A new re­frain

While Nashville has come far be­yond hair­spray and honky­tonk, it will al­ways sing a song for the Grand Ole days.

VOGUE Living Australia - - Concierge -

Im­mor­talised by the songs of count­less coun­try mu­sic croon­ers, Nashville is a city that lives large in the col­lec­tive imag­i­na­tion. A rhine­stone-stud­ded, cow­boy boot-wear­ing, hair­spray en­hanced city of honky-tonk dive bars; noth­ing more than a oned­i­men­sional car­i­ca­ture of it­self. How­ever, in re­cent years some­thing has shifted in the Mu­sic City. There is no deny­ing that its hugely pop­u­lar name­sake tele­vi­sion show and fa­mous res­i­dents (Ni­cole! Tay­lor! Mi­ley!) have in­flu­enced public opin­ion but Nashville has also be­come a so­phis­ti­cated des­ti­na­tion that, while still re­spect­ing its past (Johnny! Tammy! Dolly!), has evolved be­yond a one-in­dus­try coun­try mu­sic town. To­day, it’s con­sid­ered one of the three pow­erhouse cities of Amer­ica’s en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try; it’s ris­ing in stature as a food des­ti­na­tion; and it’s the new home to an ex­o­dus of the coun­try’s young cre­ative class who are trans­form­ing Nashville’s cul­tural life. “In the past five years the city has ex­ploded,” says the fa­mously flame-haired Bri­tish su­per­model-turned-mu­si­cian Karen El­son, who moved to Nashville in 2006 on a whim with her then-hus­band, mu­si­cian Jack White. “We loved that mu­sic per­me­ates ev­ery part of life here but also the Nashvil­lian charm, good hu­mour and lifestyle. A night here might be­gin with a gig at the Ry­man Au­di­to­rium but will have you danc­ing from res­tau­rant to dive bars in the com­pany of some of the world’s most ta­lented mu­si­cians.” Mu­sic was the ini­tial at­trac­tion for folks like El­son and White, Keith Ur­ban and Ni­cole Kid­man, but it’s the city’s new cre­ative en­ergy that keeps them from yearn­ing for New York or Los An­ge­les. White es­tab­lished his la­bel Third Man Records in a once-derelict part of town that is now burst­ing with other record­ing stu­dios, artist spa­ces, cafes and restau­rants gar­ner­ing na­tional at­ten­tion and ac­co­lades. “There was op­por­tu­nity here to cre­ate a com­mu­nity around our res­tau­rant that is more dif­fi­cult in big­ger cities,” says Philip Kra­jeck of Rolf and Daugh­ters, a res­tau­rant that has be­come a sen­sa­tion for its Italy-via-Ten­nessee ap­proach to food. At Rolf and Daugh­ters and The Cat­bird Seat nearby, the gas­tro­nomic map is be­ing re­drawn in a re­gion once known only for fried chicken. The im­por­tance of com­mu­nity and the town’s spe­cial her­itage is a com­mon re­frain among all in­dus­tries here, and this cross-pol­li­na­tion of new food, mu­sic and art scenes with the un­mis­tak­able Nashville style is what gives the city its hall­mark. In to­day’s Mu­sic City, Edi­son bulbs are at ease with neon, cof­fee bars with dives, cow­boy boots with be­spoke leather goods and hot fried chicken with house-cured ham. The new Nashville is cap­tur­ing the world’s imag­i­na­tion pre­cisely be­cause of, and not in spite of, its own sto­ried song­book. ››

clock­wise: mu­si­cians at food and mu­sic venue Puck­ett’s. Hot fried chicken at Prince’s. The ex­te­rior of Rolf and Daugh­ters res­tau­rant. A cus­tomer at Rolf and Daugh­ters.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.