Archives for posts with tag: Nashville

metro 50th sam bush del mccoury 03Last Saturday, Nashville celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Metro Government with a little get together of several thousand people on a rare warm spring day for this year with a celebration of music that included everything from Barbershop Quartet to a Night Train To Nashville All-Star Tribute for the grand finale.

The park in front of the courthouse has proven to be a good place to gather downtown just a few blocks north of Broadway.

Emmylou Harris kicked things off before Barbershop and String Quartets took a turn at the microphone.

metro 50th sam bush del mccoury 01Things finally kicked up a notch with one of the twin highlights of the afternoon as Sam Bush and Del McCoury jammed for several numbers trading off flat-picking and mandolin on well-known standards.

metro 50th sam bush del mccoury 02For some, this was the reason for hanging at the front of the stage while for others the rare appearance of many of Nashville’s classic R&B era was the reason to party.

metro 50th brenda lee mayor karl dean 01Before that, Brenda Lee walked up to the podium and addressed the crowd on what Nashville has meant for her and her career. It’s a great place to live as well as a chance ticket to stardom.

metro 50th jimmy church 01Jimmy Church kicked the Night Train section off with Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” which is the quintessential song from the classic Jefferson Street years.

metro 50th marion james 02Marion James’ did the classic, “24 Hours A Day” with Michael Gray from The Country Music Hall of Fame talking about each song that was chosen and the artists that made them big.

The Valentines made a rare appearance as well as the McCrary Sisters.

metro 50th marion james 01It was a great afternoon break and an opportunity for parents to expose their children to some great live music.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Debbie Bond, photo - Thomas Z'Graggen

Debbie Bond, photo – Thomas Z’Graggen

“The last thing Willie King said to me was, “Keep on pushing Debbie!” – Debbie Bond

Debbie Bond will be playing for the first time tonight in Nashville at The Nashville Blues and Jazz Awards  that begins at 4PM with a $10 door at Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar and is presented by The Marion James Musicians Aid Society to benefit the heritage musicians that lived and worked around the Jefferson Street community in the R&B heyday from about 1950 through the mid-70’s.

debbie bond album coverDebbie’s most recent album Hearts Are Wild got a thumbs up from the Nashville Blues Society last year after its release. Hearts Are Wild is Debbie’s second solo album and her first since Willie King passed away in 2008.

Debbie, as well as her husband Rick had been a part of Willie King’s band for several years playing in and around Alabama as well as touring Europe.

Debbie Bond has also spent several years developing The Alabama Blues Project that educates young and not so young children about blues music and gives them the opportunity to develop the skills to play blues music.

Debbie feels that Alabama has never received the recognition that it deserves in relation to the development of Blues and American music. Essentially, Alabama really is joined at the hip with Mississippi and there was a lot of cross-state-lines intermingling goings on from the very beginning.

Brad Hardisty/ The Nashville Bridge: How long have you been living and playing the Blues in Alabama?

Debbie Bond:  Thirty years. I actually came here in 1979.

TNB: Was it originally to work with Johnny Shines?

Debbie Bond, photo - Robert Sutton

Debbie Bond, photo – Robert Sutton

DB: It wasn’t.  It was just to visit some friends and I was kind of going through some heartache stuff in England and I…uh…originally it was just to come for the summer to get away. But, one thing lead to another and well… included hooking up with Johnny Shines (A contemporary of Robert Johnson).

TNB: You were playing guitar at the time?

DB: Yeah, I was playing guitar. I really started off playing acoustic guitar. I was playing folk songs and I love the blues. I was in a band in England when I was in College in ’75 through 1978 and we played that music in Brighton, England. So, when I came here, you know, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.  I had a lot of prejudices about Alabama and Alabama culture and the south.  I had my mind blown by the music and the food and the southern culture.  I was humbled. I was brought to my knees. I ended up staying.

TNB: I was kind of the same way. I thought the south would be a certain way and it was totally different than I figured.  So, the last project that you were in was a group before you went solo and that was playing with Willie King, right?

