Day Twelve – Nashville

I drink so much whiskey, I stagger in my sleep My brains is dark and cloudy, my mind’s goin’ to my feet. —Blind Willie McTell, “Dark Night Blues,” 1927

We are back on Broadway just after 11. Today being Tuesday, it is a lot quieter on this tourist strip. Much like the French Quarter, the tourists start rolling in Thursday afternoon and party Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before heading off on Monday. Is it too early for Barb -B- Que? What a silly question. We head on to Jack’s. I order Pulled Pork Shoulder with two sides, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and Baked Beans all washed down with a Dr. Pepper.

Today we have not one but two museums to visit. The first is the Country Music Hall of Fame and then we will be picked up for a short bus trip to the R.C.A. recording studio.

The Hall of Fame extends to three floors and is an incredibly well-laid-out museum. I was so impressed with the exhibits and photographs. Check it out at:

After a couple of hours, we get together again and hit the Gift Shop. At two-thirty, we meet our tour guide for a short bus trip to the historic R.C.A. studio B. Our tour guide is enthusiastic as she plays a tune on the bus that was recorded in the studio and we have a bit of a sing-along. That becomes the then theme of the tour, a lot of sing-alongs. Have you heard of the Nashville Cats? Well, the famed Nashville Sound was reliant on those guys. The number of hits that came out of this very studio is mind-boggling. When we get into the studio proper there is a cross on the floor that designates the “sweet spot” where the vocalists would stand. We are all encouraged to sit at the Steinway piano that has been in use since the 1940’s. Just don’t touch the ivories. Elvis spent a lot of time in this studio. In fact, he recorded here for 13 years. Our tour guide turned off the lights and we listened to Elvis’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight”. He had insisted that he wanted to record the song in darkness.

Photo: Hoff and Rob at the Steinway

At 6:30 we are lining up to get into the Station Inn which is another country juke joint with quality music. We are here to see the Green River Revue which is a Bluegrass Band. Last night’s band, the Time Jumpers had a long residency here but they outgrew the size of the venue. It is an old place with loads of character. The drinks available are beer, one type of hard cider, and a seltzer. No wine! The ladies restroom has two cubicles one with a door and one with a curtain. The only food available is pizza.

The band starts at 8 o’clock. Banjo, fiddle, bass, guitar, and mandolin. Apart from the bass, everything was acoustic. We are on to another winner, fantastic music and harmonies with a lot of very funny stage banter. Thoroughly entertaining. We are treated to two sets of classic old-timey Bluegrass and some originals. I am guessing that apart from the bass player all the members are under thirty. The singer/banjo man is from Kentucky and at times his thick drawl is hard to understand. We also heard some old Gospel tunes, The South take their religion very seriously. The band finish up with the classic “Stagolee” and they were joined on stage by a slide guitarist, the barman playing guitar and another guy playing guitar, It sure was a big finish to a great night.

Day Eleven – Nashville

Way down South you oughta see the women Shimmy and shake Got a new way a-wiggle, make a weak man break his neck. —Blind Lemon Jefferson, “Southern Woman Blues,” 1928

Bernie and Hoff are taking a walk down to the Gulch and we will meet up with them for lunch in an hour or so. We were in an Uber at 11. David is our driver, a very talkative and friendly man. He loves Kiwis and Aussies and he had us write our names into an exercise book he has in the back set pocket and also leave a message. He also loves to receive Christmas Cards and we are now on his mailing list. It is Monday morning and Broadway’s Honky Tonks are already firing.

Wendy hits one of the many Boots stores, they have a three-for-one deal, and you just pay the price of the most expensive boots. As we leave the store they ring a bell to celebrate the sale.

We decide to try Prince’s Chicken. The first choice was Hattie B’s Hot Chicken but the line was too long even at such an early time. Our Uber driver had recommended Prince’s but warned us not to go above medium heat. Nashville is famous for its Hot Chicken (and I don’t mean hot cooked). I did order medium and Wendy went for mild. Glad I listened to our driver’s advice. It was HOT. Bernie tried a piece and he hyper-ventilated for five minutes.

Tonight (on the recommendation of Brian Wise) we are heading to 3rd. and Lindsley which is a premier music venue. So superior to the Broadway Honky Tonks. There is already a line to get in and we had arrived half an hour early. We are to see The Time Jumpers. An eight-piece band Western Swing band. Drums, two guitars, peddle steel, piano and accordion, and two fiddles. All the guys are incredible musicians and in fact, Grammy Award-winning. We ordered food and Bernie backed up with chile after eating arse-burning hot chicken at lunchtime. The good news also is that they have my new favorite hard cider for sale (Diskin Cider).

I’m not sure Wendy entirely likes the Western Swing music that the Time Jumpers specialize in. She does know however how good they all are as musicians. As well as being ace players they are also very funny. What a great night we all had. Check out the band at: