Music, Personal

Nashville: Why I Love Music City

Nashville – a place which has firmly taken up a huge space in my heart. Ever since I heard my first country song, or the unmistakable sound of a fiddle’s strings above the notes of a steel pedal guitar, Nashville has always been right where I truly wanted to be. Forget London. Forget Paris. I’d always dreamed about music city for as long as I can remember, never really thinking I’d ever in my life actually get to go. Nashville is over 4,000 miles away. How on earth was I going to get there if I was terrified of planes and defiant in my belief that if went on a boat across the Atlantic, it would surely sink?

But I took a leap of faith. If I was going to die, at least I was going to die trying!

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With my bags packed and a suitcase half empty just so I could fill it up with cowboy boots, I hopped on that plane and, last year, I finally made it to Nashville. I couldn’t believe I was right there, walking the streets, feeling that fresh southern breeze glide across my face, and taking in the sweet, heady heat of the vibrant music city amid the galore of cowboy boot stores, rooftop bars, and live music venues open all day long. I was in country music heaven. What was there not to love about this?

But it’s hardly just the music. I love the history too. From the bloody battlefield of the American Civil War, where thousands died, right up to the thriving modern city it is today, Nashville is steeped in history with vibrant stories laying open and ready to tell. During my stay, I visited a house that sits on a more unforgiving side of history: Belle Meade Plantation. Previously home to a wealthy confederate supporter, this rich family once boasted the largest slave holding in Nashville. And, astonishingly, almost as rich and powerful as it was over 150 years ago, Belle Meade is still a distinct area for homes belonging to the rich and famous. Needless to say, from a historical, political, and personal point of view, it was fascinating to drive around these stunning homes, many of them proudly flying their American flag high for all to see.

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Belle Meade Mansion

On a less miserable note, I think what I love most about Nashville is the fact that everybody is so welcoming out there. When I visited the Loveless Café with some new-found friends, a famous venue for ‘real southern food’, we had a busy table of over twenty people. When we apologised for being so loud, the waitress simply came back with, ‘Honey, I love a hoopla!’ The people there are full of southern charm and it was a quality I was surprised to notice in everyone, not just in the friendly Boot Barn sales attendant called Tyler (who called me Miss Emily), or the taxi driver who drove us everywhere, or even the pilot on our flight who braved a ferocious thunder and lightning storm, all while keeping us safe up in the air. (Not going to lie, I was terrified!) Of all the cities in this big wide world, there’s just something about this one which screams, ‘Welcome!’ It’s right there in people’s smiles, in their hello’s and even in their general mannerisms. Sadly, I can’t say the same about Chicago. That was a city that instilled all kinds of fear in me.

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Whilst spending time in Nashville, I learned that this sparkling city is the true ‘Hollywood’ of country music, where stars can walk right down the street next to you, or you can bump into them at a local restaurant devouring their favourite dish. This city has so much to offer, with bars, museums, stadiums, and filming locations dotting the famous Broadway boulevard alone.

To end, I’ve always believed that Nashville, for me, is another home from home. I just couldn’t believe my luck that, when I got there, I still felt the same. All throughout my stay, the air was balmy and the food was full of flavour like I’ve never tasted. The smell of the street on Broadway as you’re walking past open doored bars, star studded restaurants and the guzzle of petrol and diesel engines as you’re trying to get to your next music fix, was all incredible. Despite the full-on security of (still friendly) officials checking there wasn’t a gun tucked away in your purse somewhere, I was sorely sad to go home. There was still so much to see.

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A bustling hub of talented songwriters, powerful music and, most of all, endless inspiration, Nashville is an incredible place in this world and – surprise, surprise – I have every intention of going back.

 

Music

Stay Beautiful

Falling in love with her was different and it’s something I can’t expect to ever get back. I’m contemplating a new love, another young female country star, one that’s slowly set to become the future starlet of country music. But she is different, she is older and she, well, she isn’t her. I fell for my first love – the one – when I was young, ripe, on the brink of becoming a wilting, unsteady thirteen year old. To find love that young and to know that it’s a love that has strengthened over years still, that it continues to fills me with happy tears whenever I think of her (apart from when those tears fester into something that burns) is startling and I don’t think I will ever find it again.

I have to face that she is no longer mine, and she no longer belongs to country music – despite whatever invitations and awards she may get credited for by the CMAs. This is sad, I know, but true.

To contemplate another love, a brighter, shinier, newer love seems almost wrong. I can’t seem to break away from the first. I know it’s what needs to be done and it’s what has to be so. Isn’t that what all first loves are like? To keep going back to it is devilishly unhealthy but I’m rooted so deeply and firm that it’s hard to unravel myself, and spin out into the opening arms of somebody else, somebody that will actually have me.

I’ll always remember her, the way she was, and not the way everybody likes her to be now, with her bright red lipstick and permanently straightened hair; her drawling, repetitive songs that bear no country twang whatsoever, and her persistence on looking sexy now just for appearances, instead of wearing Texas made dresses and lush, amazing cowboy boots. Like she used to.

Perhaps it is time to let go. I know everybody tells me so. Some even roll their eyes over the way I will still disintegrate into splinters whenever she makes an appearance on television – British Television instead of American. This may seem unhealthy but for a long time she was the best thing that had ever been mine. Now, she simply belongs to everyone else.

I know, I’m so full of angst.

I won’t ever let go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornwall, Fashion, Hobbies, Music

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

Recently scouring the depths of eBay, I became hooked on searching through pages and pages of cowboy boots. Being an enthusiastic fan of Texas country music, I tend to do this every few months. Usually, I never buy any though, either because the ones available just don’t look right, or are too expensive. I love them, but I will not spend over £25 on cowboy boots online for the chance that they may not even fit me properly. I have tiny baby feet.

So, you can imagine my delight when I found some that:
a) weren’t too expensive
b) actually looked gorgeous!

I am proud to say I bid on them and am now the grateful and lucky owner of these fine, black leathers:

I have a brown pair, not dissimilar yet I’m sad to say these are slowly falling apart. In this dreadful weather, I’ve had to superglue them from falling apart when I came home with my feet soaking wet and little damp patches on my sad little cat socks!

I was happy, with this pair, yet the next day I got an email from eBay saying that I had also won a fabulous pair of PINK cowboy boots – new – and they were awaiting my payment.

Oops … I had gone a little crazy with the bidding on several items. I never thought I would win an item. I never thought I would win those black ones! I proceeded to the link the email had sent me and, well, fell in love with these pink ones too. I said yes to the payment and they arrived a couple days later. Now, they are sat beneath my desk, with all my other pairs of shoes (largely, yes, boots) and looking damn fine.

What beauties!

 

So far, I have acquired five pairs of cowboy boots:

One Vintage, one brown pair from a store in Plymouth that recently became friends with the superglue, two suede (one pink, one brown), and these fine black ones from this post just recently. I am waiting to be united with them soon by the postman. 

I cannot wait!