My absolute favourite City in America is Nashville Tennessee, music city, the ultimate place for country lovers. To be honest even if you are not a lover of country music I can guarantee you will be by the time you leave. As soon as I arrived in Nashville I knew it would be my favourite place, and I wasn’t wrong. I bet for every place you want to visit you have an idea in your head of what it will be like. For me I thought Hollywood/ LA would be all glits and glam (how very wrong I was) I thought Memphis would be all blues bands playing in bars all through the day (again I was wrong) I thought Nashville would be all country, cowboy boots and hat wearing, ‘ye ha’ loving, absolute country loving and I was right. Everything I thought Nashville would be was that and so much more. I fell in love with Nashville so much so that I visited twice in my 3 month American trip, and made 2 more trips after that. 4 trips there in 8 months is pretty good going and I am already planning my next.
There is so much to do and see, so much to take in and experience that I would definitely recommend a good week or two for a visit. I enjoyed so much and even visited the same museums a couple of times, my list of must dos while in Nashville are;
- The Grand Ole Opry (tour and show)
- The Johnny Cash museum
- The Country Music Hall of Fame and museum
- The Ryman auditorium tour
- Music Row
Although Nashville has incredible museums and auditoriums the main reason why so many people visit Nashville, is the amazing musicians you can find on Broadway. So get on down to the Honky Tonk for the best bands, music and beer around. My second visit to Nashville was spent in the bars for a week enjoying all the country music. My absolute favourite. Below is a list of my favourite bars in order, Nudie’s Honky Tonk is by far my favourite bar to go to, and all thanks to one amazing band I watched every day. Not to mention there being a hanging Cadillac car!
- Nudie’s Honky Tonk
- The Second Fiddle
- Robert’s Western World
- Legends Corner
- The Stage
Nudie’s Honky Tonk
Nudie’s Honky Tonk is the place to be. With its longest bar in Nashville and hanging car, amazing house band; Jarett McAlister, Matt Schumacher, Victor H Ruiz, Matthew Crouse, Joe Birmingham, friendly staff and the best beer and Whiskey around. As a female solo traveller I found this place to be the most welcoming. I enjoyed sitting at the end of the bar each day and listening to my favourite house band. I was lucky enough to become friends with Jarett and Matt which is a reason I was there everyday supporting what they do, as they are an incredible band. The staff are very friendly and great at their job, Hannah behind the bar made me feel very welcome sat there on my own. If you only had one place to pick for a visit to Nashville then make it Nudie’s, you definitely wont be disappointed.
The Second Fiddle
Just across from Nudie’s is The Second Fiddle. This was the first bar I went to when I visited Nashville. A great place to chill out with a beer and listen to some music. With its brick walls and music mementos hanging this makes for a very cosy Honky Tonk. I actually was lucky enough to make friends with an amazing couple who perform together on stage, they made me feel very welcome, as did the staff. I would definitely recommend visiting The Second Fiddle.
For a honky tonk which is abit different from the rest give Layla’s a visit. This Hillbilly bar with its vintage licence plates hanging from the ceiling, and the bluegrass bands that grace its stage is definitely worth a visit. One of my favourite bars for its music and rustic feel. The staff here are incredibly friendly and have a style that matches the whole feel of Layla’s. Definitely check out the Rische Sisters who perform here, they are incredible.
Robert’s Western World
Known as the home of traditional country music Robert’s does not disappoint. Lively music and a very busy place, you must get here early to get a seat in the house. Later on in the evening you may find yourself waiting to get in, as it gets so busy. With the Don Kelley band on stage, great beer and food you are sure to have a great time here.
On the corner of Broadway you will find Legends Corner. Classic country albums cover the walls of this classic honky-tonk. Another great place to watch country bands, and this place is open early at 10am, for all you early risers. I loved the walls here as there is so much to look at with album covers, instruments and photographs. The painting on the wall outside of Legends Corner is brilliant and a great tourist spot for pictures.
