The Nashville Diary
LGA’s Country & Bluegrass specialist Luca Serino has been spending some time in Nashville – America’s Live Music Capital! Check out his blog here……
I spent a week in Nashville over the Christmas holidays; this was not my first visit, in fact it was visit number six, so pilgrimage may be more appropriate.
I could write at length about Nashville as the ideal city without ever mentioning music: excellent (and reasonably priced) food, beautiful neighbourhoods (also reasonably priced, for now, if you ever think of moving), friendly locals with a soothing accent, an unintimidating skyline and a maximum commute of 15 minute anywhere within the city.
Oh, and I had a life changing guitar lesson with Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers and fellow Tony Rice disciple, but that deserves its own chapter in the diary so will tell you about it next time.
But Nashville is Music City, USA and my enduring memories of the city the music: almost every musician I have heard there I would consider somewhere between ‘the next big thing’ and simply world class.
Here are some the highlights of what I heard (and saw):
Part 1 – Dan Donato and the Cosmic Country Band
After dipping in and out of a few honky tonks on Broadway, all with excellent live music, we landed on ‘the one’ – Nudies – where the ‘Cosmic Country Band’ were playing a mix of Elvis, Johnny Cash and other classics. The band featured Dan Donato on guitar who consistently blew away even the most jaded listeners on Broadway (doormen in their 70s wearing large brim Stetsons who look a lot like Bill Monroe).
Listening to him reminded me of the difference between a virtuoso and a real pro – taste, restraint and groove – he could shred better than almost anyone I’ve seen but also did so at the appropriate time; more importantly his rhythm was impeccable and he did not waste a single note.
I looked Dan up afterwards and he is all over the web – Guitar Player Magazine calls him the new “Master of Telecaster”:
Oh, and he mentioned that they play at Nudie’s for 4 hours, 3 days a week – that’s how the Beatles got their chops while in Hamburg!
Anwyway, enough talking, here’s the music: