Yesterday, after our adventures in Mammoth cave we took the southbound 2 hour drive to Nashville, TN. Somewhere during my research, I found this local hot spot famously known for live bluegrass and country music. The place is called the “Station Inn.” We got there a little after 6, the doors open at 7, and band goes on around 9. When we got there, there was already a small line forming. It was mostly old people around age 60. This is a little discouraging, but seeing as we are up for anything, we wait. The line gets pretty big before they open the door up. we end up getting perfect seats and this place fills to capacity. The floors are plywood, the room dark, the crowd is mainly over the age of 60 and rowdy, the hostess is rude and quick, the walls are covered with blue-grass show posters, the tables and chairs are cheap and packed tight, this place is a total dive, a true local spot. Tonights entertainment is an 11 piece western swing band. We wait a long time for the band to start. We ended up eating some bar made pizza and nachos. The band takes the stage and the place full of seniors gets even rowdier. The band consists of 3 fiddles , 3 guitarists, a drummer, a female singer, a slide guitar, an upright bassist, and an accordion. Turns out, a couple of these artists are actual grammy winners (prob in blue-grass). They jammed pretty hard and we found ourselves deeply in love with this old western twangy sound. It was a very authentic experience, one we won’t soon forget. The band was called “The Time Jumpers,” check them out if you want to get a feel for what we were dealing with.
We found street parking right outside of the country music hall of fame in downtown, and spent the night. I’m not sure if its Falkor’s luck or just the way non-NY cities are but finding parking downtown close to attractions has been really easy.
This morning we went to a Panera Bread for breakfast, but mainly to use there internet and research our activities for the day. We started with a walking tour of downtown and some attractions. Broadway street in downtown nashville is lined with dozens of bars that feature local live country bands every single night. nestled in between all the bars are places to buy boots, hats, and other country get-up. it didn’t take us long to figure out that we needed some gear. We found a neat spot on the corner of 3rd and broadway. Jill got a cute little country shirt-dress and Ricky, with special assistance from Cowboy Blue, decided it was time to get his southern driving hunky hillbilly cowboy hat (which he will wear most of the time until we reach the rockies). With hat on, we checked out the capital building, bicentennial park (which has a really cool tennessee state map side walk), the parthenon (full sized replica of the parthenon in Athens), and the Shelby street bridge (used to be a real bridge, and now is open to pedestrians only). For lunch- Elliston’s soda shack for some milk shakes and eats. Elliston’s is a well-known relic from the old school soda shop days. Food was Ok. After a full day on foot, we went back to the van to regroup before hitting the town for the night. When the sun sets in Nashville, thousands of small birds hit the skies. We don’t know what they are or what they’re doing, but we saw it both nights we were there. It’s really rad. Boot-scootin boogy. We put on our best duds and hit broadway for a night of bar hopping live acts and sippin brews. We heard everything from blue grass to old country to rock country to chick country. Too bad it was tuesday night, cuz i’m sure on the weekends we could have definitely got our line dance on. We loved Nashville. Out of the cities we’ve been to so far, if we had to pick one to move to right now, it would be the music city.
-Ricky and Jillian