fan now… Make sure to book your Opry tickets early as most shows sell out early.
Where to Stay…
If your using your points, all the major hotel chains have a presence in Nashville. Want something more boutique? Look into the Noelle or Bobby Hotel. Both are modern, quirky & conveniently located in the downtown. Most of the hotel offerings have wisely planted themselves near the downtown, but not in the downtown. Give yourself at least 5-6 block buffer from Broadway & the Honky Tonk Highway!