We just got back from five days in Nashville. Five dreamy and inspired days…
We did many of the touristy things – took a bus tour to get our bearings, walked the streets of downtown for days, toured the Ryman Auditorium, ate hot chicken and Goo-Goos, crossed the footbridge to check out the skyline, listened to live music in cafes and bars, and spent an evening at the Broadway honky-tonks.
Which was all pretty awesome. This coming from a girl who doesn’t like country music.
But the thing that struck me the most was the inspiration I found on Music Row.
Music Row is neighbourhood just outside of downtown and is the true heart of Nashville’s music industry. It’s where you’ll find the recording studios, record labels, and production houses of many of today’s biggest country stars.
Sounds pretty swanky huh?
The thing that made it so special for me is that it just looks like a regular neighbourhood. Because of zoning, property owners are limited in the way they renovate the exteriors of the buildings, so instead of looking like a bunch of office buildings and warehouses, though there are a few, it looks like a regular neighbourhood filled with beautiful, modest, 2-4,000 square foot, 19th century homes. Even the signage is minimal.
We heard stories of agents from different labels gathering together at the local watering hole to hear up-and-coming acts, and tales of legendary musicians meeting up at nearby hotels to rehash their days.
It’s this sense of community that I never want to forget. This gathering of musicians, all in one small location, working to do what they do best.
That’s what I’m longing for in my life. To surround myself with full time artists who work daily to bring their creations to life. Who are side by side in struggle and success.
Oh, and one other little tidbit of inspiration from my trip. We went by RCA Studio B, and I wish we’d had time to go in but we didn’t. It’s a small, nondescript, 4,000-square-foot-ish building with a 42.5 x 27 foot studio. It doesn’t sound like much from the outside and reading my words here it doesn’t sound like much either.
But in this small box, in a studio only a tiny bit larger than our little house, is where superstars like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson recorded music before they went on their giant world tours.
Talk about inspiring.