Debbie Bond onstage with Willie King

Debbie Bond onstage with Willie King

DB: Yeah, the last band and probably the most serious musical situation that I was in was with Willie King for the last seven years of his life. I toured and recorded with him. Rick, my husband is British and before I married him he had hooked up with Willie and Willie introduced me to Rick. Willie was the best man at my wedding and we married at Freedom Creek and so I have Willie to thank for that big time besides the musical experience and so that was a really big blues experience in my life.

TNB: Did Willie meet Rick overseas?

DB: No, he met Rick here. This is a crazy story but Rick was in Clarksdale, Mississippi and went into Jim O’Neal’s little shop downtown and asked where there was he could hear some blues tonight and they said, “Well, there’s no blues here.” But, because of the connection to Jim O’Neal, a lady who ran the record store and also sold kind of voodoo stuff, said, “There is the Freedom Creek festival over in Alabama tonight.” Rick actually drove all the way to Pickens County, Alabama, which was four and a half hours away. He ran into somebody who didn’t know where The Freedom Creek Festival was and sent him all the way to Tuscaloosa which was another hour out of the way. Rick happened to see my notice and directions in the local record store, Oz Records in Tuscaloosa, then drove all the way back, I mean, then ended up driving into the Festival. His mind was blown. He ended up…Willie said. “Stay.” Rick stayed with Willie camping out there and staying in his trailer and went on the road with Willie and toured just like that. Rick plays harmonica and keyboards.

TNB: What year was that?

DB: That was in 2002 and then we met. I think we went on one date then moved in together and then we got married and Willie was our best man. We married on Freedom Creek and had our wedding ceremony there and then had our party at the local juke joint.

TNB: So, in 2008 you started working on Hearts Are Wild?

Debbie Bond, photo - Robin McDonald

Debbie Bond, photo – Robin McDonald

DB: Yeah, I just started focusing on my own music. I was running the Alabama Blues Project. I founded the Alabama Blues Project and I really just wanted to do my own thing for a change.  The last thing Willie King said to me was, “Keep on pushing Debbie!” I just really wanted to do my own music. So, I kind of got the Blues Project on its own feet. We still do things with the Blues Project, but, we just tried to focus on my own music and eventually we ended up putting out Hearts Are Wild. I think our official release date was 2012.

TNB: Have you toured overseas since the release date?

DB: Yeah, we played over in the Tarragona Blues Festival and also we played in England and France actually. When it first came out we played a show in France and also at a radio station then a show in England. The Tarragona Blues Festival is in Spain.  We are actually going back to play the festival again in November. I’ve written a song called “Tarragona Blues.”

TNB: So, that is where you are establishing your crowd?

DB: Well, it just so happens, you know how things kind of fall into place. I don’t have a booking agent, so, I am just kind of doing things myself as they come along through Facebook really. Facebook has been really great for me. So, it just so happened that we were going to be in Spain and we were going to be in Europe and The Tarragona Festival just fell into place. I mean it was so synchronistic on the only dates we could possibly do it. So, we did it and they really loved the show. They loved us and are having us back. We are definitely building an audience there and I’m hoping I can release the song, “Tarragona Blues” which I wrote the night before the festival and played at the festival. They really enjoyed it. I want to record it and release it in Spain as a single.

TNB: Are they getting into buying vinyl in Europe like we are in the States?

DB: I don’t know.The fact of the matter is times are hard in Spain like they are in other parts of Europe. Maybe not as bad as Greece, but, it still is hard times. So, I don’t know the answer to that.

TNB: As far as releases. Are they buying songs on the web or do they want product?

DB: I find most people are buying CD’s at shows. You know the web is great for promoting, but, I haven’t found that with my audience. My audience seems to like the real CD.

TNB: Yeah, it seems like here in the states we have a lot of hardcore vinyl collectors now.

DB: I’m hearing that.  If I could get just a little bit more on the map and more successful, I would definitely consider putting out a vinyl recording.

