Since moving back to Tennessee 10 months ago, I’ve spent a good amount of time doing a lot of the things I never thought to growing up here. (And yet I still haven’t been to the Ryman!) But isn’t that how it always goes: the last place you ever do “sightseeing” is in your own town?
I have loved country music since my teen years when I finally realized it was cool to be country, and so CMT played on my TV in the background for much of high school while I sat at home doing Calculus homework. (I was that dork. Top five in Calc II in the state of Tennessee, boom.) In fact, if you asked me what job I could have of any careers on the planet—and “Taylor Swift’s BFF” and “professional chocolate taster” were already taken—then it would be “working for CMT,” hands down.
I’ve always been a fan of CMT Crossroads, so when my friend Jenny invited me—along with her fantastic friend Meg—to a taping earlier this month at the Factory at Franklin, I knew I would cancel anything else on my calendar to attend. (Jenny is an awesome friend, y’all. She also took me as her date to All for the Hall in the spring, where we had 10th row seats to watch Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and the Pistol Annies, Alabama, Diamond Rio, the Band Perry, Little Big Town, Thompson Square, Rascal Flatts, Merle and more!)
Even better? This particular CMT Crossroads taping would feature Mumford & Sons playing with the legendary Emmylou Harris and “Uncle Jerry” Douglas! Suddenly, I wasn’t feeling so pitiful that I finally made it back to Bonnaroo this year, and Mumford didn’t.
I have a pretty broad musical taste—ranging from Florence + the Machine to the Avett Brothers to Blackeyed Peas to (do I even need to say it?) Taylor Swift—but if I had to choose my absolute favorite kind of music, Mumford & Sons’ bluegrass-folk hybrid sound would be it. Plus, it goes without saying that Marcus Mumford has the most perfect voice on the planet, uncontested.
When Marcus got the call a few months back from CMT to appear on the show, they asked him with whom he would want to perform: Without pause, he immediately responded: “Emmylou Harris!” I love the meeting of such creative minds—it’s such an unexpected, yet genius pairing of musical mastery.
I’d never been present for a TV taping like this—unless Late Night with David Letterman or Late Night with Conan O’brien count—so was interested to find that while it was indeed “live,” after a couple songs, they would launch back into a second take because the first wasn’t deemed good enough. Jenny and I couldn’t decide who determined this, as to our untrained ears, the versions sounded exactly the same. Still, that meant we got to hear The Cave and Emmylou’s Orphan Girl twice (all artists for Crossroads perform every song together).
All in all, the evening was a dream. And if you want your jealousy of me to increase exponentially, you should tune into CMT tonight (Thursday, Sept. 27) at 9pm EST/8pm CST!
Love country music – if it’s not the religious kind. It’s my guilty pleasure. Rymann is amazing too! You definitely need to take advantage of your local treasures. 🙂 nice post.
CROSSROADS??!??? Totally LOVE that show, and am soooo envious you got to be at a taping. Fun, fun, FUN!!!!!!
Love country music. 🙂
Ahhh, I just downloaded the new Mumford & Sons album last night and listened to it on my way to work today. *dead* So good. I did like what songs of theirs I had heard from the first album but I didn’t own it either (until last night when I bought them both). I hate it when I’m late to the party but now I’m here and in love. It looks like they are playing only one show in the US soon and it’s in LA but I was planning a camping trip with friends that weekend! I’m really torn because I want to see them live a ridiculous amount right now. I kind of want to cry about it (or maybe that’s just because the music is so good). haha
We have been trying to download Babel in Scotland and Ireland to listen to while driving around the islands but have had no luck so far! Super jealous of you right now!
I grew up in George Strait’s hometown, so it was pretty much in my blood to love country music! I’m not super fond of the newest stuff coming out of Nashville but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the greats.
George Strait is one of my all-time FAVORITES. I do love the old stuff–Merle, Johnny, George, etc.–but think the newer country pop is pretty darn great, too. Luckily, there’s room for it all! (Nashville also has big alternative and indie music scenes, as well, thanks to locals such as Jack White!)
I think there are more country music fans in the closet than most people think. When it’s cool to openly like Justin Bieber but a crime to sing Dixieland Delight in public (ok, I acknowledge that it’s a crime when I sing any song in public regardless of genre) then something needs to be done!
