Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Americana Music Festival and Conference, Day 2

My mind is still spinning from yesterday. So much so I’m not sure where to begin or what to put down.

If you want to fast forward to some good coverage of the Americana Music Awards show, click here for the official story. I still can’t believe that a.) we got to vote for all those fine awards and b.) we got to see the show itself! Some of our picks panned out, others didn’t. But all in all, an excellent time.

Yesterday found us taking in a lot of things prior to the “big show” at The Ryman. And as creatures of habit, some of our very favorite things. We took a break from lanyards and swag bags and found time for a little stroll. Impromptu stroll shot. Happy faces. Love life!

First stop, Gruhn Guitars. What a treat to stop in mid-day, mid-week when the place was somewhat empty. We made sure not to drool… too much. Dave had his eye on a Gretsch Country Gentleman before we strolled over to the acoustic section. While I have my faves, I’ve always loved the look (and sound when played by others than I) of the Gibson Hummingbird. Of course, there had to be one there with the red sides. And I had to remind Dave… don’t touch!

The stop at Gruhn was productive. Dave was able to ask the pros a few questions regarding my mom’s Martin (we learned some things about pre-1985 Martins) and I loaded up on guitar picks. We also had one of those classic ‘Dave & Jacqui’ encounters with a fellow traveler.

His name is Ben. He’s a retired Criminal Justice professor from Texas A&M… yes, as in REK & Lyle College Station. ANYWAY we bumped into Ben as he was picking up this guitar.

Now there’s quite a back story to this (and I’m sure y’all are scratching your heads as I’m leaving it at that) but I do hope that he and his wife have a grand drive through Kentucky into West Virginia. Find that jam, Ben … and then find eBay. Yours is a glorious plan.

Our wanderings took us to Hatch Show Print. All the cool cats were there (Huey & Maow) and it was fun to chat with the folks who keep this little bit of Americana in motion.


It also was great to get a bit whiff of printer’s ink. It’s better than coffee in the morning, any day. (And you know how I love my coffee.) If you aren’t familiar with Hatch then I highly recommend this great piece about its history.

As we were leaving Hatch, Dave started to ask me if I wanted to look at boots. I love it when he talks to me that way. So we started to meander once again. For grins we went into Boot Country where you can buy one pair at regular price and get two pair free. I don’t know why we go into that store because really, they will never have that dream boot of mine. By nature, the store and it’s wares a bit pedestrian and touristy, a quantity versus quality experience. It was fun to look and easy to move on.

We spied a new place across the way called Betty Boots that we wanted to check. Just by the window you could tell this WAS more the place. Unfortunately, they had a no photo policy in store and that’s a shame. So many beautiful things I wanted to capture and stash in my dream book. Beautiful boots, clothes (all with vintage inspiration and flair), satchels. Dave kept encouraging me to try on a pair but I was a bit shy. Definitely closer and perhaps there (the aqua one with the red detail from the window is the one he kept picking up) but in time.

Now, while I’ve had my thing for boots, Dave has had his thing for hats. I’m not talking cowboy hats (as we all know that’s not quite ‘him’) but something else with a bit of flair. He almost left without it. But then it called back to him. Similar to the instantaneous bond between boy and puppy, this man and this hat were made for each other. Mission success!

We were able to meet up with Jake Mauer during his acoustic set at Rippy’s. He sat with us a bit to catch up and talk about his current project. It’s funny how this long-distance connection continues to thrive and like with a lot of things, I’m not questioning, just enjoying. Sometimes, people were just destined to meet up with other people. Jake played us ‘Wagon Wheel’ for old times sake and then with our encouragement, treated us to one of his new songs. It was splendid and we both really hope this guy gets his break. Funny thing, after he sang one of his songs someone came up to him and bought one of his CDs. He looked our way and I just said, “See… what happens when you play one of yours?” We’re going to catch up with Jake and his full band later this weekend.

So, I end this one with where I started… the 10th Annual Americana Awards show. Jim Lauderdale was the host and as he said what makes this genre of music so special is the people. People who put music first. Music that represents us all. As we sat in the Ryman, the Mother Church of Music filled with ghosts, spirit and splendor, we felt so right. And that in and of itself felt so good. What a treat. What a celebration. What a journey. Not just this past year but the past twenty-one.

The show had plenty of surprises and outstanding performances, too many for me to replay. But all jumbled up in my heart and my soul it took on a magic of its own. Rarely am I spellbound but for those few hours, it was a genuine emotion. For others in attendance, it was just another awards show. But for us, that night and that music will always be simply perfect. ~Jacqui

October 14, 2011 - Posted by | AmericanaFest 2011, Dave, Everyday

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for your posts about your trip. Loving reading them, and so very happy for you. Wishing you all the best, Sue

    Comment by Sue Dolan | October 14, 2011 | Reply


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