Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Everywhere you look.  Guitar shaped decorations on the side of buildings.  Guitar shaped buildings. Even the weed-filled flower box in front of our Nashville hotel outlines a guitar.  And of course, real guitars.  Yesterday we saw – up close and personal – hundreds of guitars.  Guitars that belonged to Jimmy Rogers and Hank Williams and Mother Maybelle Carter and Johnny Cash and hundreds of other notables and near-notables at the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Guitars lining the walls of Gruhn's and Carter’s music stores, inviting you to hold them and pick them and fall in love with them and take them home.

The Hall of Fame and Museum is a grand monument to Nashville’s home industry, and worth a visit even if you’re not that into country music.  You get a taste of the history of the music, the different paths it’s taken, and a big look at the business today.  But though it nods to Austin and Bakersfield, it’s still all about Nashville.  Don’t look for a lot of Fender guitars.  And aside from Bill Monroe’s mandolin and a few passing exhibits, don’t look for bluegrass.  It’s not part of the Nashville vocabulary.

On Tuesday, my iPhone informed me that the wind chill in Nashville was 110 degrees.  It quickly changed that to “heat index.”  The heat and humidity settled on you like a blanket, eased finally by an afternoon thunderstorm.  We were lucky there too, as it looked like counties north and south of Nashville were getting washed away.  Caught a TV news report in the afternoon where a guy somewhere in Tennessee was standing next to the slab where his home sat in the morning, pointing to its new location down the creek.

Last night we went to the Station Inn, a place known for $4 beers and great live music.  I was disappointed that the schedule had changed and the band I’d expected wasn’t playing.  Now I’m glad. In their stead we heard The Music City Doughboys, a couple of lively hot swing fiddlers and singers backed up by drums, pedal steel, bass and a guy playing his telecaster like Wes Montgomery.  It was a great show.  Remember the name: The Music City Doughboys.   Watch.

Today we’re off to Memphis.  With any luck, we’ll have a good wi-fi connection and will be able to post some pictures.  Here I finally gave up looking at the spinning circle on screen and went to the lobby to get a reliable signal.

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