TNB: Yeah, it seems like even in limited runs a lot of bands are doing it here in Nashville because we have United Record Pressing. They used to press all of Motown. They have a Motown Suite upstairs in the plant. They are pressing a big portion of what is being done right now.

DB: That’s good to know. I know there is a way to go back to vinyl and I have all my records and we do listen to our records on our record player.

TNB: I’m actually buying more vinyl than I do CD’s right now.

DB: I am hearing that from the record stores. I am going to definitely take that into consideration. But, at this stage in the game I just think it’s so affordable to do CD’s.

TNB: Okay, you have never played Nashville before. Have you played in Tennessee before, maybe, Memphis?

DB: I have not played in Memphis.

TNB: So, this is your first gig in Tennessee.

DB: Yeah it is.

TNB: You are also going to be playing on the Mando Blues Radio Show on Monday.

DB: I’m really looking forward to it. I’m hoping you can make it.

TNB: What are you looking forward to the most about being in Nashville?

Debbie Bond, Rick on keys, photo - Robin McDonald

Debbie Bond, Rick on keys, photo – Robin McDonald

DB: I feel like it’s an adventure. I have great sympathy for Nashville because I think it is kind of like Alabama. People don’t think of the blues when they think of Nashville and the fact that there is this really cool blues culture is exciting to me. I fell like it is an honor to be part of the line-up at The Nashville Blues and Jazz Awards that includes Marion James and all these veteran blues musicians. I’m really thankful and excited to be part of it.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Rory Lee Feek, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo - Brad Hardisty

Rory Lee Feek, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo – Brad Hardisty

“I slept my way to the top!” – Rory Lee Feek

Chris Caminiti, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo - Brad Hardisty

Chris Caminiti, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo – Brad Hardisty

The Historic Station Inn still survives in the rapid developing Gulch area just south of downtown and Tin Pan South kicked off with the late set  on April 2nd featuring Joey + Rory aka Joey Martin Feek and Rory Lee Feek (“Cheater, Cheater”), Tonya Lynette Stout (“What The Devil Wants”), Erin Enderlin ( “Last Call”) and up and coming Chris Caminiti (“Better Than Me”) performing in the round while across town at 3rd & Lindsley the writers from the hit TV show Nashville were creating a lot of buzz.

Nashville has been through a long lonely winter and tonight was no exception with temps already dropping into the 40’s as everybody got their popcorn and a cold one and settled down at the long tables that The Station Inn is known for.

The crowd seemed to be from every corner of the globe from Canada to England and beyond. It seems like fans outside the United States value song craft and the creators more than those that live within the 48 contiguous states do.

Tonya Lynette Stout, Tin Pan South 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Tonya Lynette Stout, Tin Pan South 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Every round needs a leader and Tonya seemed to be the de facto go-to among giants. Joey + Rory were bookended by Chris and Erin which made for quite an interesting spread of influences ranging from Billy Joel to Bobbie Gentry.

Chris kicked it off on acoustic playing off the fact that he was from the northeast and he wasn’t quite Country but was definitely his own thing. Chris moved between guitar and keyboards like it was nothing.

Joey + Rory, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo - Brad Hardisty

Joey + Rory, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo – Brad Hardisty

Tonya brought things into focus and it seemed that the theme for the night began to build on cheatin’ and drinkin’ songs other than the song Chris said fit with his life raising a stepson and he definitely told a great story on that one. Chris wasn’t sure if the song would find a life since everybody in Nashville is trying to be 22 right now.

Paul on Rory's Axe, Tin Pan South 2013, photo _ Brad Hardisty

Paul on Rory’s Axe, Tin Pan South 2013, photo _ Brad Hardisty

Tonya showed classic songwriting style well-developed with a strong voice calling up one of her co-writers, Paul and Rory gladly handed over his six string for Paul to sit in on the fun.

