Over the years, Nashville has been about education, commerce, even insurance. But its best known as Music City, and with good reason: Even at 3:30 in the afternoon, you can catch a half-dozen live performances along Lower Broadway.
Come 6 p.m., the first showcase performance by songwriters kicks in over at the Bluebird Café, in a strip mall in the Green Hills area (where Nicole Kidman and husband Kenny Urban are said to frequent the local Starbucks.)
One of the town's biggest hits is Gruhn Guitar -- one of the reader choices for today. Billy Jackson -- a 48-year-old employee who has been coming to Gruhn since he was 13 -- shows us around the new and vintage collection of violins and of course, guitars, including Stratocasters, Martins and Gibsons. The Gretsch guitar that was owned by Dan Fogelberg is priced at $80,000. Newer -- and cheaper -- guitars are also available.
No visit is complete with a stop at the historic Ryman Auditorium, famed for its accoustics, was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. It was also a church and showhouse, hosting artists including Enrique Caruso, Sarah Bernhardt, Marian Anderson and Roy Rodgers.
And this being a Friday night, the Grand Ole Opry will kick into gear at 8 p.m.
If I weren't hitting the Grand Ole Opry, I'd go to Frist Friday. Every fourth Friday of the month, the Frist Center for visual arts --located in a spectacular WPA-era post office and named for the philantrophic family of U.S. Sen. Bill Frist ... hosts a community concert. Tonight's guest honors the current Egypt exhibition: Pam Tillis will play her hit, The Queen of Denial.
Here are a few scenes from Music City:
Photos by Jane Wooldridge: Top, on Lower Broadway. Above: Roberts Western Wear doubles as a live music club and beer-and-burger joint; Billy Jackson at Gruhn's Guitars shows off the shop's vintage collection; Lower Broadway signs.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Posted by DARCOS CRUZ at 3:21 PM