As I walked around downtown Nashville on a Friday afternoon, the twangs of country music drifted lazily out of various restaurants and honky-tonk bars in slow-motion, as the workers prepared for the Friday night crowds. I could almost see the music notes floating in the air as a new song greeted me each time I passed an open doorway.
Nashville was saturated with music – from the famous Ryman Auditorium, to the Country Music Hall of Fame, to the life-sized statues of Elvis situated on almost every block, down to the bicycle racks along the river.
I had lunch in Margaritaville, and even their ubiquitous Jimmy Buffet tunes were displaced by a lone country singer with his guitar, crooning about lost loves, opining about his pickup truck, and throwing in old standards from Garth Brooks and Toby Keith.
Despite the intense musicality of the city, most of my time in Nashville was spent in quiet, peaceful contemplation. I wandered through the Ryman Auditorium, eerily silent compared to the foot-stomping days of the Grand Ole Opry. But the ghosts of bluegrass past were loud in the silent museum – the costumes and the rows of benches were ready to come alive at the strum of an acoustic guitar.
I meandered up and down the city streets, between tall glass-lined office buildings where workers toiled away, unheard and unseen from the sidewalk below. Eight hours later, the town would be line dancing and toe tapping til the wee hours of the morning, but until then, the air was heavy with anticipation and pent-up energy. The honky-tonk would have to wait.
- Great Urban Weekend Escapes: Nashville, TN (forbes.com)
- Dwight Yoakam Sells Out Two Nights At The Ryman (nashville.com)