Joey + Rory, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo - Brad Hardisty

Joey + Rory, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo – Brad Hardisty

Rory was articulate on the guitar and comfortable in the catbird seat with his Harlan Howard pedigree. Writing music for Harlan Howard would be the equivalent of getting one of Chet Atkin’s CGP certificates or being Chuck Leavell in The Rolling Stones for all these years. The latter would be truer because in reality maybe The Stones were the lucky ones to get Chuck on keyboards. They know his pedigree better than 99.9% of Stones fans.

Joey + Rory have had some great success over the last couple of years and being out on the road with The Zac Brown Band doesn’t hurt either. They have their own “Honky Tonk Women” with “Cheater, Cheater” that was released on Sugarhill no less. I don’t think Sugarhill is used to having a Top 40 hit.

Erin Enderlin tuning up "Jimmy Dickens", Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo - Brad Hardisty

Erin Enderlin tuning up “Jimmy Dickens”, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo – Brad Hardisty

Between swapping stories about being on the road with Zac Brown that ended in a co-write there were stories of how songwriting sessions go in their household with Joey baking chocolate chip cookies and other delights. It sounds like the food starts in the kitchen when songwriting begins in their household.

Erin Enderlin said that when Joey was making BLT’s it kind of made you wanted to hurry up and finish writing so you could eat. It sounded like Erin was a regular at their house.

Erin Enderlin, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo - Brad Hardisty

Erin Enderlin, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo – Brad Hardisty

Erin was the last in line but really was more like the fourth at bat with the San Francisco Giants ready to clean up the plates hitting a home run every time. Luckily, she had her 2011 self-titled CD available to take home so I could put “Baby Sister” on cranked up on my way back home.

In a way this was really a contrast between the set at The Station Inn and what was going on over at 3rd & Lindsley where T-Bone Burnett had been putting his stamp on some very interesting up and coming writers. The set at The Station Inn basically showed that the spirit of traditional country still had a thread and importance and for many outside Nashville a definite relevance just as the TV show Nashville premiers Country with a twist of lime.

Joey Martin Feek, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo - Brad Hardisty

Joey Martin Feek, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo – Brad Hardisty

All four were great songwriters and were comfortable onstage as well. If I had to take something home, it would be that Rory Lee Feek is a deft guitarist with clean articulate lines and has a great long time duet team going on with Joey. While I was listening to the stories about food in the Feek household while guitars were strumming and words were being penned to paper it made me want to be in on one of those songwriting sessions with Erin and The Feeks or at least stop by the all-night diner down by the Cumberland for some late night breakfast.

Erin, Joey and Rory, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo - Brad Hardisty

Erin, Joey and Rory, Tin Pan South 2013, Station Inn, photo – Brad Hardisty

The other takeaway was Erin; literally, I got the CD so I could rock out to “Baby Sister” on the way home.  Erin has enough blues in her music and her voice to make it interesting for me. I also appreciate the fact that she brought along her own utility player laying down some great dobro slide.

If I had to make a pick, I was glad I was at The Station Inn last night.

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

 

little richard birthday 03Little Richard, current Nashville resident  with a long history in and around Nashville, “The Architect of Rock and Roll,” a songwriter, a performer, an actor, an icon, who is the master of his own creative works was born as Richard Wayne Penniman on December 5, 1932.

Little Richard, one of the true innovators, crossed styles from what was then known as rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and contributed significantly to the early development of soul music.

Little Richard blew the lid off the Fifties, laying the foundation for rock and roll with his explosive music and charismatic persona. On record, he made spine-tingling rock and roll. His frantically charged piano playing and raspy, shouted vocals on such classics as “Tutti Frutti“, “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly” defined the dynamic sound of rock and roll.

He recorded for RCA Records from 1951–52 and for Peacock Records beginning in 1953. Dissatisfied with his lack of commercial success during this time, Penniman formed a new “hard-driving” R&B road band in 1953. By early 1955, a demo tape of his music caught the attention of Specialty Records president Art Rupe, who bought out his contract from Peacock and arranged for him to record for Specialty in September 1955.

