I came to Nashville because I wanted to go somewhere where everyone was a songwriter. For much of my life I’ve felt like a bit of an oddball for my songwriting habits. Here, one of the first questions that I have been asked by some is: “are you a songwriter?”
“Yes!” I say (…before confiding in the question asker “though I’m an electronic musician… don’t tell anybody”).
Here, however, there is a huge lack of snobbery and a huge amount of sincerity and people have been very accepting of this.
A bit about Nashville:
Broadway is a road downtown where, from 11 am to the early hours of the following morning, people play music on stages. In the majority of places the stages are beside the entrance so the musical offerings can be heard from the street, landing on eager ears. So you have (mainly) men with their backs to you as you walk down the street. I love this in the week rather than on the weekend. My favourite thing is that people sing and dance to songs that I haven’t ever heard before and I feel like I’m in a parallel universe. They are mainly cover bands but will do originals if you ask nicely.
My favourite places are Nudies and Tootsies for live band vibes. For chill guys and girls on acoustic guitars, Famous on 2nd Ave is great.
I think everyone should go to Nashville’s Broadway at least once in their lives. Despite myself, I can’t help but smile like I have a shoehorn wedged into my cheeks every time I hit the road.
Another quieter but fascinating area of Nashville is Music Row. There are several streets filled with studios, record labels and music. Due to the local government requirements, most of these buildings need to maintain the outer facade of a residential property.
I visited RCA Studios which is where Elvis recorded a lot of his hits. It was wonderful to be in the studio and so close to the instruments and gear.
Bobby’s Idle House is the only bar on Music Row and they host a writer’s night on Thursdays. Three writers go up on stage at a time and take it in turns to play songs. Janet, one of the organisers, has said I should let her know next time I’m in town so I can play my songs. I have a feeling I will be back.
I have just 3 more days here and, as I write from an East Nashville coffee shop (where I feel in a very familiar reality), I am so happy.
… I even wrote a country song with my new friend, Megan.