Well, I have been in Nashville for less than 24 hours, but I already feel right at home again. I’ve done some things that I didn’t get to do the last time I was here, and I’ve returned to some favourites. I plan to do even more of both of these things in the next few days.
After the post I wrote last night, it was time to take off for my evening plans. For any of you who may recall, when Kris and I were in Nashville last January, we ended up spending 2 of our 4 downtown Nashville nights at Tootsie’s with Anthony Orio and the Goodfellers. In fact, we actually tried to go a third night as well, but the line was much too long after our Opry experience. So when I discovered a few weeks ago that these guys were playing Tootsie’s on the night of my arrival, it could not have been more perfect. I mean, I would have wanted to see them play regardless, but it was just awesome to do it all over again the same way.
Last night, Tootsie’s was packed. And on a Sunday! I went there alone and settled in to enjoy the music. I arrived before the Goodfellers were on stage but the band ahead of them was a lot of fun as well. Through the course of the night I chatted with a bunch of different people. A few old men, a few young men, one girl who was a lot of fun, and a guy from North Carolina named Kelby Costner who recently moved to Nashville to pursue a music career. You can check his stuff out here. Tootsie’s really is a great place to meet people.
But the real highlight of the evening was seeing Anthony Orio and the Goodfellers perform again. They are just such a fun bar band, and Tootsie’s is the perfect venue to party with them. They really do know a ton of songs so most of the set usually ends up being by request. Anthony mentioned on stage last night that one of his songs has started to be played on The Highway Sirius XM, so that is exciting news! It was great to hear some of their original music live again as well, since I have been listening to the albums I purchased fairly regularly since the last time I was here.
I haven’t yet mentioned the fact that Anthony was on-stage with his arm in a brace, still performing like a trooper! When I chatted with him later in the evening he said that he was actually in quite a bit of pain, but “the show must go on”. Speaking of that conversation, I had gone up to chat with Anthony while he was taking a break and he said I looked familiar. I mentioned that I had been here over a year ago, and that we had seen him play a few times then. I also asked if we could take a selfie so I could commemorate seeing him play again. Of course he agreed!
I returned to my bar stool after this conversation, and it wasn’t long before two REALLY COOL LOOKING guys walked into the bar. I put that in all caps because I feel as though lower case letters aren’t able to express just how cool they looked. I don’t know how to explain it, but they had this aura. It felt like they were famous.
One of them was tall and very handsome, with a bit of scruff and wearing all black and a stylish leather jacket. The other guy looked a lot like my friend Zac, for those of you that know him, except scruffier. He had long hair and a black toque on, and he was wearing SUNGLASSES. AT NIGHT. IN A BAR. That screams celebrity. They were sitting next to me at the bar but I couldn’t get up the courage to speak to them so I guess I will never know. I did see two women walk up to the Zac lookalike and ask him for a photo, but I just couldn’t place him at all, and I wonder if those women just felt the same aura of celebrity I did and acted on it, or if they actually knew who he was. I’m kind of kicking myself today since I really do want to run into a celebrity here! I hope I didn’t miss my shot.
Anyhow, I left from Tootsie’s around 2 AM and walked the few blocks back to the hostel. When I got to my room, all my roommates were already asleep so I crept around quietly to get ready then climbed into bed. Though it was a rather late night for me, at least it wasn’t the 4-4:30 AM that seemed unavoidable every night last time I was here!
This morning I woke around 8 AM and just laid in bed for a bit figuring out what to do with my day. I soon decided to get up and grab some coffee, then head to the Johnny Cash Museum. This was something that Kris and I had wanted to do last time we were here, but we just ran out of time.
Outside the Starbucks just a few blocks away from the hostel, there was something going on. I’m still not really sure what, but there was security everywhere and I saw some cameras as well as some big lights and things like that. There were also a bunch of EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE AND STYLISH people loitering outside. Again, the caps lock was totally necessary here to express just how attractive and stylish they were. They were goodlooking and wearing perfect outfits and had perfect hair and perfect makeup. There’s no way it wasn’t staged. Anyhow, I got my coffee and left the Starbucks, walking through the throngs of attractiveness and without ever really figuring out what was happening.
I went over to the Johnny Cash museum, and did I ever enjoy it! I’m sure most of you are aware of his story, but I really didn’t know much so a lot of it was new to me. Some fun facts I learned about Johnny Cash:
– He grew up poor, and in a very small town
– He served in the Air Force before he became famous! He was in communications, and he has been credited as the first radio operator to intercept news of Joseph Stalin’s death
– He was an active advocate for both native americans and for prisoners. In fact, he recorded two albums actually at prison shows.
– He was also an artist – never really seriously, but his pieces were in high demand.
– He also tried to be an actor for awhile, appearing on shows like Little House on the Prairie and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
– In the mid-80s, Canada Trust hired him as a spokesperson and called their ATMs “JOHNNYCASH” machines.
There was so much more information there too. I think I was one of the first people in to the museum this morning and several people passed through in the time it took me to do the whole thing, since I’m a bit of a keener when it comes to things like this. I won’t bore you with all the details, but here are a few pictures to enjoy:
By the time I left, I was close to ready for lunch, but I wanted to take a quick walk over the pedestrian bridge. This was something that was on the list from last time I was here, since the bridge is kind of an iconic Nashville landmark, and has, of course, been used on ABC’s Nashville. We did a tour of a bunch of those landmarks last January. I walked over the pedestrian bridge and took a few skyline photos. I have to admit, I used the selfie stick that my mom bought me for some of these and I’m rather embarrassed about it. That being said, it is a beautiful view from there, even on a cool and cloudy day.
After this, I decided to head back to the hostel for lunch. I ate, then took a short nap, then planned out the rest of my day. That brings me up to now. I am sitting at Mike’s Ice Cream shop on Broadway, drinking a delicious Italian hot chocolate and blogging. I am very much loving rediscovering this city, and I’m looking forward to going somewhere new tonight. I will leave writing about that for after it happens. Wish me luck on night two in Music City!