I think you and I would tear up Honky Tonk Row with some Alabama karaoke if ever you happen to be passing through Nashville. Bourbon and open mic–deadly combination.
lol, a flight to Nashville from Baltimore is cheaper and faster than my drive home from work during rush hour. Getting to avoid traffic is good enough a reason to come down to Tennessee, let alone getting to hang out in a place where terrible singing in public is not only permitted but expected.
Looks like it was a great space for music, too!
Personally, I’m not a fan of current country music. Some of the cross-over stuff like Mumford and Taylor are okay, but I will personally gut the next person to attempt to karaoke Red Solo Cup.
The older stuff, with more of a bluegrass feel, however, I am more tolerant of. We get a fair amount of these acts in our venue, and I can appreciate the talent and skill of the artist even if it’s not exactly my bag.
My mom, sis and I were JUST talking about how not only is that Toby Keith’s worst song ever, but also one of the worst country songs ever made. I absolutely abhor that song and I usually find his stuff pretty catchy.
And yes, the bluegrass-y, hybrid country is more my cup of tea, as well–though I do love some of the greats like Garth and Johnny and Tim and Co.
If you’re in to the old school bluegrass sound there’s a band that just came through our space last night that you should check out. They’re called Punch Brothers; killer musicians, great stage show. I’m not even that much of a bluegrass girl, but I totally dug their stage vibe.
Oh yes, I know them! Was supposed to see them live last week at a CMT media event, but wound up having to go to a funeral instead =/
Sorry love, I loathe it, like hurts my ears kinda thing! But, looks like you had an awesome time! 🙂
Even if you don’t like country–I admit, it took me years growing up to acclimate to it–you have to admit the newer acts coming out of the South are just delectable, namely Civil Wars, Avett Brothers and Mumford (who are from British, not the South, but still). I wouldn’t classify any of those bands as country–they’re more folk than anything, I’d say. It’s refreshing.
Thanks for the heads up on this. I have it recorded & ready to watch. Love Mumford & Sons!!
I hope SVV successfully recorded because I can’t wait to see it once more on film (and see how different it sounds than it did live!).
Not a lover of country music, but love some songs of Alan Jackson, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum. I love the vibe in Nashville and always go there for the CMA Festival in June.
I’ve been reading your blog here and there, but only just learned that you moved back to Nashville recently. If you’re visiting Chattanooga, I’d love to meet you and show you around. I have so many questions, especially about your semester at sea assignment. I’m originally from Malaysia. Incidentally, I clicked on your China and Japan links and both were “Not Found.”
Some friends of mine are visiting from Boston next week. It’ll be their first time in the south. Any suggestions on where to take them in Nashville? I read your post on the Loveless Cafe, and am tempted to take them there. I also like Wildhorse Salon and Bourbon St Blues.
And I went to Malaysia on my honeymoon! So now we’ve come full circle =)
I wonder why my China/Japan posts didn’t show up? Here are the links for all of them:
As far as Nashville, I love Cheekwood Botanical Gardens (especially during fall)–and the drive to it through all the swanky neighborhoods of Belle Meade is so pretty. If they like shopping, the shops at Hillsboro Village near Vandy and the Hill Center at Green Hills (both outdoors pedestrian areas) are nice, and East Nashville has some great pockets of boutiques/art galleries/restaurants (particularly around Five Points). My favorite places to eat dinner are Etch (for fancy), Silly Goose (for lunch, followed by ice cream at Jeni’s next door), Kayne Prime (for a nice steakhouse) or Virago (for sushi). Puckett’s is good for the traditional “Southern” experience. Pancake Pantry has good brunch (though the line is usually long), as does Fido a few doors down or Tavern down the road a bit. If they’re coming on a night there is a live Opry broadcast, I would highly recommend taking them to that! You could also take them to the Bluebird Cafe for a singer-songwriter night, though be sure and make reservations via the website. And I love a nice drive through downtown Franklin–it’s so quaint and charming (and there’s a Puckett’s there as well).
Great blog.. interesting.
I love country music! One of my goals next summer is to get to Country Thunder with my cousin in Illinois 🙂
Or to come to Nashville, stay with me, and go to a show at the Ryman and/or Opry!
I’ve been on a HUGE Avett Brothers kick since seeing them in Richmond back in July. I’ve created an Avett Brother Pandora station and plays all sorts of wonderful things, including a whole bunch of Mumford & Sons, which I also LOVE. I like folksy country, not, I’m sad my dog died country, if that makes sense.
You and me both! Avetts, Mumford and Civil Wars are totally my jam.
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