Little Richard was the inspiration for generations of rockers from James Brown, and Elvis Presley, to The Rolling Stones, and Prince.

Little Richard aka Richard Wayne Penniman was among the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and one of only four of those artists (along with Ray Charles, James Brown, and Fats Domino) to also receive the Rhythm and Blues Foundation‘s Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1994 at The CMA’s, Little Richard brought the crowd to their feet playing with Tanya Tucker performing Eddie Cochran’s “Somethin’ Else”.

The Nashville Bridge wishes Little Richard a Beatles “Happy Birthday” and salutes his lifetime achievements and how important they are as part of the foundation of what American Culture and music are considered to be throughout the world.

The sun is out in Nashville, I hope you enjoy this blessed day!

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville,TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

photo – Brad Hardisty

After much thought, I really wanted to salute a few key individuals for perpetuating Nashville as Music City. I could have written about 100 individuals both musicians and business people that make things happen and gone into Classical Music, Christian Music and Gospel Music, but, in the end, I needed to break this down to four people from different directions musically that make NashvilleMusic City” and give way more than they take from the community.

For those that live here, you may understand what I am talking about, but, for those from all over the world, maybe I will open a few eyes and ears.

For any number of reasons, I could have written about Little Jimmy Dickens, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton,  Jim Lauderdale, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Little Richard, Elizabeth Cook, Taylor Swift, Vince Gill, okay I could go on. You may agree with my list or you may not. These are whom I call four essential pillars that hold up through thick and thin and inspire others to create and grow in the Nashville community.

Marty Stuart supporting band member Kenny Vaughan at Ernest Tubb’s Music Store CD Release Party, photo – Brad Hardisty

Marty Stuart, born September 30, 1958 in Philadelphia, PA, has been one of country music‘s most eclectic artists, performing and recording diverse types of country music.

He is of French, English, Choctaw, and Colombian descent.

In 1979, when Lester Flatt died. Stuart pushed forward and worked with fiddler Vassar Clements. He also worked with guitarist Doc Watson. In 1980, he joined Johnny Cash‘s backing band. The previous year, Stuart made his first solo album, With a Little Help From My Friends, on Ridge Runner Records

In 1985, Stuart accompanied Johnny Cash to Memphis and played on the “Class of ’55” album that also featured Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis. At the end of the session Perkins presented him with his guitar.

When does Marty become a Patron Saint? I believe it started when he had a heated run-in with Columbia Records when they dropped Johnny Cash from their roster. When he stuck up for the “Man in Black” it cost Marty his own album, Let There Be Country which Columbia decided not to release at that point. With Marty, principal comes before dollar signs.

Marty has performed with the best of the best, Johnny Cash, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard and Travis Tritt to name a few. Marty saw his first solo success with Hillbilly Rock on MCA Records.

Marty contributed to the AIDS benefit album, Red Hot + County.

Marty’s interest in the heritage of Country Music lead to the showing of his private collection of music memorabilia at the Tennessee State Museum in 2007 as “ Sparkle & Twang : Marty Stuart’s American Musical Odyssey” in 2008.

Marty Stuart has published two books of photographs he has taken of some of Country Music’s  most historic Artists including, “Country Music: The Masters” with some of the final photos of Johnny Cash.

Lately, Marty has been the touchstone to Neo-Country proudly wearing the badge of Nashville past bringing classic country into the future with his last two recordings, Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions) and Nashville Vol. 1: Tear The Woodpile Down.

Marty’s vast knowledge of the history of Country Music and support of classic artists such as Porter Wagoner despite the lack of Nashville label interest has helped to perpetuate what the outside world considers to be true blue Nashville Country.

Buddy Miller stands at the crossroads of the past and the future as the Godfather of what is now known as Americana, which encompasses everything from old time gospel music to red dirt Country.

