On Thursday 8th June 2017 I embarked on a journey to Nashville to fulfil a life long dream of playing my own songs over there. It started as most journeys do… with a beer at the airport! Ok, I bought 2 because the queue was long ha!
While waiting to board, I did a little journalling and tried to chill out although by this point, the nerves were kicking in. At this point, I realised I’d forgotten to burn CD’s to give out!
After a 6 hour flight, I arrived at JFK Airport, New York. The Big Apple! I will never forget seeing the New York City skyline from the window as we landed. I have to visit New York soon! 3 more hours in the air to Nashville!
I arrived in Nashville at 4pm (local time) and as I walked through the airport, the excitement was rising. There was live music in the bar, in the airport! Country music was playing over the speaker system, yep, it was Nashville alright! I got an Uber and headed straight for my apartment for the weekend. My legs felt like they hadn’t moved in a week so I took a walk around the area to get something to eat. A cobb salad and Cheetos and lots of water! Hydration is key to good vocals!! I journaled a bit more and wrote about how I would definitely stay awake as late as I could so I wouldn’t wake up at 4am the next morning, then I took a shower. 5 minutes later… zzzzz!
4am, I woke up (ha!) I walked down to the supermarket again but it wasn’t open so I got a coffee from Subway! I was very surprised at how much I missed home. That sounds so horrible but I’ve never been one to get home sick and love travelling alone, not that I don’t love holidays with my husband or family! Ever since I was little, I’ve coped well with being away. I came to the conclusion that it is because I was out of my comfort zone so I was craving familiarity! The nerves were almost definitely setting in. By 11:30am my hair and make-up were done and I was on my way to Downtown Nashville.
I arrived at PLUSH lounge, my venue and waited to go on. At 3:40pm my time arrived and I did my set. Unfortunately, my guitar was playing up and I experienced a lot of feedback but I made it work for me. I think I sang well and it was an absolutely amazing feeling being up on the stage in Nashville! As always, I was hard on myself and I was so disappointed about my guitar but it all comes with the territory! They offered me another set on Saturday. After I’d finished up at PLUSH, I headed to The Johnny Cash Museum for a coffee. Then, realising I hadn’t eaten since 6am, I headed to the more remote bars Downtown. During CMA fest, Nashville is so busy, like you cant walk straight without bumping in to someone! I found one and sat down to eat some fries and have a Jack Daniels Honey of course! And there was live music so I was happy to sit there for a few hours and you couldn’t get more country than sitting at a bar with my guitar, drinking Jack Daniels!
The next day after waking up at 4am again! I headed back down to PLUSH but decided, in the end, I would rather not play when my guitar wasn’t playing properly. A decision I definitely do not regret, I am almost certain that I will get another chance to play over there. I will make it happen, but first I want to gain as much experience as I can playing to country audiences. I had a great day exploring CMA Fest and even got to watch a show in the Ryman Auditorium, or the mother church as it’s well know in the country music community. Then I headed back to my apartment.
After shopping in Target (my new favourite shop in the world!), packing my suitcase which, after the shopping trip was tricky to close, I went to sleep for my early flight back to Manchester.
The whole experience was so unreal, I never thought that I’d get the chance to play in Nashville, especially so early in my musical journey. It’s an amazing place and in only a couple of days, I feel like I know so much more about the industry and the people in it! I learned what my next steps are in my music career and how to get my songs heard! Although the only negative was that it was very overwhelming, CMA Fest is absolutely crazy! I’m taking a week or two to step back and let the experience sink in and then it’s full throttle to the EP launch in July! One more track to go and it’s finished!
Nashville: Forever in my heart, always on my mind.
Thanks for reading!