Tuesday, October 09, 2007

When in Nashville...

Who'd have thought we'd be clapping our hands and toe tapping our way through not one, but TWO nights of live Country Music. When in Nashville.... After lots of good gen from a super friendly info centre we headed into downtown Nashville. We parked just half a dozen blocks from the action on a busy main road but it was free, unmetered parking (and at the end of a great evening it was staggering distance back to bed and we stopped the night, drifting off to sleep to the sound of disel engine buses chugging their way round the late night bus routes!) First stop was the strip of Honky-Tonk bars on Broadway. Plenty of bars, plenty of choice and more country music than you could shake a stick at. They were all free cover so we could drift in and out at will depending on the music. ALL had live music and cold beer - what more could you want?! After a while we went in search of food and after a certain amount of wandering we ended up in BB Kings Bar (OK so not entirely country music here) Again great live music - a crazy keyboard player - dressed up in platform white boots, phscadelic shirt and with permed long blonde hair - he was SO out of a 70's rock band but was awesome entertainment even if he was in a blues bar!!

Tonight it was a night at the Grand Ole Opry. This started out as a simple radio broadcast back in 1925 and is now a full live-entertainment show, the self procalimed 'home of country music'. ALL the famous names have been performed there. The show is almost variety show -like in organisation. You don't actually book to see a particular performer you just book your seat on a date and are one of an audience of thousands on the recording of the Grand Ole Opry 2-hour radio show. There are 8 different performers and each do a set of 3 songs (in between sets we did have to sit through the radio presenter talking his way through a very scripted radio commercial for the show sponsors such as Cracker Barrel Ole Country Restuarant). We got lucky - Carrie Underwood was performing!! We'd been quite into a couple of her songs playing on the radio a lot here ('Before he cheats' is great!) At the show we realised that she was actually shot to fame by her success on American Idol - but now is making a respectable name for herself in country music - a gorgeous, petite, blonde in amongst a show full of male singers on the night we were there it's hardly surprising! A great night at 'The Grand Ole Opry' - what a Nashville thing to do?! We polished off the night with another American classic - TGI's (it's tacky, expensive, and the 'proper' food is awful, but the cocktails are great and the bar snacks and appys are tasty!) Tongiht we went upmarket - no street-side camping for us. No tonight we found a Camping World shop carpark right alongside the interstate to cosy up in (my husband takes me to ALL the best places!!)

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