Don’t Come Here A-Drinkin’

Two dry days in Nashville Tennessee on my musical journey

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photo by Jim Jacob

5 September 2016 Nashville Tennessee

For two days I had a drinking problem. Well, actually two problems.

But first.  Here I was in Hurricane Mills, after a visit the Loretta Lynn Dude Ranch.  I was only an hour west of Nashville and my next planned stop was Rosine Kentucky. Now, I will be in Nashville for six days for the Americana Music Conference and Festival at the end of the month but I would have very little time with a car there and accordingly no time for outlet shopping (a voice in the back of head just added Grimey’s Record store).

Also, Music City is in fact on the way to Rosine and I could do with two nights in the one bed and some laundry time, and resume my journey north later.  Plus, you never know, I might find some music!  Done.  Hotel booked on the east side of Nashville, near the Opry Mills shopping outlet.

On the way Outlaw Country featured the Buddy (Miller) and Jim (Lauderdale) show – my favourite and today they featured Elizabeth Cook and Derek Hoke who both have new albums out (Exodus of Venus and Southern Moon respectively).  During the show, a version of Townes Van Zandt‘s ‘Tecumseh Valley’ by Jason Isbell and Cook also made me pull off the road!  Wow, it was good.  I later changed to the Bluegrass Junction station and listened to the world premiere album release of Kenny and Amanda Smith’s Unbound, due at the end of this month.

My wife Jenny loves the Jerry Hall response to an interview question about how she kept fit. ‘I shop’.  Well, I sort of get it. I’ll be glad to be out of the car and walking and standing for most of the day.

Opry Mills is a large shopping centre next to The Grand Ole Opry.  On the way in the car the next morning, Steve Earle was talking in the Outlaw Country studio with Joe Ely about Guy Clark, his life, songs and the various wakes held for him. Man, it was riveting and I had to stay in the car for a while to listen to most of it.

The last time I was at Opry Mills, it was akin to a ghost town. Today was Labor Day and there sales, sales, sales and people, people, people. Undaunted, I kept to my mission.

The other critical stop was Grimey’s New and Preloved Music, arriving there with only forty minutes to spare – they were closing early because of the holiday. I picked up the new albums by Darrell Scott, Hayes Carll, Margot Price, Chatham County Line, John Paul White, Whitehorse, Sarah Jarosz, The Deslondes and JD Souther.  Also, Radney Foster‘s CD Everything I Should Have Said which I have been trying to get for ages.

Now did I mention my drinking problems?

Number one, you cannot buy liquor on Sundays in Tennessee.  Number two, liquor stores don’t open on Labor Day.  Number three, these were the only days I was in town.  Beer and mixers are OK and available in gas stations, marts and even Walgreens, but not wine and spirits. Despite being here many times before, I did not know that.

My other problem related to ID which must be shown by State Law before buying on-site alcohol.  On the first night here, the waitress insisted that ID (in this case my drivers’ licence) should demonstrate that the licence is current (I presume this is to allow one to drink and drive?)  Because of my foreign licence, she was not convinced it was current.  Anyway, I had to resort to showing my passport so that I could acquire a glass of wine with my meal.  Abstinence seemed like a good option.

Two questions to finish with.

Why do CD prices vary so much in the USA ($7.99 to $15.99), compared with Australia – usually A$25, sometimes A$20?

In Starbucks, why do flat whites cost 20% more than cappuccinos and lattes – $4.25 v $3.25?

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Author: Rob Dickens

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