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Nashville April 9-16, 2016 – Day 3

April 11, 2016

Day 3 was a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Although it has been many years since I have been to the Rock and Roll Hall, the Country Hall kicks its ass.  A great building, nicely curated and well-organized.  Rock and roll does not really have a hometown, where Country does – so the ambiance of the Country Hall being located in Nashville makes a difference.  It was my good luck that the featured show was Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats.  The story of Dylan’s impact on the Nashville music scene is well documented here.

One thing I should have mentioned in the Day 1 post was the ghost of the late Merle Haggard on Nashville this week.  There is more joy than sadness as every performance we have seen has a shout out to the great Hag.

There is lots to call out at the Hall, but my two favorite things was seeing an oversized album cover of Dylan’s Nashville Skyline that had the following note scrawled on it: “To June and John, Love Bob Dylan.”  And the other was Gram Parson’s famous Nudie suit.

We paid extra to visit RCA Studio B.  Studio B had the distinction of being the favorite Nashville studio for Elvis and it is the source of over 1,000 hit records.  The Hall has done a good job of keeping the studio intact, yet making it user-friendly for tourist groups.  Just being in a room where there has been so much music history was pretty cool.  For example, the Steinway piano that has been a studio fixture since the beginning, is where Elvis would warm up before a session.

Back at the Hall we checked out the Hatch Show Print – a print shop which has specialized creating posters for country music shows.  There were many great ones but this was had special resonance:

We headed back to the hotel for a little down time and then headed down to Broadway for some dinner and honky tonking.  We had dinner at ACME Feed and Seed.  The menu specialized in southern comfort food.  I had fried catfish and it was perfect.  While we were eating we enjoyed “Grateful Monday” – they have a cover band playing Grateful Dead songs.  The Craig Jackson Band did a nice job of being inspired by the Dead without aping them.

Next we headed to Roberts Western World to listen to some real country music.  What a great place – a hole in the wall jammed with people listing to a great band playing traditional country classics. John England and The Western Swingers played familiar songs (e.g. Bob Wills “Cherokee Maiden” and Hag’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down”). Almost as much fun as the music, was trying to figure out how the 6 piece band managed to fit on the tiny stage.  Thank goodness they don’t have a trombone player or someone would have gotten hurt.  After their set we headed on to another joint.

Tootsies Orchid Lounge had a more of a contemporary country feel (AKA rock).  It had three floors and a different band on every floor. The place was packed and so we headed up to the top floor and found a little breathing space on the outdoor deck.  Pretty cool vibe and ambiance best described as upscale shitty.  I left my mark:

It started to drizzle and we were one drink short of regret so we decided to call it a night.

Below is a nice curated Spotify session on Dylan’s impact on Nashville.


From → Nashville 2016, Trips

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