Thursday, March 25, 2010
Another early morning departure and another long ride past leafless trees towards Nashville. At least there were a few more hills. We dropped Tara off at her friend Billy Block’s house, then it was off to music city. The van was left at a toyota delership to be serviced and I went for a stroll down broadway, away from downtown. The university area has some cute shops, but I was all about walking the streets under the beating sun. Nashville has some great free arts magazines, puts the express to shame. Arriving back at the dealership, they informed me there was a problem with the van, one of their employees had scraped it against a pole, rear panels were dented there was a black streak on the side. The damage wasn’t horrible and didn’t affect the drive, but it did mean an ongoing problem for Amanda, who’s taking off on a Canadian tour as soon as we get back. Sam and I headed for downtown in search of bluegrass. On the way down broadway we chatted with a couple guys selling tickets to the Nashville Predators game. We got to chatting and he said that people in nashville were “very sociable” and I found it entirely to be the case. He was an example of everyone we met, pleased to meet me, friendly, welcoming. We went a bit further down the street towards where we understood there was some live tunes. Nashville downtown is a wonderfully warm place, each venue has a stage near the front entrance, so music was spilling into the street from every direction. We went to a random bar that had a few ladies playing fiddle and mandolin. Inside, it turned out to be a band called jipsi http://www.jypsi.net/ a blugrass band fronted by four siblings, three sisters and a brother. I was captivated, they were vibrant, skilled players, quirky and each had their own sense of style. They played relentlessly with sustained energy and panache. There website and various links has it all. Later I hit the strip, poking my head in here and there, I think I liked Austin’s strip better, however, there was a cool lady playing the spoons quite well. She had a board on her lap with a washboard strip and various bells and things nailed to it. Listening from a distance I was intrigued, her rhythms were intricate and enticing. After that, I wasn’t booked to play so it was adventure time until the ladies were done their gig. We went back to a friends and ate pizza, it was fun.