Music City, USA

      4 Comments on Music City, USA

Going in I knew we were in line to see the heart, soul, and home of country music. The Songwriting Capital of the World, Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Music Row… in case those aren’t enough clues, I’m talkin’ Nashville. I compiled a country music playlist for our getaway. It required a little study, I needed more than those from my personal country music heyday – circa 1974. The exercise helped me get my hoedown on.

Once we landed at the Nashville airport, we were immediately intercepted by our co-conspirators, and partners in fun: Sharpshooter Sam, and “Sweet Tooth” Wiley McGee. Add yours truly – Shorty Squints – and Curly, and we were ready for a boot kickin’ time!

Instantly swept away

Driving into a sunny, blue skied day, we headed straight for some famed barbecue eatin’. Now, I had absolutely every intention of going on this little trip with a travel-writers mind: pen & notepad nearby – camera, photo ready. Without realizing it, that intention went right out the window. Yes, that intention was riding on the back of the smokey curls wafting through the establishment. What is it about smoked BBQ that makes one so weak at the knees? Well, Jack’s Bar-B-Que did just that. It’s a classy joint with red vinyl draped tables and styrofoam plates. There was just a little wait when we got there, but I understand patron lines can be well out the door. Anyway, by the time my intention connected with my brain again, all that was left were messy, BBQ-smeared empty plates.

Got a decent photo of the sign, at least

We had scheduled a tour, so after lunch we rolled ourselves to Buffalo’s Bar to meet our new best friends for the day.

Insta-Friends – just add alcohol

Don’t Worry, Be Happy~

This Music City Pub Tour was slated for two hours, but with our new friends the party was goin’ long after that. We were introduced to some local history, heard a few southern toasts, saw a handful of the older drinking establishments, participated in line dancing & bull riding! Yee-Haw!

Music Row

We spent most of our time exploring in and around the area known as Music Row. Music floods out of every venue. When you step inside, you discover each floor has a different band jammin’. And, to my delight, it isn’t all country music. We heard plenty of good music (wink): Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, even Aerosmith! From my brief visit, it appeared that a band would play for maybe a couple hours, and when their time was up, there was another band stepping in immediately behind them. Imagine dozens, and dozens of music halls, many with 3 or more floors, playing music almost 24 hours a day. . . there just didn’t seem to be a shortage of live music. I have an untrained ear, but everything I heard was exceptionally good and always a crowd pleaser.

Beyond the Honky-Tonks & Watering Holes

We extricated ourselves from the juicy music options. At least a little bit. We tooled around the Capitol Mall State Park.

picture of Nashville Capitol Mall

Tennessee State Capitol

Spring at Capitol Mall, Nashville

Self guided tour of Nashville history on a granite wall in Springtime

We drooled at some amazing boot options.a row of boots rows and rows of boots

We stepped foot in the Ryman Auditorium (opened in 1892), and signed on for the back stage tour. The guide was a bit difficult to understand, but between him and the museum walls I got the gist of one of the better stories I’ve heard. The auditorium was named after Thomas Ryman, a wealthy businessman who owned several saloons and a fleet of riverboats. Saloon business was slowing down due to a certain enthusiastic evangelist, Samuel Jones, who came to town preaching to the masses. Mr. Ryman had the aim to give this man a piece of his mind, and attend one of his sermons. He may have come with the intent to heckle, but he left a converted man. Yes, that day, on the spot and never looked back. Soon after he pledged to build the Union Gospel Tabernacle so the people of Nashville could attend a large-scale revival indoors. Amen!

church window in the Ryman

Church Window at Ryman Auditorium

Renamed Ryman Auditorium upon Thomas’ death, and several evolutions over the decades, even 20 years of complete disrepair, the Ryman Auditorium stands today, and is considered “The Mother Church of Country Music.”

Ryman Auditorium - a music city standard destination

The Mother Church of Country Music

old & new stage floor of Ryman Auditorium

They kept a portion of the original stage floor, which I’m standing on

Circling Back To Food

Since I began talking about food, I guess I’ll end with it too. I have to give a shoutout to Cafe Monell’s. It’s a place that captures my vision of southern hospitality: a proper (ie no cell phones), old-fashioned, family-style, boarding-house-like restaurant. Large tables, all guests seated together and breaking bread together.

picture of large dining table

Down home cookin’ with skillet fried chicken for breakfast

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! Smoked Sausage, Bacon, Biscuits and Gravy, Country Ham, Fried Apples, Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Hash Browns, Cheese Grits, Skillet Fried Chicken, Corn Pudding, Coffee and more. Take your portion, then pass to the left. When you can’t fit anymore in, you get one of these:meal ticket

Appreciate you following!





About Hali

Just a travel junkie trying to find my voice in the blogosphere. I enjoy sharing my photography and fast facts I learn in the places I travel through.

4 thoughts on “Music City, USA

  1. Audrey P Adams

    Wonderful trip descriptions and pictures! Aww, I wanted to see you line dancin’ and ridin’ that bull, but the video doesn’t work! XOXO

    1. Hali Post author

      Again, thank you for the help in troubleshooting! Looks like I had the video set as private – changed that, so I believe it should upload now??


We enjoy hearing from you! Leave a comment here:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.