Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nashville Cats.

As I posted on my other blog, April and I spent a few days in Nashville a couple weeks ago. Actually, she won a trip to see the CMT Awards, travel and lodging accommodations paid for, pre and post party, and tickets to the show. She's lucky like that.

She asked if I'd like to go--before I knew that she had won a free trip. I danced around the question at first, mainly because I couldn't justify spending our own money on an impromptu trip to see an awards show that, frankly, I couldn't get that excited about. Then I heard the word "free".


Once again, if it were the "80s Metal Awards" or "Obscure St. Louis Cardinals From the Past Awards" I would have been all over it from the get-go. But there was honestly a bit of hesitation, even after I found out it was free. I regret having any hesitation and am thankful that I put all reluctantcies aside. It was an absolute blast.

Without going into every little detail...the gist of the story is that I did something that I will probably never have the opportunity to do again. And I did it VIP style! Yes, we were pampered. From the chauffeur holding the "Reins-Todd" sign for us at the airport and promptly getting us into our black Escalade, hotel-bound--to mingling at the pre-party with celebs and free cocktails. Yes, I could get used to this brand of living.

I touched on it in my other blog...but the history of the music and the culture was incredible. It opened my eyes to the industry, and how the times have changed--yet stayed the same.

Ryman Auditorium. Home to Roy Acuff, Grandpa Jones, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, and many, many others.

The honkytonks on Broadway were a bit touristy--as was the entire state of Tennessee this particular week, with Country Music Appreciation Week, CMTs, and Bonnaroo Music Fest all coinciding. But they were all still true to their roots. Robert's Western World was my favorite, mainly because I recognized their neon sign from the album cover of a BR549 record. Where other bars had a more Pop-Country band playing, Robert's bands had a more traditional feel to it. More of a Hank Sr, Johnny Cash, Rockabilly style. Much more my scene. Witnessed an incredible band, The Travis Mann Band (http://www.travismannband.com/). I've attached a video so you can see for yourselves. And although the audio isn't that great, the bass player may be the best I've ever heard.

The Awards themselves were extremely entertaining. I'm not a Rascall/Toby guy, but it was still entertaining. Especially just seeing how a live show of this caliber works. The infrastructure, the planning, the timing, the teamwork--all very impressive. And getting up close to Shania, Sheryl, and Sara was well worth the price of admission.

The after party was what my wife would describe Heaven to be. Commingling with celebrities, open bar with top shelf bottles, catering by Iron Chef Kat Cora. Hell, Justin Bieber was even there!

April with celebrities of whom I do not know names of.

It was a phenomenal experience. And I'm glad I did it.


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