From the heart of Nashville spouts the heart of country music.
Standing on Broadway in the midst of honky tonks, shops and eateries one gets the feeling that every guitar toting artist 'played' some role in creating the tapestry of this city. The mere mention of Nashville brings to mind a free flowing of country music. It seems Nashville relishes freedom of expression with a ear for all who are willing to try. Amazingly, despite modern development enveloping the city, the downtown core retains it's authenticity.
Crossing the threshold of Tootsies, one of the more well known honky tonks, I am struck by the dark shabbiness of the establishment. As I make my way through the bar the floors and walls begin to tell me a story. A story of struggles, successes, found stars, wonderful music and much spilt beer. The shabbiness soon turns to Grandpa's comfortable slippers. Old photos littering the walls punctuate the locations' lively history. Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Kris Kristopherson, among a slew of others, scuffed the stages of Tootsie's.
Nashville beats to the drum of a mirade of hopefuls and well established artists all with a loyalty to the city's coveted position in the industry. Playing for tips day in and day out young artists continue to inject energy into a city that is now 237 years young.
When in Nashville wander Broadway and Second Avenue, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, let your shoulders ease, grab a seat in a honky tonk, try some hot chicken and simply listen. Never have I been to a city so defined by chords, both instrumental and vocal.