AMA Conference – Tuesday, 19th

After arriving in Nashville on Tuesday I was dismayed to discover there were no more rental cars to be had on site without a prior reservation. Three years in New York City has skewed my expectations on public transportation and led to my piss poor planning and not booking a car earlier.

Mt Uncle Tony Lane picked me up on this beautiful, sunny Tennessee day in his big, black Tacoma truck. Agter a detour to his home, my Uncle, who is a local songwriter (Trace Adkins, George Strait, to name couple) and I headed over to the 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill to get a beer and wait for some old friends of his from high-school to fly in from Dallas on their personal plane to eat some BBQ. We caught a show by a friend of Tony’s and had some good old Shiner (Not available in New York, though Lone Star is. Go figure.)

The BBQ place was closed on Tuesdays so we headed up a street a way and ate at a great hole-in-the-wall Tex-Mex joint advertising the “Best Margaritas” (they weren’t.) The food was greasy good, they had a killer Mexican shrimp cocktail and the good old boys reminisced about late nights in Dallas bars.

Later that night I was lucky enough to attend a guitar pull at the legendary Bluebird Café. Besides my Uncle Tony there was Victoria Banks (“Saints and Angels”), Dave Turnbull (“If Something Should Happen”) and Dallas Davidson (“Honkytonk Badonkadonk.”)

The Bluebird is a very ordinary place in a strip mall a little out of town. It looks like the type of place your Grandparents might take you for breakfast when you visit (assuming Grandma’s not up for cooking.) The Bluebird and the crowd that comes to hear the performers are all about the music. Theirs is absolutely NO TALKING during the songs. No “blah blah blah” as some poor girl or guy with a guitar tries to pour their heart out as a crowd of drunken idiots use them as background music. This was a music lover’s Xanadu.

After that, how could it possibly get batter? How about a round of beer and tequila at the Corner Bar with the Bluebird performers and Gary Hannon, a South African and great guy that penned the #1 Joe Nichols hit “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.”

Yeah, I know that the Americana community at large has a certain disdain for pop-country, but the songwriters that work for the machine are as authentic and passionate about their craft as any folkster.

The night was young (1 am), but I needed my sleep for the conference.


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