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Is Nashville any fun?
Old 06-08-2017   #1
davidnewtonguitars
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Is Nashville any fun?

Going to Music City week after next.
Other than the vintage guitar shops that I must visit, what are some under-the-radar cool places to go with my wife & 22 y.o. hipster guitar playing photographer son.
A small-venue concert would be nice, a little country western history is ok, steering clear of the G.O.O.
What street is best for wandering up and down after dark?
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Old 06-08-2017   #2
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I live in East TN and my son lives there and I'm in two art galleries there so I'm over there often.

If you don't have a place to stay and have some extra cash Union Station is THE place to stay. It's the Nashville end of the L&N railroad. It's a magnificent rail station from the turn of the century that's now a premium Hotel. It's worth just going to see it. It on Broad just a couple of blocks from the country bars.

Next door to Union Station is the Frist Center. It's the old post office and is a massif example of 1930's Art Deco. The Frist is also a really fine art museum. I was over there a few weeks ago to see the Irving Penn exhibit. There were nearly 200 of his most famous prints. Unfortunately I don't think it's still up but they always have great art and photo exhibits.

A couple of blocks away on Broad are the country bars. I'd recommend Tootsies Orchid Lounge as a start. It's where the old Opry stars hung out. It's small and much like it was years ago. Sometimes it's really crowded.

There are a lot of places on Broad and a few blocks up 1st and 2nd ave. Ive not been to printers alley in years but it's where the print shops were. Nashville has a huge printing industry. Much of it is religious literature for Methodist and Baptist publishing. Anyway printers alley had several clubs. Interesting and was fun the last time I went there.

There's the country music hall of fame and probably lots of sports stuff. The Titans are based there.

For guitars you have to go to George Gruhn's. He was located on Broad but moved. You'll need to look up his address. He's the man and you never know who'll be there.

Have fun!
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Old 06-08-2017   #3
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Forgot, check to see if there's anything at the Rhyman auditorium. It's where the original Grand Old Opry was. There are concerts a couple of times a week. It's a great venue. My wife and I drive over for concerts.

Nashville is pretty safe especially in the tourist areas. Be prepared for traffic if youre on the road at rush hour. It's not quite Atlanta traffic but it's really heavy.
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Old 06-08-2017   #4
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A little interesting note about Nashville. Unfortunately the store closed after Docs death but Nashville had one of the largest Leica stores in the US until the late 80's. This was in the day when Leica was a professional tool not a toy for enthusiasts. It was a drugstore on Gallagin Rd. Doc McGinnis was the owner and pharmacist and it wasn't unusual to find 50+ M bodies and a hundred or more M lenses on the shelves. He kept a stash of rare items in the narcotics safe. He also carried a large inventory of Nikon, Hasselblad and other premium cameras and a few Bandaids and aspirin if you looked around a little.

It was easy to spot Doc's because he had a 6' Leica on the top of the store. Doc always loved cutting you a great deal on anything in the store.
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Old 06-08-2017   #5
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Never been there, gotta be a few good rockabilly bands?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrbi3yOkYiU
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Old 06-08-2017   #6
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B.B Kings Blues Club. Also lots ok great photo opps. We had a great time and im not even a country music fan. The American Pickers have a big old building full of stuff. I would go back in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-09-2017   #7
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Thanks, so far!
We are staying in Smyrna, we'll be driving in & out each day. Everyone has warned us of the traffic, but so be it.
I think we will be hovering around the neon, it would be neat to see a concert at the Rhyman.
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Old 06-09-2017   #8
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If you like old oddball cars, don't miss the Lane Museum. Very worthy of a visit IMHO.

I aslo recommend Edley's BBQ at 12 Av S. Very tasty food, very nice craft beer, very nice people.
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Old 06-09-2017   #9
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I've been living in Nashville since 1988. It has changed a lot the last few years. TONS of development going on, lots of apartments being built everywhere, as well as new restaurants and shops. I can't keep up with all the newness.

Anyway, Centennial Park, famous for its full size replica building of the Parthenon in Greece, is a huge place near Vanderbilt University to chill out or have a picnic... Gruhn Guitars does indeed have some crazy-valuable vintage instruments, and there is a Guitar Center chain store in Berry Hill area that is a huge toy store for musicians. They have a nice acoustic guitar room... If your son likes the music of Jack White, you must go to White's Third Man Record store next to downtown. (It was once a large photo studio that I worked in)... If you're coming to Nashville, you must have hot chicken, which it has become famous for. The real deal is Prince's Hot Chicken, but there are a few imitators that are alright, like Hattie B's on Charlotte Ave.. I'll second Lane Motor Museum for their unusual old European cars & more. Nice big family owned place, see their website... I'm a boring old dad, so I can't help much on entertainment venues, haha...
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Old 06-09-2017   #10
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Smyrna is a pretty good hike from Nashville. You'll be about 3 hours each way.

If you're driving in from The Atlanta area you'll you north on I-75 to Chattanooga. Chattanooga to Nashville on I-24. I-24 takes you close to Lynchburg where the Jack Daniel distillery is. It's worth swinging by and taking the tour. You'll also go near Shelbyville and the George Dickel distillery is there. I think they do tours also.

You'll go through some beautiful country on I-24. You'll go up Monteagle mountain too. I knew a Moonshiner up there in the 60's Lawt Gudger.

If you stop in Chattanooga there's the aquarium and the Hunter Museum. Chattanooga used to be pretty quiet but gangs are hanging around the downtown area so be careful.
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Old 06-09-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
Smyrna is a pretty good hike from Nashville. You'll be about 3 hours each way. l
Smyrna is only about 30 minutes from downtown Nashville.

Last edited by Kenomatic : 06-09-2017 at 18:32. Reason: Time correction
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Old 06-09-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomatic View Post
I've been living in Nashville since 1988. I can't keep up with all the newness. ...
Thanks Ken, Gruhn's and Carter Vintage guitars are on my list, plus Cotten's. Third Man Records is #1 on my son's list, we hope to cut a demo record there, if we can hit it right.
Thanks for the tip about hot chicken.
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Old 06-09-2017   #13
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The Nashville Scene is a local, long running free weekly newspaper, that keeps up with all things hip in Nashville. You might study their website for some good, non-touristy places to go: nashvillescene.com
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Old 06-09-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomatic View Post
Smyrna is only about 30 minutes from downtown Nashville.
How about that, didn't know there's one in TN. There's a Smyrna just outside Atlanta too.
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Old 06-09-2017   #15
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If you are driving in from out of state then by all means stop at any of the interstate visitors centers, most are close to the state lines. They have a wealth of tourist info plus free state maps. A great place to start your trip. Posters have given some very good info but some is not quite correct, George Dickel distillery is in Tullahoma, just 6 miles from my house. GeorgeD. is about a 30 minute drive from Exit 111 on I-24. As for music, I find "Music City Roots" in Franklin to be quite unique, bluegrass, country, rockabilly, a very enjoyable venue. Google it. As mentioned Prince's Hot Chicken is a must do, If you get the "HOT" it WILL light you up, they also have mild and normal. If you want a little Southern history go to the Belle Meade Mansion or the Hermitage. Plenty of options for a scenic country road trip, just about any road East, South, or West will get you into rolling hills. There are lots and lots things to do, you'll find you'll run out time real quick.
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