I spend quite a bit of time thinking about music–listening to it, discussing it, filming or photographing people making it, and more. It’s easy to get caught up in all of that thinking and miss experiencing it. Our night with Richie Scholl at the Bootlegger’s Inn before the Nashville Boogie was a great reminder of why I do it all.
We flew into Nashville a day early, intending to see friends, get our feet on the ground and then head to the Boogie on Thursday. We arranged to stay with our friend Andrew and as luck would have it, he had three and a half hours scheduled on Broadway with one of his bands. Perfect! We figured we’d catch up, see part of his gig, step out, grab some dinner, see some sights and play things by ear.
That all went out the window when they started playing. Classic country and Southern-fried rock don’t get much airplay or thought in our household these days. We enjoy them, but our heads are generally elsewhere, and I’d forgotten how much fun they could be. The room started out empty, but didn’t stay that way for long: We saw a family from Idaho celebrating their son’s 21st birthday, a bunch of accountants in town for a convention, a group of suburban moms out for a good time, and were eventually joined by a couple of friends from Seattle who happened to be in town to see family. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood, just out for a good time, and the band did a great job of delivering it.
People who spend a lot of time around music tend to sneer at cover bands and their fans. Wednesday was a vivid reminder that live music and those classic songs, the ones we all know but might have almost forgotten, have the power to tie us all together. We didn’t get around to sightseeing until after the band finished, and along the way, that crowd of complete strangers came to feel like old friends.