A Taste of Nashville

The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide is meant to help musicians, songwriters, artists, and everyone that moves to Nashville for a career in the music business find their way. I have done my best to describe in words what it’s like to live and work in this town. But words can only go so far. If you’re already here and working at your career in music, you’ve got a pretty good idea about the landscape. But for those that are considering relocating to Music City, the book, and the website, will contain as many photos as possible, to help give a taste of the town.

So this morning I drove into the city with my digital camera and tripod to try to capture some of the “uniqueness” this place has to offer. I parked in the big parking lot across from the Tin Roof on Demonbreaun, just a few hundred feet from the ‘roundabout’ at the beginning of Music Row, and set out on foot. The first photos I shot were of the controversial statue that sits right in the middle of the roundabout. I remember the public outcry when this statue of naked people making music and dance was first built. Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal was all about. The way I see it, the statute is elegant and tasteful and represents the musical melting pot of this city.

Next it was on to the BMI building, a massive piece of architectural wonderment that I find to be both awe-inspiring and menacing, kind of like the music business itself. On the other side of the roundabout circle, there’s a statue I had never noticed before, that of a man sitting at a piano in Owen Bradley Park. Right around the corner is BMI’s little brother, the ASCAP building, which sits right at the beginning of ‘The Row ‘. After snapping some photos of these obvious landmarks during this now sweltering 90° morning, I walked a little further down 17th grand, one of the two one-way streets that comprise Music Row.

I’ve driven on these streets hundreds of times over the years, passing by the studios, publishers, and innumerable brick buildings that house the core of the Nashville music business community. But on this day, by foot, everything looked brand-new again, and this gave me the feeling of the mysterious city that this was for me upon my arrival eight years ago. As I slowly walked down the long lonesome sidewalk of 17th Avenue, I realized how much of this city, this place, I had never really seen. As I stood on the curb staring curiously at these historic and iconic landmarks, I began to perceive Nashville like a newcomer again. I became curious about what was around each corner, about what was going on behind the doors of these buildings built upon music enterprise.

A car pulled up to Curb Records and out popped a well-dressed woman carrying a briefcase. An older gentleman in a leisure suit exits the Sony building talking on a cell phone. A young man carrying a guitar case disappears down an alley next to one of the recording studios. Where are they going? What are they all doing? This hot morning stroll was putting me in the kind of mindset I was in when I first came to town, curious and full of questions, searching for enlightenment. After working in the Nashville music industry for eight years, I rarely go out exploring anymore, as I tend to go to specific places of business as required.

About an hour after this photographic journey began, I returned to my car, as the heat was getting to be unbearable. I took lots of photos, but realized there’s so much more here to capture. I plan to go out and do this again several more times before I am done with this project.

So for everyone that is new to town, or thinking about moving here, hopefully, these photos will give you a little taste of Nashville. I hope you enjoyed the tour.

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