Ask Andrew: How Would You Describe The Live Music Scene?


Posted By Ask Andrew | Nov 23, 2015


So the night is winding down, and I'm strolling down Broadway after leaving Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar, a spirited joint where the bands play everything from "Born Under A Bad Sign" by Albert King to "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers to "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars.

On the corner up ahead, people are cheering. I can hear music, but the dancing crowd hides the source. As I get closer, amidst the crowd is a drummer and a street rapper, crouching below a raised speaker. The beat from the drums has the crowd swaying from side to side as the rapper spits fresh rhymes into his mic. You can't help but be hooked by the energy. And without warning, the street rapper breaks into the chorus.

High-fives and cheers are given throughout the crowd as it slowly slowly disperses. This duo was awesome... on a street corner and jamming like they were on stage at BB King's Club, a restaurant and bar where the bands play Jazz, Blues, Old School R&B and current urban hits. The house band, The BB King Allstars, is lead by Tony Coleman, a former drummer for the King himself.

If only the night were younger, I could head over to V Lounge, a piano bar near Vanderbilt University, and enjoy the silky voice of John Jonethis singing Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon". And if that were not enough, the Wooten Brothers getting funky at 3rd & Lindsley are sure to leave me wanting more. I call it a night and head off to meet my Uber. Yes, Nashville is Uber and Lyft friendly.

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Ask Andrew: How Would You Describe The Live Music Scene?

Because of shows like The Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw that aired for 25 seasons, it is easy to see how one would call my city the home of Country music. Yes, we host the CMT Awards, CMA Festival, CMA Awards and countless other country music events, but know this, we are Music City. When it come to Country music in Nashville, one distinct world is that of song-writers. The Blue Bird Cafe is the city's most recognized song-writer venue; made popular again by the tv hit show, NASHVILLE. A more accessible song-writer option and located downtown is The Listening Room. The most exciting world of Country music is that of the singer and entertainer. Many take to the stage at venues that line both sides of Broadway; Honky Tonk Row. The culture of Nashville's honky tonks is quite unique. Live music starts around 12 noon and ends before 3:00 AM (which is closing time). A tip bucket is usually passed around for the band. Don't be surprised to hear the lead singer say, "Raise your glass for a holla and a swalla. Now everybody holla [crowd screams]. Now swalla [crowd takes a drink]."

My favorite honky tonks include: Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Robert's Western World, The Stage on Broadway, Honky Tonk Central, Whiskey Bent Saloon and Bootleggers Inn. I can't leave out Loser's near Vanderbilt. TIP: Have your drink order ready, as bartenders are quite busy. Use the back door at Tootsie's, Roberts and The Stage when there are long lines at the front.

Locals and visitors alike enjoy live Blues, Jazz, R&B, Bluegrass, Rock, Classical, Rock-A-Billy, Americana and Country 365 days a year. My first words of advice are to open yourself to the many genres of music performed live every day of the week and you too will see why we are Music City.

Catch the Nashville rhythm in April for Qvidian's Connect Conference. Now you know why Nashville is called " Music City" and why Qvidian picked it for their annual user conference. This is a Grand Ole' Opportunity you don't want to miss!