Monday, May 16, 2011

Off course

Talk about hi-jack yourself in Nashville. Today I ventured off on the 15 bus service which conveniently leaves from a stop not 3 minutes from my room. With all good intentions, I was heading to Music Row the one that houses the recording studios, the songwriters and all the business side of the music scene. I was aware of a shoe store that was near by and detoured on foot in search of a pair of sandals.

Volleys are a bit hot when you travel the most of the day by foot around the Downtown precinct. Girls you would not believe the shoe shop I got lost in today. Today actually became shoe day!! For three hours I put on and took off, I have never seen such a selection of styles and luckily they also catered for girls that have not so little feet. It was heaven! I got sandals for summer and also armed myself with uggies for next winter, heaven knows how much it will cost me to bring home my purchases but boy it was worth it.

After the excitement of the shopping spree I didn’t much feel like heading down to Music Row Business Centre so I took a bus back down to the action scene on Broadway. It was super busy because they are hosting Music Awards at the Ryhman Auditorium tonight, (the initial Grand’ Ole’ Opre’), for the Bluegrass/Hillbilly Pickin’ side of the country music industry over here and there were people from all over the place cruising about. Literally there were thousands of people around today, it was such a vibe! All toting instruments of many sizes and varieties, there were buses that looked like they were built for royalty and once again the smiling faces of folk that just love and live for their music.

Wandering down past the Raddisson Hotel, which is quite ritzy, I spotted one of those big revolving doors and could not resist a spin in it. As it was, it actually guided me to the “Starbucks Cafe” in the lobby. They specialise in coffee, cookies and such over here. The hype in there was electric. Musician Central and it didn’t matter that I was not part of the convention of people. Welcomed at the counter and after changing choices a few times I settled for a Strawberry Frappe’ which turned out to be something gastronomically sensational. Smooth, cold and creamy in a seductive sort of a way. It was great and I was quite content to sit there watching the comings and goings of the people that live on the professional side of the musical arena. The Raddisson Downtown Nashville even has gold elevator doors decorated with beautifully banded musical notes across the front. Heaven knows what it’s like upstairs but I bet it is lavish with style. It was a great way to take a break from an exhausting morning.

With that moment over I was off again in the general direction of Broadway. Somehow a smile led to a conversation with a fellow from Christiansburg Virginia, a John Miller and he was excited to be here and was heading down to the Ryhman to oversee the setting up for the evening. I had been told Americans love Australians so he was interested to hear the few bits of info that I had on the bluegrass scene in my area. He handed me his card and said that he would love to come to Australia one time so I promised him I would pass his card on to people I know that are into that scene. What a great place to network. His card reads Musician, Vocalist, Luthier, Instructor, so he is obviously very astute in his field. It would be great to have folk like that come over for our Music Muster.

I eventually made it down to Broadway, by this time it’s heading towards 2.00 in the afternoon. My Downtown adventure today began in the Legends Bar taking photographs of memorabilia of the greats, past and present, and chatting to people that were enjoying the non stop music there. Once again I hi-jacked myself and ended up in a store called Betty Boots. I had spent some time earlier in the week looking for proper American boots so it was inevitable that at some stage I would amble back in there. They have the most amazing boots over here, hand made, hand carved patterns, hand painted and just beautiful but the are also priced accordingly. Oh to be rich and famous! I came out with yet another bag but I got a pair of boots that I will cherish forever.

Realising that night was fast approaching I snapped back into reality and got on with job at hand. Gathering information, photographs and video footage for a documentary that will inspire our students to develop a Country Music Scene that is a magnet to listeners both young and old. It is not beyond belief that Gympie could in future years become a hub similar to Nashville, emphasising the Australian flavour. I am also keeping an eye out for “Doof Doof Country”. I know we have Tamworth and Tamworth is wonderful but something up our way with a little bit of a twist would be a good thing economically for our area.

With darkness set and the air alive with sound I continued my roving reporting and met some amazing people. Buskers, travellers, musicians, doormen, boot sellers, ice-cream eaters, all sorts, it was a super afternoon/evening. So many neon lights and all flashing, the odd siren blasting it’s way through, designer cars thumping their way down Broadway, people laughing and talking. It was just the best.

This is not the blog you probably expected today but it wasn’t the day I had expected either. Non the less it was another awesome day in Nashville Tennessee and I will catch up on the Country Music Hall of Fame blog as the days go by.

Tomorrow is Tom Jackson, Saturday is Tom Jackson. These 2 days will be quite intense and very long so perhaps you may not hear from me until Sunday..Don’t worry there will be much to tell so stay excited and keep working towards delivering your dreams.

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