The first stop on our big-time Christmas vacation was Music City: Nashville, Tennessee.
Rose had never been to Nashville, so when we were planning the trip, we decided that it would be fun to check it out. Having been there before, I requested that if we go to Nashville, we have to make a stop in Memphis after. Y'know, just to compare. Of course, I already knew which one the winner was, but I wanted Rose to judge for herself.
For the "big city" stops, we opted to be lame campers and stay at KOAs. They might not be the backwoods campgrounds that we're used to, but they always have good spots close to the cities. The Nashville KOA was incredible! Everything was brand new and well-kept with tons of amenities. They even had a giant chessboard and a bouncy pillow! Since nobody was there, Rose and I naturally had to give the pillow a few jumps.
The best part of the KOA was that they offered a shuttle service into the city. That meant no driving, no fighting traffic, and drinking all the beer we want!
After an afternoon of bouncing, we took the shuttle into the city to begin our adventure downtown. We made it to the main drag and walked up and down one time to get a feel for which bars looked good; there were about a thousand of them. Each one had live music, and some of them even had different bands on each level.
We decided to ease into the Nashville experience and chose one of the bars that wasn't extra busy. We got some beer, ate some nachos, and Rose tried out a drink called Bushwhacker, which was basically a spiked milkshake. We started the night off right!
Next up, we went to one of the busier bars with live music. The bottom floor was rocking! Tons of people crowding the stage and loud noises in all directions - not really for us. The second floor was a little quieter, but the band wasn't as good. It seemed to be that the better the band was, the lower level they performed on. The second floor band wrecked a Pearl Jam song, so we decided to go up one more flight of stairs.
The third floor band was what you'd expect from a third floor band, but at least it was quiet. We had a few beers on the balcony overlooking main street before deciding to try another bar.
One of Rose's coworkers said that the last time he was in Nashville, he didn't get in to Alan Jackson's bar. Naturally, we had to show him up. We got in no problem. Again, there were three levels of live music. The bottom floor was pretty busy, so we decided to go straight for the roof. It turned out to be the best choice of the night!
At the top was a guy with a guitar talking to the bartender. That's it. When we got there, I asked, "Where is everyone?" To which he replied, "I was about to ask you the same question." It was a lot of fun. We got to request songs and basically have a private concert. The singer was okay, not great, but that was perfectly fine with us. He didn't seem super into the music. Finally, we got it out of him that he usually plays originals, but they frowned upon playing them in Nashville bars. Apparently, they only want songs that people know, despite how boring that may be. Since it was only us, he played some of his originals and it was a 100% different sound. He was incredible! It just goes to show that you should be yourself at all times. Otherwise, you end up being a boring cookie-cutter clone.
Oh, and after his set, I got to make my Nashville debut! He handed me his guitar and I got to play a song on a real Nashville stage - albeit with an audience of three.
When we got back to the trailer after such a great night, Rose asked me if I would play again in Memphis if I got the opportunity. I told her I'd play in Nashville a hundred times, but I'm not good enough for Memphis. She soon realized what I meant...
He likes pizza.