Buddy has managed to put a canons worth of Gospel, Country tinged rock, and the most original of tracks out of his own living room with his wife, Julie Miller.  Buddy is a great musician, songwriter, producer and collaborator. I believe that last skill is what makes Buddy one of the four patron saints. A great collaborator where all are welcome under his tent that bring something to this new idiom described as Americana.

Buddy is the house band leader for The Americana Music Awards every year, able to play with just about every artist including Robert Plant who when he decided to put together his Band of Joy project, Buddy Miller was his only choice for bandleader. Buddy put together a band of Nashville all-stars that included Darrell Scott as the utility man on everything from fretless banjo to pedal steel.

Last year’s Majestic Silver Strings featured guitarists Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and Greg Leisz, with guest vocalists including Emmylou Harris.

To top that, Buddy is releasing on Black Friday, a new album with Jim Lauderdale, Buddy and Jim.

Buddy’s ability to reinterpret with a working knowledge all things country, rock, old time gospel and folk has singularly help to build a new arm of music radio and business with a firm avenue for those outside the box.

Artists such as The Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons in some way owe some credit to Buddy Miller in helping to define a way to market this new indie branch of the music tree.

Marion James

Marion James may be the most constant and longest lasting member of the Music City Patron Saints. Marion has been a longtime performer and resident living nearby what used to be the hot bed of Blues, Soul, Rhythm and Blues on Jefferson Street. Marion’s biggest hit was The Top 10 Billboard Hit, “That’s My Man.”

Marion James at 30th Annual Musicians Reunion and Benefit, photo- Brad Hardisty

Marion James, known as Nashville’s “Queen of The Blues” was playing on Jefferson Street back in the day with a young Jimi Hendrix who had just gotten out of the military. As a former member of Fort Campbell’s Screaming Eagles, Jimi Hendrix and his new best friend Billy Cox had their own band The King Kasuals but also played with Marion James and others.

The musicians on Jefferson Street, Johnny Jones, Christine  Kittrell, Little Richard, Ray Charles and many others were featured on one of the biggest Rhythm and Blues stations of the day, Nashville’s own WLAC.

Marion was featured prominently in The Country Music Hall of Fame’s exhibit Night Train To Nashville.  A photo of one of her live performances with Billy Cox on bass is featured on Volume Two of the Night Train To Nashville Collection.

Several years ago, Marion James started the Musician’s Reunion shows that featured the stars from back in the day on Nashville’s Northside to benefit the Marion James Musicians Aid Society, that she started to help aging musicians with medical costs as well as support the American Cancer Society and the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Marion James continues to perform today. Marion James recorded in the 80’s a blues landmark album with The Hypnotics that lead to sold out shows in Europe and also released a solo album called Essence that featured Nashville guitarist Jack Pearson as well as session bassist Bob Babbitt.

Recently, Marion released Northside Soul on Ellersoul Records which reached #10 on the Living Blues Charts.

Marion James, not only is an accomplished vocalist, but, writes many of her owns songs. Marion James is The Queen of The South when it comes to the Blues.

Marion continues to support the North Nashville community through her organization as well as efforts to get out the history of Jefferson Street to the rest of the world.

Jack White is probably the newest patron saint as one of the four cornerstones of the Nashville Music Community.  I’m not sure what the tipping point was when Jack decided to move to Nashville, but, I imagine meeting Loretta Lynn and asking if he could produce her must have been a big nod in that direction.

The White Stripes started performing “ Jolene” long before Jack moved to Nashville, but, Van Lear Rose, the album that brought a Grammy nod as well as new ears to listen to Loretta Lynn was a huge milestone.

Wanda Jackson and Jack White (Associated Press Photo)

Since working with Loretta Lynn, Jack has gone onto record with Ricky Skaggs, Produce “The Queen of Rockabilly”, Wanda Jackson, invite Porter Wagoner to open for The White Stripes at Madison Square Garden shortly before his passing and worked with many of Nashville’s Rock and Roll Community while spotlighting its heritage.

