BITTERSWEET, Ky. — During a recent trip to Nashville, I had a chance to go through the Music Row part of town. It is one of the most interesting places in the musical world, with business after business dedicated to the talent that fills this city offering a place to make dreams come true.
Record companies, recording studios, video production businesses and other companies dedicated to the country music world fill this area. It is also one of the biggest tourist areas in the city.
Everyone who goes to Nashville wants to see this sacred place of the country music world. It is where so many hopes are worn on the sleeves of endless performers making their way there trying to break into stardom.
It is a place where you see an endless stream of guitars strapped to backs; bright lights that keep the streets awake at night; the saintly sounds of performers on stages big and small. It is a place where you can feel the energy emitted by newcomers and the spirits of the old-timers who paid their dues there.
But this energy is felt all over the city. No matter where you go, you are in Music City. There is an artist at every venue; each one so talented. They play in hotels and in restaurants and in bars. They play in the airport and on the street corners, and anywhere an audience can be found.
Nashville holds a limitless history of some of the most famous singers in the universe. There are murals and photos and displays all across the town showcasing that history, with faces of superstars who once walked those streets looking for a start.
But the heart of Nashville lies on Music Row. It is the lifeline for those future superstars. It’s not just a place where they want to go; it is like a place where they often feel they must go. It is the portal from obscurity to stardom, and so many have walked through that portal.
You may not have to drive through Nashville to get to your musical destination, but it sure looks good on your résumé.
I heard many performers while there, none of whom I had ever heard of before – but some of these fine musicians will make it to the big show and they will be better off having walked through this place called Music Row.
Bluegrass Johnson comes from a long line of country music performers and enjoys a passion for the rhythm and melody. From the hills of Kentucky, he will offer his opinions on a variety of new country music each week. Readers with questions or comments may write to Johnson in care of this publication.