The Stage on Broadway is another great place for live music. With 3 stages including a rooftop there is a lot of space for dancing. And with 3 bands playing at one time you really are spoilt for choice. The rooftop offers great views of broadway and you can listen to the live music while sitting outside.
The musicians not to miss
Matthew Thomas Schumacher
Matt is the reason my love for country music has grown so much. He was the first fiddle player I saw on my Nashville trip, and made me absolutely love ‘The Devil went down to Georgia’ by Charlie Daniels. He is an incredible musician and plays the fiddle, guitar and sings vocals. Whenever Matt is playing the fiddle on stage it is very hard to look away. His stage presence is amazing and he is the most friendly person you could have the pleasure of meeting. Matt even took the time to take me for food one night in between his gigs, and was more than happy to talk to me about playing the fiddle. Matt is definitely a musician not to miss while you are in Nashville. He is part of the house band at Nudie’s honky tonk, you can find him there 11am-2pm everyday. You can also find him in a number of other bars in and around Broadway. Definitely go and show your support for this incredible musician.
The Human Jukebox Jarett is a must see when in Nashville. He is part of the house band at Nudie’s honky tonk and puts on a great show everyday 11am-2pm. Definitely don’t miss the chance to watch him on stage. With his incredible vocals and guitar skills he has the best stage presence to go with it. He is such a friendly guy and no song request is too much trouble, hence the Human Jukebox. I literally spent everyday sat at the end of the bar supporting these guys, I would stay for the whole set. You can find Jarett on his facebook page and he now has an album out, which you can purchase or download on Spotify ‘HUMAN JUKEBOX’ (which I am currently listening to while I write this up) Amazing album by an amazing musician, definitely check him out on your next trip to Nashville.
Tiffany and Taylor
The nicest couple you will ever have the pleasure of meeting is Tiffany and Justin (Taylor) I met them at The Second Fiddle. I rocked up on my own, the first bar I visited on my Nashville trip and sat at the bar. They instantly made me feel so welcome and asked where I was from. I am lucky enough to call these two my friends and can’t wait to be back in Nashville watching them. Tiffany has incredible vocals and Justin is a great musician on the guitar. They work so well together and have the best stage presence. I always looked forward to their gigs. Definitely do not miss them gracing the stages of Broadway. You can find them at The Second Fiddle or The Stage Rooftop. Give them a follow on Facebook as they go live a lot, which is great if you are so far away like myself.
The Skallywags are a great band to go and watch while in Nashville. You can find them at; The Second fiddle, The Stage and Legends Corner. Kris has the most amazing vocals, she is incredible. The guys are great musicians and the whole band works so well together. They play on broadway a lot during the week so it is hard to miss any of their gigs. My favourite show I watched these guys at was at The Stage, it was so busy, and they worked with the crowd to make the gig amazing. I absolutely love these guys, you can find them on facebook and they post their schedules up daily, so you can’t miss them. Go give them a follow.
The Don Kelley Band
Introducing The Don Kelley Band. You can find them daily at Roberts Western World and they are definitely a band not to be missed. Always a big crowd for their gigs so you definitely need to get their early, to get a seat or to even get in. They work with the crowd and have great stage presence together. You can tell that they have played together for years just by how they work together on stage. You can purchase their album at the gigs which I recommend that you do. A great album with songs recorded live from Robert’s. An interesting fact about one of these amazing musicians; he is a family friend of the Presley family, he got married at Sun Studios and he made an appearance in the Johnny Cash film, walk the line… Can you guess which musician?
I enjoyed watching Douglas play at The Stage and Layla’s. He is a great musican and a very friendly guy. If you go and watch him you will have the pleasure of meeting his manager Kimberly Waggoner. She makes you feel very welcome at his gigs and she is great at the advertisement and promotions. Douglas has great vocals and it is definitely a gig not to miss. It is always a busy gig where he is and puts on a great show. A true country musician. Go and give him a follow on facebook; Douglas Riley Music.
Have you been to Nashville and if so who were your favourite musicians and bands.
Where did you spend most of your time? I would love to hear from you 🙂
Miss Coddiwomple xx