Archive for September 22nd, 2010

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Today was night and day – or I should say day and night. It started off peaceful and quiet in Rock Island, with a visit to the idyllic Rock Island State Park, complete with picturesque waterfalls and meandering streams. But that was the end of my days of rest. My folks saw me off and I headed for the home of country music: Nashville.

En route I stopped at the airport and picked up my London girlfriends Helen and Keira. They were fresh from a stop in Atlanta, seeing their friend Slash in concert. Believe it or not, even though she’s from London and a true Brit, Helen is Country Music Queen – it seems she knows everyone here. I’m thankful to be along for the ride, since I can’t think of anyone better to show me the city.

I say city, and I guess officially it is – in fact, it even looks like a city as you drive into it. But once here it has a distinctly small, intimate town feel. Maybe it’s the cosy bars, the cowboy hats, the country music or the friendly atmosphere, but it doesn’t at all give you the cold, impersonal vibe that you get (at least at first) in most cities. It’s almost like Nashville’s an old friend rather than a new acquaintance you have to work to get to know. You’re instantly comfortable. 

After some delicious ranch pizza (yum), we went straight to a bar where one of her friends was playing, and then left for another bar for a while to meet other friends (another musician and his sweet wife) for drinks before returning to the first bar for the full show. It wasThe Stage featuring Craig Campbell and he and his band were amazing. They’ll be playing their first show at the Opry in October, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. 

After that we went and saw yet another one of Helen’s friends perform at yet another bar. This time it was Leslie Craig at Tootsie’s. Leslie has an incredible voice and she, along with the very cute and talented Tyler Bailey, covered everything from Johnny and June to Bon Jovi. We had a blast – and yes, Keira, we’re deleting the pics of us dancing on the stage!

Needless to say, it is late and I’m exhausted! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings…

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