Nudie Cohn was a tailor -- check it out!
They say there are 10,000 silver dollars embedded in the bar at Nudie's.
Hell yeah, we bought a t-shirt from these fine NFD representatives...
so that they can provide coats for kids (all for a good cause)!
Congratulations, Superintendents, on your certification!
The Don Kelley Band at Robert's Western World.
JesseLee Jones -- Brazilbilly -- at Robert's Western World (which he now owns).
Oh my, did we ever have fun! Last year, in New Orleans, we were all about the Fine Dining. This year, in Nashville, it was all about Honky Tonk!!
I left work at noon and drove down to Milwaukee to catch my afternoon nonstop flight. Ann had sent me an email: "When you get here, let's go out!" And we did.
Ann had conference all day, and I had plans to meet up with Annette (yes, Annette)! We met for coffee at The Frothy Monkey, then walked across the street to Craft South (where I was quite restrained), and then up to Jeni's where we had ice cream for lunch! It was SO nice to meet & chat with Annette, so comfortable & easy. Blog people really are the best people. :)
Ann's graduation! Initially, the ceremony was to take place in the middle of the whole affair and Ann & I were going to cut out of Music City Center to make it on time to a dinner reservation before going to a concert, but someone's speech went long and another someone had a flight to catch, so it got pushed to the end. The big perk was that I didn't miss Doris Kearns-Goodwin's keynote address. What a pleasure that was!
I ended up cancelling our dinner reservation and we enjoyed the lovely & plentiful reception buffet, instead (Hot Chicken Sliders, anyone? YUM!). And then it was time to walk up to the Ryman to see Blues Traveler!
Tourist time! We took the Historic RCA Studio B Tour and had our photo taken at the piano that Elvis played, and spent a nice few hours at the Country Music Hall of Fame. We especially loved the Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan exhibits, but everything else, too. The clothing/costumes are amazing (and all of the women were/are tiny, tiny, tiny)! (BTW, the Studio B Tour was good and our guide was great, but it didn't hold a candle to The Swampette Tour of Muscle Shoals! Not sure it'll ever be beat.)
Up EARLY to catch flights... and having been out a bit later than intended on Friday, whooaaaa! Ann's left a few hours before mine, so I found a couch on which to rest. Using my ample but not too big carry-on bag for a pillow, I actually fell asleep... and woke up wondering if the word "Baggallini" was impressed upon my face (it wasn't). I slept on the plane. And then a half-hour from home, I took another little nap. The driving had been slow-going and intense, as there was some freezing rain and more than a few cars in the ditch, I needed a break!
Over the course of four days, we had food and/or drinks at The George Jones, Cerveza Jack's*, Jack's Bar-B-Que, Puckett's, Wild Eggs, Another Broken Egg Cafe, and I'm thinking there was another place but I can't remember. Anyway, I didn't realize until just now that both of the "egg" places are franchises. They were both very good! The photo is from Another Broken Egg -- a just-the-right-size Belgian waffle, topped with brie and blackberry crisp -- YUM.
We enjoyed music at some of those places, and also Honky Tonk Central (where a former co-worker of Ann's once sang!), Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Nudie's Honky Tonk, Whiskey Row, The Second Fiddle, and Robert's Western World. I'm sure we popped in & out of a couple of others!
There is no shortage of music in Music City! Wow. All for tips/no cover (at least that we ran across). As our guide on the Studio B Tour said, musicians come to Nashville to make music but leave Nashville to make money!
Now, neither Ann nor I are what you'd call a "country music fan," but there are some indelible impressions in that flavor from our childhoods: Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Buck Owens & Roy Clark & Hee Haw, Jeanne C. Riley, Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson... and Marty Robbins. Marty Robbins held some weird connection to our dad for us all, I think; after our parents split, we spun Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs until it would spin no more.
So, it's the more old-school stuff that rings our bell. I remember specifically that it was the notes of Harper Valley PTA that drew us into The Second Fiddle on Friday night!
I'd noted Robert's Western World, a few doors down, on previous walks down Broadway, and on Friday night, we were also drawn inside... and weren't we lucky! The Don Kelley Band was very good, with an entertaining bass viol player, and a 17-year-old guitarist that blew our minds. (And not only ours! Luke McQueary was mentioned in a NY Times article about Nashville just a few weeks ago!) We had a beer and listened for a while, and moved on to another venue, but it wasn't long before we were back! In striking up a conversation at the bar, we learned that JesseLee Jones -- the Brazilian Hillbilly, aka Brazil Billy (or Brazilbilly) -- would be the next band up, and heard all about his story. Born in Sao Paulo, he made his way to the U.S., unable to speak English, he could sing country music (having memorized Marty Robbins' Greatest Hits) (or something like that). He eventually made his way to Nashville and was taken under the wing of Robert Moore (of Robert's Western World), eventually taking over the business (or something like that). SO MUCH FUN!! And the reason we were out way past our bedtime (though still way early by Nashville standards).
*So, we're at Cerveza Jack's having tacos and nachos and beer, and all of a sudden we hear the singer (dang, I can't remember her name right now... but I will) talking about Appleton with the people at the next table. "Wait, Wisconsin??" we asked, and piped up with howdy-do's. "Were you at Mile of Music?" I asked. No, she said that she played a benefit for a Catholic middle school here. We're whoopin' it up and all of a sudden, from across the bar, we hear, "COMBINED LOCKS!" (Pop. 3509.) WHAT?!?? The woman comes over and we're all chatting up a storm when she asks for more specifics about where I live, and I said, "Oh, at the end of the street right up from the bank." And she said, "On Such-and-Such Street?" (A two-block long dead-end street that no one knows about.) Turns out, her then-fiance owned/flipped the house next door, and we'd met & talked before! She said, "I was in your house!" The world is SO FREAKISHLY SMALL sometimes.