Nashville, TN: It’ all about the music

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…and we did our very best to honor Nashville’s title of Music City. After getting warmed up with the Country Music Hall of Fame last week, we ventured on to the live music venues. (Even before arriving in Nashville I stealthily procured tickets to the Grand Ole Opry to see a “Big Name” in country music.) But our first live music experience was at Music City Roots at the Loveless Cafe, or actually the Loveless Barn out back.
The Loveless Cafe is one of the those places my hair dresser recommended, and though we didn’t get there for a down home country dinner, we did get there for the music. In back of the cafe and the cutesy little Southern tourist shops, is the music venue that houses Music City Roots. Roots hosts the new and aspiring musician crowd, about five bands per evening. We saw Jonathon Scales Forchestra, Daniel Romano, Sturgille Simpson, Amanda Shores, and Leftover Salmon. One of the hosts, in the photo above, is a good ole local favorite, Jim Lauderdale.  Now, to be completely frank, we weren’t wild about any of these folks, though they all had plenty of talent.  The big problem was that the volume was so loud that we were blown out of our seats by the second act. Too bad, because some of them might have been much more enjoyable with better sound engineering. 
On the other hand, our evening at the Grand Ole Opry was acoustic perfection.  I had been at the Opry about 40 (gasp!) years ago and saw some of the old timers: Minnie Pearl, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Tex Ritter and more. That was some experience. Then the Ryman Auditorium, which was synonymous with the Opry, closed down and the Opry show moved out to Opryland. I never saw it there, but I am in vicarious agreement with common sentiment that it just wasn’t the same. But, the happy ending to the story is that now the Ryman Auditorium is refurbished and open again and hosts the Grand Ole Opry show about half the time.  
We got there early and had time to look around, take pictures and wear out our butts on the hard pews that are still the only seating at the Ryman. Smart audience members bring cushions.