Photographer's Note

Nashville, Tennessee: the home of American Country music. Nashville has long been the center of the country music scene, since some of the first recordings and labels were founded there after World War II. Country music itself has a fascinating history, which I explored a bit in my time in Tennessee; a combination of old English, Scottish and Irish folk songs, mixed with cowboy songs of the West as well as African American music and rhythm, country music is one of the many hybrid music forms to come out of the American South. Jazz and Blues are two other important examples - uniquely American forms of music, built upon the immigrant experiences of their forebearers.

The District - a downtown area centered on Broadway - is the modern heart of the country music scene in Nashville. Much like Memphis' Beale Street or the French Quarter in New Orleans, Broadway is at the same time the vital heart of the country music performance scene in Nashville and a major tourist trap and party zone. Brightly lit by neon, with music pouring from every open door, even in winter it seems not unlike spring break.

Here we see a few of the establishments along the street; the only one I entered whose sign is visible here is the distant Honky Tonk Grill. The etymology of the term 'Honky Tonk' is for the most part unknown, but the term itself basically simply means a country bar. I'll post a couple shots from acts in the Honky Tonk Grill, and others, in the next few days.

This was taken handheld at a 1/15 second exposure while holding up the people I was with, who were trying to get into a bar. Ah, the sacrifices made by our traveling companions...

Larger version on Flickr, here.

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Additional Photos by Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 884 W: 75 N: 1695] (7511)
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