Downtown Nashville

Stopped tonight on Broadway in downtown Nashville. First time I’ve been down near the clubs since moving here and I had forgotten how great the music is there.

I was shooting video for a series piece to run Sunday night and was looking for a country band to sing a particular song. I stopped by Robert’s Western World
Let me tell you, if you ever find yourself on Broadway and looking for a place to hear good music, step inside and order a burger from the grill at Roberts. They have several bands that play there through the week. BrazilBilly is the club owner and main house band but the Robert Lee Band and Don Kelley are awesome too. One night a few years ago a former videographer and I stumbled into Roberts after a 10 o’clock live shot and the band playing was made up of session players in town who had played for just about every big time country band who’s ever recorded. They had this guitar player who just played like I had never heard anyone play before. They’d play Hank Williams and then The Grateful Dead. Hank Snow then Jimmi Hendrix. We walked out front when the band was taking a smoke break and learned the guitar player WAS BLIND!

Tonight I stepped into another bar downtown and there was a bluegrass band of young girls and one guy. The girls looked like they were no more than 19 years old. A couple of fiddles, a mandolin, a standup bass and a guy playing acoustic guitar. They were incredible! Great sound, great vocals. The band is called “Gypsy” if you want to find them online.

Then I walk in the legendary “Tootsies” where Grand Ole Opry stars of the past used to step inside between sets and have a cold one. “Tootsies” has a small stage and there was a guy and a small band of a couple guitars and a drumset. I asked if he knew “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” and could he sing it so I could record it for my story. Almost before I could get the tripod legs set, he was singing the first verse.

Man, I’ve got to get down there and spend some time listening to these bands play. Maybe next week when the rest of the world is watching “American Idol” I can go listen to some real musicians.

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