After visiting Nashville earlier this year, I was finally able to get my head around the concept of ‘Music City.’ How is it that one place can hold so much talent and music? And why do so many of our favorite musicians move there to make it big (I’m talking about you Taylor Swift)? Whether you’ve heard Nash referred to as the LA of the South, a big old country town, or the birthplace of some of the greatest country music ever written, the fact is it ticks all these boxes and more. Here are the Top Five Reasons Nashville is Music City.
Number Five: It has its own TV show. I apologize for the fact I am making many Nashville natives cringe by placing this on the list, but it made number five because the creative culture and musicality of Nashville was highlighted to the rest of the world when Hayden Panettiere stepped onto our screens as Juliette Barnes. Sure, the TV show is not 100 per cent accurate to real life (I sincerely hope your life is less drama filled than Rayna and Deacon’s is), but the plethora of cowboy boots, non-stop country music, and the set are all pretty authentic.
Number Four: Every building has a story. The most notable buildings in Nash are filled with the echoes of musical legends penning and performing their own songs. From the Ryman Auditorium to the Printers Alley; the hidden studio Dolly Parton once recorded in, to the hum that fills the streets of 12 South, there is an innate sense of history that tells its story through the faded paintwork, old-fashioned ornaments and torn down concert posters.
Number Three: Nashville never sleeps. When you are walking downtown past a myriad of bars, restaurants and hot chicken wing diners, you will hear at least 10 different live musicians performing at once, and this will continue non-stop all day, every day. Solo musicians behind their acoustic guitars will play to a miniscule audience in the hopes of making it big, and big stars will draw in the crowds at the Grand Ole Opry. No matter what time of the day or night it is, you can always be sure music is being written, performed and appreciated.
Number Two: It breeds creativity. Walk into any coffee shop in Nash, and you will see the tables littered with hipsters writing their next novel, creating a website, studying to become musicians, or meeting up with management to discuss the next step in how they will promote their album. Aside from having remarkably good taste in coffee (it’s the closest thing a Melbourne coffee snob will find in the USA), there is a general sense of opportunity and possibility among the people of Nashville. Their diversity and differences are cloaked with one defining factor: they exist to create something beautiful (and successful).
Number One: Legends have been made there. For country music lovers, life does not get much cooler than the moment they realize they are walking the same sidewalks as Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash. Their haunting vocals have filled the halls of this city, and their influence still shapes the music of today with artists like Keith Urban. For pop friends, this is the city that houses Taylor Swift, boasts the heritage of Miley Cyrus, and is only half an hour’s drive from Franklin residents, Paramore. Eclectic and full to the brim with people of all walks of life, the coolest part of having so many well-known muso’s in the area is that residents will rarely go LA on them and freak out. Here, they are just another musician doing their thing. And that’s why many people head to Music City; because it’s the place where the rubber meets the road, and good, organic music is made to last.