Coun­try mu­sic city hums to ev­ery tune

Ex­plore the streets of Nashville and you’ll dis­cover there’s more to this town than the Grand Ole Opry and honky-tonk cafes

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - PLAYLIST -

KNOWN for its his­tory of twang­ing steel gui­tars, trav­el­ling min­strels, honky­tonk heartaches and hill­billy su­per­stars, Nashville Ten­nessee, also known as Mu­sic City USA, sur­pris­ingly houses all types of salu­bri­ous and dif­fer­ent gen­res of mu­sic.

There is a huge va­ri­ety of mu­sic from in­die rock to Amer­i­cana to Chris­tian to pop, and de­spite a cer­tain pros­per­ity out­side of the coun­try mu­sic scene, even mu­si­cians like White Stripes rocker Jack White feels com­fort­able enough in Nashville.

He has made it his new home for his in­die record la­bel, Third Man Records, with his joint record store, per­for­mance venue and head­quar­ters for the la­bel as well.

Along with Jack, other artists like Band Of Horses hail from Nashville and pop princesses like Jewel and Sh­eryl Crow now also call it home. Which just goes to show how di­verse and ex­cit­ing Nashville is in the world mu­sic scene.

There’s so much to do and soak up in Nashville at any given time of the day.

From spend­ing a day walk­ing around the Hall Of Fame Mu­seum (coun­try mu­sichallof­fame.org), to an af­ter­noon shop­ping at Opry Mills fol­lowed by an evening at the famed Grand Ole Opry (opry.com), or a late night out in Nashville’s in­tox­i­cat­ing honky­tonk bars that in­habit the city's down­town strip – Broad­way.

If you are the coun­try mu­sic su­per fan that I am, you will want to visit the Ry­man Au­di­to­rium (ry­man.com).

Make sure you take the guided tour, which is al­most a re­li­gious ex­pe­ri­ence, and also if you can, see a show and soak up the beau­ti­ful old church at­mos­phere while rev­el­ling in the his­tory of the room.

If you’re into the his­tory of coun­try mu­sic make sure you walk down the al­ley­way that sep­a­rates the old Ry­man Au­di­to­rium and the bustling honky tonks and just try to imag­ine the stars, back in the day, that would walk be­tween the back en­trance of the Opry into a honky-tonk for a sneaky drink or two.

I know for a fact that Tootsies Or­chard Lounge was a favourite drink­ing spot for stars like Hank Wil­liams and many oth­ers back in the day.

While you’re wan­der­ing in and out of these honky-tonks, lis­ten­ing to the dif­fer­ent sounds drift­ing be­tween them, just know that most of the stars of coun­try mu­sic to­day started out in “those there bar rooms”, singing for tips.

So if you like the sound of any of these hard­work­ing and tal­ented mu­si­cians, make sure you throw a few bucks into the tip jar to show your grat­i­tude as they pour their blood, sweat and tears into the hope that some big-time record exec will walk in one day and sign them on the spot with a mil­lion-dol­lar con­tract. And trust me, this does hap­pen.

If you want a lux­u­ri­ous stay in this famed mu­sic city you should con­sider fork­ing out the coin to stay at Nashville’s pre­mier Opry­land Ho­tel (mar­riott.com/ho­tels/travel/bn ago-gay­lord-opry­land-re­sor­tand-con­ven­tion-cen­ter) which is con­ve­niently sta­tioned next to the su­perb shop­ping precinct, Opry Mills.

It’s also close to the Grand Ole Opry House which is where they hold the famed coun­try mu­sic stage con­cert of the same name since it moved out of the orig­i­nal venue down­town at The Ry­man.

Make sure you have break­fast one morn­ing at The Pancake Pantry (thep­an­cake pantry.com) where you will likely run into a Nashville lu­mi­nary while gob­bling down a beau­ti­ful stack of fluffy pan­cakes and sides.

Also for amaz­ing food, head out to the in­fa­mous Love­less Cafe (love­less­cafe.com) and ex­pe­ri­ence some won­der­ful fresh bis­cuits and gravy along with a very south­ern spread of food. You can then set­tle in for a night of mu­sic.

Try to catch Mu­sic City Roots (mu­s­ic­c­i­ty­roots.com) , on ev­ery Wed­nes­day, hosted by the de­light­ful Jim Laud­erdale and packed full of sublime mu­si­cal guests ev­ery week.

If you feel like be­ing at one with na­ture, take a lit­tle hike to work off all of that south­ern food. The Natchez Trace Park­way is a breath­tak­ing walk in the woods of south­ern Amer­ica. There is also a beau­ti­ful park at the end of the ritzy man­sion- in­fested Belle Meade Boule­vard called Percy Warner Park where you may run into Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on a bush walk.

The like­li­hood of run­ning into a star while wan­der­ing around Nashville is pretty high, which is dis­sim­i­lar to other celebrity haunts like Los

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