Phew .. It’s been a while! Are you still there? I have put off sitting down and writing for so long that the bad juju from not writing has now manifested into an acidic sensation in the pit of my stomach. I would have never thought that writing is so challenging to keep up until I started this blog. Makes me respect the hell out of people who write for a living. Case in point: My friend R who has been killing it with her daily writing commitment on her blog.
While I’ve been away and not writing, a lot has happened. I was in India for 6 weeks, I made some tough but satisfying decisions about “what next?” and I’ve been completely off my routine in terms of reading, creativity and exercise. I will catch you up on all that in the following months. This post is a small way to get back in the writing game once again. Let me tell you about my trip to Nashville, Tennessee in December 2015.
I’ll confess right away that the desire to go to Nashville came from watching the TV show on ABC. I love the show for its music and I’ve wanted to go experience the Blue Bird cafe and the Grand Ole Opry ever since I saw the show. Also, there’s no way I’m not checking out a city that’s called “Music City”.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
We started our weekend with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Typically, I last about 2-3 hours at a museum before I burn out from over stimulation but since this was a music museum, I was totally into it and we ended up spending a good part of the day there. Here were some highlights from this experience:
Letterpress posters from Hatch Show Print, a historic letterpress print shop in operation since 1879. They also have a small store in the museum where they offer tours of their letterpress print operation.
Dylan, Cash, and The Nashville Cats: A New Music City – This exhibit (which is open until December 2016) was a treat. The exhibit chronicles Dylan’s 1966 arrival in Nashville, his friendship with Johnny Cash and the impact of their music on the Nashville music scene. The “Nashville Cats”, world class session musicians who provided support to country music’s most popular acts, were also paid a fitting tribute here.
RCA Studio B Tour – The historic RCA Studio B is Nashville’s oldest studio that is still active. This place was supposedly where the “Nashville Sound” was born. Elvis Presley recorded more than 200 songs in this studio. There’s something special and sacred about being in a recording studio.
Grand Ole Opry
We watched a pre-christmas special of the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Ryman Auditorium was built as a house of worship but is now a home for the Opry. The original church-style wooden pews that have been retained give this place a unique charm.
Johnny Cash Museum
We also checked out the Johnny Cash museum since we had a couple of hours to spare. They had a cool exhibit there where you could sample Cash’s song “Get Rhythm” across different recording media from the demo tape to vinyl to cassette to MP3. Listening to the different versions of the song over and over again there was no doubt about the superior sound quality of the LP record.
Blue Bird Cafe
Hands down, my favorite experience of the weekend was going to the Blue Bird Cafe. This is a tiny little cafe (they call themselves a “listening room”) located in a small strip mall and is the place where many budding songwriters and singers come to showcase their music. The space is tight and you need to wait in line to get in. Reservations are few and opened for a short duration online. I am SO grateful to my husband for getting us reservations months in advance. Our table was right next to the four songwriters who performed that night. The music was straight from the heart, raw and pure. What was even better was to be in a space where the sanctity of music was appreciated so much that there was no chatter, no phones, no noises. Only music. It was a special experience I will cherish forever. If you’re in Nashville, you must not miss this.
See you next time with some books I’ve read and loved this year. It’s great to be back here!