We spent Thanksgiving in Nashville. Stayed at the Union Station Hotel, below, which, as the name suggests, used to be the Nashville train station.
First stop was the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was well done. Lots of artifacts from the development of the music from its earliest folk music roots, to its most ostentatious commercial popularity.
They had Bill Monroe’s mandolin, below, which had been reconstructed after being smashed by a burglar in Monroe’s house. The reconstruction must have been successful: He continued to perform with it.
And I liked seeing Dwight Yoakam’s gear from his Hillbilly Deluxe days. Yoakam is one of the country music greats, IMHO. Careful readers will remember that he ranked 3rd on my top 50K listens in a previous post. I even remember going to see him at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto back in the 80’s. That was a weird experience.Not that I am really into these things, but I was surprised that he hasn’t been “inducted” into the CMHF.
Separate from the CMHF building, but affiliated with it, we visited the Hatch Show Print studio, a letterpress poster shop which has been running since 1879. Their distinctive posters have promoted many artists, sports and political events in Tennessee.
That evening, the night before Thanksgiving, downtown was nearly deserted and we wandered from one honky tonk to the next on the main drag, Broadway Ave. It was busy enough to feel like a party, but we could still just walk in anywhere and get a great table. The music ranged from pretty good, to pretty amazing.
That’s Vince Moreno on the left, and I don’t know who, some good ol’ boy band, on the right. Both were a lot of fun. Vince was actually Heidi’s favourite band of the night. They pulled us in from the street when we heard them playing an old tune by, who else, Dwight Yoakam.
…and the amazing.
Johnny Reno Prentice is 15 years old, and is the raison d’être for the Boy Wonder Band. He is a very, very good guitarist.
Heidi and I had decided to call it a night, but we walked past the Full Moon Saloon on the way back to hotel. I could see the band from the sidewalk, they were between songs, but I was intrigued by the guy on stage with the stand-up bass. Hadn’t seen any bands with stand-up bass that night. We waited for them to start playing, liked what we heard and decided to go in for a few songs. The band was terrific.
There were less than a handful of patrons, including Heidi and me, but the band behaved as if they were completely alone. They took long breaks between songs, they turned their backs on us and engaged in extended musical discussions/debates among themselves.
I found out later it was Kenny Vaughan on guitar. Don’t know who the bass and drum players were.
The next day was Thanksgiving. Pretty much everything was closed. Felt like being away from home for x-mas. We explored the rest of downtown Nashville, including the Tennessee capitol and the war memorial plaza, pictured below.
Then it was time to go home.