The weather here is America’s Music City is hot; humid in fact. Clouds are rolling in today and by tonight there will be a chance of rain. On the streets however there has rarely been more optimism. This is not based on anything life-changing or brought on by the new regime. It’s simply this: The Preds are on the attack.
Since I arrived last week Nashville has been hockey mad. No professional sports team from the city has ever won anything of significance in living memory, and for all I know, ever. The Ice Hockey team playing in downtown’s Bridgestone Arena have, however, made a serious attempt to change all of that. 2-0 down to the Penguins in the play-off for the Stanley Cup they have now drawn level after two home games which brought the downtown streets to a standstill. Rock ‘n’ Roll stops the traffic? Country? No…Ice Hockey! It’s all to play for till someone wins four games, but right now you won’t get anyone offering any opinions on anything else until this series has been resolved.
This coming weekend Music City may well have a perfect storm. What used to be called FanFare is now labelled CMA week. It’s when all the country stars come to town and play short sets at the football stadium and all over the city to meet and greet their loyal fan base. I can only imagine the chaos that might ensue given the possibility of all that combining with The Nashville Predators lifting the cup. ‘Go Preds’ as even the sign on the 12th Avenus Mosque reads!
I’m here for 12 days of so meeting up with some great songwriters and having my musical batteries charged. I’ve re-walked the city with Bill DeMain, visited some brilliant recording spaces including my good friends, The Orphan Brigade’s haunted house in Kentucky and found myself playing a song at The Bluebird. It’s the magic of Nashville and the city is as charming, friendly and full-on as ever. Always changing, always growing and often guilty of overlooking some of its better assets this, for me, is still the most compelling centre of music anywhere on earth.
Next week I shall be back in Studio 6 playing you some of the records I’ve discovered on some car rides and record shops but this Tuesday we’ll bring you an hour of country guitar music so it will put you in the mood for an hour with the great Duane Eddy.
Recorded in Nashville’s Musician’s Hall of Fame we’ve been saving this conversation for a suitable occasion. Perhaps this week, when Duane played a gig at The Station Inn with Dan Auerbach to launch Dan’s new album, would seem as good a time as any. It’s Country Twang all the way tonight…..join me from five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland.