Nashville, home of the Grand Old Opry, fried green tomatoes, everything pimento cheese and once a year, Americanafest.
We made our way to AmericanaFest 2016 on the company jet, enjoying our usual first class service with free drinks and all the peanuts we could eat for the one hour and thirty minute flight to Nashville.
As much as we appreciated the luv’ly peanuts we were starving by the time we pulled up in front of our favorite place to stay, the beautiful Hermitage Hotel. We were curious about whose shiny new tour bus was parked across the street but I was anxious to get inside for “happy hour” so I didn’t spend much time thinking about the bus. Imagine how sad I was when I found out that we had just missed one of my favorite things at the Hermitage, the cookie and lemonade happy hour. All I got was an apple.
We were all starving and an apple wasn’t going to cut it,
so we dropped the luggage and headed out for some home cooking at Husk. Crispy Chicken Skins, Alabama White Sauce, Johnny Cake, Pimento Cheese, Chipped Beef, Pickled Jalapeños, Hot Water Cornbread, Sliced Cucumbers and Raw Onion, Benne and Honey Lacquered Duck with Pickled Blueberries and Chanterelles and Crispy Pork Collar paired with Cornbread Purée and Greasy Beans awaited us at this restaurant located in a historic building on a hill overlooking the Titan’s stadium.
During dinner we downloaded the Americana app to make our showcase planning easier, well as easy as it can be with showcases spread out all over town with one artist at the Mercy Lounge, one over at the Station Inn and one more at the Basement, all starting within thirty minutes of each other. We did our best to get to as many showcases as we could but would have done better if we could have gotten around more quickly. Reminder for next year, get jetpacks instead of a rent car.
The awards show was pretty terrific with appearances by everyone from Bonnie Raitt to George Strait to John Prine. The awards show ran three hours so we didn’t get to the first showcase until ten o’clock.
We decided that it would be best to hang out at the Cannery Ballroom since it has three venues in one spot. Very handy indeed for seeing as many artists in as short an amount of time as possible. We didn’t get back to the hotel until after midnight but as I mentioned it is my favorite hotel so I like finishing my evening in the lobby, it smells like summer flowers and it’s the perfect place to wind down after a long day. Great people-watching too. Usually at least one group will come weaving up the stairs after a very happy night out, those are the one who come over and ask us where we got our wine because they can’t find anyplace open. (We come prepared.)
Anyway, we like to spend the last hour or so in the lobby figuring it all out.
TCON the next day we made our way past the “Nashville” set that was being filmed on the same street as the Six Shooter Records party. Those Canadians put out an appropriate lunch (Nashville “hot chicken” sandwiches and Yazoo beer) for the listening party on the rooftop of the George Jones Museum. We got to see Ms. Whitney Rose who was as usual, delightful. Also got my first live listen to another Canadian – Amelia Curren, who I’ve been trying to get to Houston for several years. Thanks Six Shooter, we had fun.
After a little nap we headed out for the music happy hour parties. We tried to make it to New West but got caught in a traffic circle so Siri changed our direction and took us to Razor and Tie Publishing instead. We bumped into Steve Poltz as we were going in but lost sight of him in the crowd. We decided to grab a bite before the next bout of shows so we walked around the block and tried out Peg Leg Porker for some great barbecue.
Again, we finished off our evening in the lobby of the beautiful Hermitage Hotel, Shane and TWWNCNBUIP with a bottle of wine and me with a bottle of Basil Hayden. I enjoy our midnight sippin’ parties.
We finally figured out who had the fancy shiny tour bus out front when we saw the Lumineers come home to the Hermitage after their gig.
All in all it was a great trip, we got to visit with lots of new acts that we hope to bring to the Duck…(hint-keep your eyes and ears open for an Irishman.)
We heard the puppies really missed us..or maybe it’s that we really missed them, no matter who did the missin’ it’s really good to be home.