Jack represents what Rock and Roll is all about with a balance between the blues, rock and roll and country. Jack and his record company, Third Man Records solidify Music City’s Rock and Roll Community which has seen tremendous growth in the last three to four years.

Nashville, whose first real travelling stars, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, has seen a lot of changes over the years. Lower Broad almost turned into a dangerous ghost town when Opryland took over the Grand Ole Opry and most of what downtown had left musically in the late 70’s.

It took many starts and stops before seeing a permanent positive growth record with the opening of today’s Country Music Hall of Fame and numerous new projects downtown.

Nashville is about to see a new golden age for the “Athens of the South.” Nashville has probably one of the biggest collections of colleges and universities in America. Now, just about every genre of American music has a piece of the pie and venues grow by leaps and bounds.

Peter Frampton may have moved here to early, it definitely spurred him on to return to the guitar in a big way, but, sadly he decided to move before Nashville really started to realize its potential as one of the coolest cities in America.

If you are a musician, especially a guitarist or a songwriter, there is no better place to be in the world today no matter what style you play.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

George Jones Final Show at Bridgestone Arena

Outback Concerts in association with Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones announce the final Nashville show as part of The Grand Tour to be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN on Friday, November 22, 2013.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow, November 16, 2012.

Special guest Tanya Tucker will be on hand for the Nashville concert amongst other friends of The Possum, yet to be announced.

The Grand Tour will have surprises throughout the shows – you never know who may show up!  The Possum has lots of friends so it is going to be the most exciting thing to see who shows up during the final show. You should come too – and we can be surprised together!” said Jones.

George Jones, often referred to as the “the greatest living country singer” will mark the end of an era with 2013’s farewell tour titled “The Grand Tour”. The tour is expected to make approximately 60 stops next year. “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”, “White Lightning” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” will surely be part of each night’s set list, along with plenty of guests and surprises.

Tickets for the Nashville show go on-sale Friday, November 16th at 10am at all Ticketmaster locations.

Fans of ‘The Possum’ can see him at his upcoming concerts listed below or at www.georgejones.com.

George Jones on Tour (2012-2013)
11/09 – Branson, MO – The Mansion Theatre
11/10 – Morton, MN – Jackpot Junction Casino
11/16 – Peoria, IL – Peoria Civic Center
11/17 – Hiawassee, GA – Anderson Music Hall
11/23 – Winnie, TX – Nutty Jerry’s Winnie Arena
11/24 – Bossier City, LA – Horseshoe Casino
12/01 – Elizabeth, IN – Horseshoe Casino
12/15 – Jackson, TN – Carl Perkins Civic Center
02/02 – Tunica, MS – Sam’s Town
02/07 – Lakeland, FL – Youkey Theater
02/22 – Greenville, TX – Greenville Memorial Auditorium
02/23 – Forrest City, AR – East Arkansas Community College
03/15 – Joliet, IL – Realto Square Theater
03/16 – Muncie, IN – Emens Auditorium
03/22 – Chattanooga, TN – Memorial Auditorium
04/05 – Fairfax, VA – Patriot Center
04/06 – Knoxville, TN – Knoxville Coliseum
04/19 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theater
04/20 – Salem, VA – Salem Civic Center
04/27 – Huntsville, AL – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall
05/17 – Charlottesville, VA – John Paul Jones Arena
05/18 – Spartanburg, SC – Memorial Auditorium
06/01 – North Tonawanda, NY – Riviera Theater
06/02 – Lancaster, PA – American Music Theater
11/09 – Grant, OK – Choctaw Event Center

George Jones is the #2 best-charting country artist of all time, with a staggering list of hit singles in every decade since the ’50s.  The Beaumont, Texas native also has 143 Top 40 hits to his name, has received two Grammy Awards, was a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor recipient, is a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, was presented with a GRAMMY(r) Lifetime Achievement Award this year and holds a National Medal of Arts.  At 80, Jones continues to be an active country music superstar, headlining dozens of concerts each year.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com