I love when David goes to Nashville. He has said that in Nashville he had the best writing experience he’s ever had and that he always looks forward to returning. Whether he’s there to collaborate on songwriting, to visit friends, to meet with other musicians, to attend the Bonnaroo Music Festival next week or to go to Trader Joe’s, Nashville and David are a good match.
I have to admit that I’m fascinated with the town. It all began in 2006 when I was a fan girl of the rock band, Bon Jovi. What does Nashville have to do with a rock band? Jon Bon Jovi always wanted to do a country-inspired rock album so he decided to take his band to Nashville, also known as “Music City”. He hung out at The Bluebird Cafe where songwriters and musicians would flock to daily, to network and get inspired by other musicians to write new songs. They wrote some songs in a matter of minutes while other songs took more time to get right. Bon Jovi released “Lost Highway” in 2007 which was recorded in Nashville, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts and went platinum.
I learned back then that Nashville doesn’t exclusively produce country music, although the biggest country hits come out of there. The genres go from country to soul to jazz to pop to indie to rock to folk to hip hop to punk rock to R&B.
What is the hype about this place and what might David see while he’s there? What is the attraction and why do musicians and people in the entertainment field move there? Why has Nashville been among the top 5 friendliest places to live in the US? After scouring every blog, travel site and article I could get my hands on, here’s what I found:
Nashville is huge, one of the biggest cities in the US, spanning a whopping 553 square miles! Many artists move to Nashville from NY and LA after they come for a visit and realize that the diversity of music makes it a desirable place to live if you’re in the music field. The town has respect for and is a very nurturing community for musicians. I learned that you can’t walk 5 paces without running into someone who plays music or works in the business in one way or another.
Catering to songwriters, there are hotels and cafes that host popular songwriter nights featuring live music from tomorrow’s stars.
“We have songwriters living here that have penned some of the greatest songs ever written, so it’s not uncommon to be at a writers night and someone like Gordon Kennedy is singing his hit ‘Change the World,’ which was recorded by Eric Clapton. Or you might hear Dan Penn doing ‘Do Right Woman’ made famous by Aretha Franklin.” ~Singer/songwriter Etta Britt
Imagine with me for a second…David is at The Bluebird Cafe on Open Mic Night or Writer’s Night. Someone hears him humming and asks if he would like to sing something for the small crowd of unassuming folk who are sitting at the tables. Anything he wants. No pressure. He agrees and a capella sings “What A Wonderful World.” Hey, a girl can dream.
“Being a huge college town fills the bars, coffee shops, streets, parks with young energetic people who add such a nice air of modernity to the place. The immense level of wealth in the community gives us an interesting mix of fine stores (many of the high end of privately owned boutique styles) and beautiful neighborhoods.” ~Anonymous
“The cost of living is relatively cheap and there are plenty of jobs. The economy is diverse and we have all four seasons. The amazing thing is that it has a small town attitude with the big city conveniences. And then, in 15 minutes, you can be in the woods, by a waterfall walking the trails and finding yourself a million miles from the world if that’s what you want.” ~Anonymous
“Nashville is home to the greatest music scene in America, wonderful colleges, and great places for entertainment, be it arts, sports, recreation, lakes, restaurants, trendy spots…you name it. It’s the most progressive city in Tennessee… It is now the most favored city in America for business relocation.” ~Anonymous
“It’s a city on the rise with a palpable buzz of energy all around. It has great people, real friendly…the type of people who will walk up as a stranger and say hello with a smile.” ~Anonymous
“In Nashville, we don’t bug the celebrities when they are in public; it is an unwritten rule of decent behavior and respect. This is one reason why the celebrities like it here.” ~Emifriend, The Voice
“I love LA but Nashville is truly special. The southern hospitality and community support for struggling artists is the real difference. You don’t have to be wary of people here. It’s far more real than Hollywood. It’s a big but refreshing change.” ~Actress Hayden Panettiere of the TV show “Nashville”
Nashville’s big attractions include The Grand Ole’ Opry, The Ryman Auditorium and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. The Bonnaroo Music Festival is a huge four-day outdoor event in Tennessee. This year the dates are June 12-15 and the top names are Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White, Lionel Ritchie and many, many others. David went to this festival when he was in Nashville in 2011. Maybe he will get to go again next week.
I hope David enjoys his stay in Nashville and sees it as a working vacation. I hope he takes his time and writes songs that are meaningful to him. Connecting with the right people who realize his talent can help steer him along the right path. However long it takes, I know it will be worth the wait.