With Alberta Crewed tucked away for her summer rest, we have the chance to see some land-sights on our drive home to Canada. I'll dip back into this season on the boat in my next blog but here we are already in Nashville.
Hey it looks so uneventful, so quiet and discreet,
But a lot of lives were changed there on that little one-way street,
'Cause they walked away from everything just to see a dream come true,
God bless the boys who make the noise on 16th Avenue.
On quiet night watches at sea, we each have a playlist of music to help pass the time. I have an ipod of 18,000 songs thanks to my friend Greg, along with several podcasts from the CBC. Craig is a simple kind of guy when it comes to music. His ipad has 19 songs: “The Last Wild Place Anthology” album by Lacy J. Dalton and one song by Johnny Cash,“I Walk the Line”. He listens to his vast library repeatedly without seeming to tire of it. His favourite song is 16th Avenue which you may listen to while you’re reading this if you wish. Craig only knows how to tune the radio to the country stations when not singing along to Lacy J. Nashville is Craig's mecca.
16th avenue is also known as Music Row in Nashville and is the heart of the country music industry. It is a rather non-descript street where country music writers and producers have their offices and recording studios. As luck would have it, our hotel was half a block away. Craig is not typically excitable but he was pretty happy to be in Nashville and on this street. We had one day in Nashville so toured the Ryman Auditorium, which housed the Grand Ole Opry from 1927 to 1974. Johnny Cash met June Carter backstage at this iconic theatre and Elvis played there in 1954. Our day continued with visits to the Country Music Hall of Fame and on to the present day Grand Ole Opry theatre. As luck would have it, a new convention centre was opening across from the Hall of Fame with celebrations including a street concert. We were not able to see an Opry performance but the street concert was a stunning second fiddle. Artists included Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow as we munched on delicious food truck cuisine 50 feet from the stage for the 3 hour concert. Craig’s knowledge beyond country music is rather limited. “Who is Sheryl Crow?” I quizzed to see if he had any idea who we were about to see. “I guess she must be a singer but isn’t she the one who dated Lance Armstrong?” Close, I suppose, but it didn't matter. Craig's day-long grin continued well into the evening as we walked Broadway Street which is lined with dozens of Honky Tonk bars. Hopeful musicians play their hearts out hoping to be discovered and a festive atmosphere carries on for several blocks. I think I even saw Craig tapping his toes.