February 2nd, 2015
Nashville is “Music City USA”. It is also known as the “Songwriting Capital of the World” and is where music is written, recorded and performed, every single day. Music Row is where it all begins, with a composition. a songwriter and a recording studio.
Music Row is the nerve center of the Music Industry in Nashville with all genres of music being represented: Pop, Rock, Bluegrass, Country, Jazz, Soul, Blues and contemporary Christian music which in itself is a huge industry. It is a small neighborhood, where one will find all the major studios, record labels, music producers, song writers, publishing houses, music licensing, video production, radio and TV networks and some other allied industries that serve the music industry. Many studios are discrete about displaying their name on the door.
We saw the Yoga studio where Miley Cyrus allegedly learned to twerk, Skin RN where Kenny Rogers is alleged to have received “treatments”, a Tattoo Parlor, Wedding Chapel, Real Estate Offices, and some unknown “mysterious houses” with no signage. Apparently anything in Music Row is Legal as long as you pay your taxes, and the consequences for not doing so are irreversible – hence everyone does what they want to do and they pay their taxes.
This is a historic neighborhood and many of the houses are small Craftsman style bungalows while the major labels have built larger more impressive modern buildings, flexing their financial muscles and demonstrating their power. Pip our guide, referred to the Stars by their first name: Carrie (Underwood) is refurbishing a huge studio, Ray (Stevens) seventy seven years old and still working every day, Kenny (Chesney’s) office was very discrete and had no sign although his car was parked in front so it was assumed he was at work, and Brad’s (Paisley) studio was next door also no sign, Reeba’s humongous Studio with a helicopter pad on the roof top, that she was requested not to use because the noise of the helicopters interfered with recordings taking place in some of the Studios. Throughout the tour, Pip kept rattling off the names of songs and then playing them on his guitar. like a one man band. Not being a Country Music follower, I thought I knew very little Country Music – that’s not correct, we all know a lot more than we realize.
Music Row can be a place where dreams come true or hopes are dashed. So much talent and so few making it to the big time. Not only is it talent that is required, but also perseverance, good connections and luck.. We ended our Nash Trash Music Tour at “The Row”, an old Nashville institution with a thirty year history. It is a bar, musical venue, restaurant and hangout for legendary Music Row Songwriters and industry professionals. Pip made sure we tasted the fried pickled greens, dipped in batter, deep fried and tangy. The menu focuses on good American food , and the bar is a magnet, with emphasis on the whiskey and craft beers. Nash Trash Music Confidential Tour was fun filled, irreverent and interesting with a lot of insight into the Nashville Music Industry while “The Row” was an appropriate finale to a fascinating afternoon. Rolling Stone has called Nashville, “The Best Music Scene” and the more I see of Nashville. the more I agree with this statement.