I got into Nashville around 11:00am and was a little overwhelmed by Broadway. I had heard about this street just the day before and from people I had talked to in Savannah, but it was more than I had imagined. It was already a bustling street this early. I found a coffee shop, as usual, to catch up on my blog posts and my journal. I was very enthusiastic for the how the day was going to be. When I got done with my work, I had to move my car, and I found an all day garage. I figured it was better than trying to find a spot every two hours and watching the clock. I got my gear, and started walking to Broadway and I was amazed, there were places that already had live music! Broadway is just lined with restaurants, bars, and gift shops. It seems to go on forever. I went all the way down, and between music and live music being played on speakers outside, and other buskers, it was hard to find a spot. Permits and licenses are not an issue, I had heard that too, so I was not worried about that here.
I found a spot on 2nd ave n. It was outside a little shop called Nashville Limited. I went in and asked permission to play outside and I spoke with a woman named Ashley, she was new there and she said it shouldn’t be a problem, she also mentioned she liked the saxophone. When she left, she gave a thumbs up when she walked by. I played for about an hour and a half and even though there were lots of people, I wasn’t doing very well. When I was done, I went in to say thank you and I talked to a man named Kyle. We talked for a few minutes and I asked if it would be okay if I came back later. He said it was.
I passed some other buskers and asked them how business was and they weren’t doing well either. I just figured it must have too early. I went to lunch, where, at 2:00 there was a guitar player sing the country classics as well as his own music. His name was David Cox, and he has been playing there every Monday for the past 8 years. He was really good, I liked what he was playing. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the place.
As I was walking back after lunch, I passed by a street portrait artist who I walked by on my way to lunch, was just starting a sketch she was doing from a book. On the way back, she was almost done. I made a comment and we got talking. Her name was Christina, and she just moved there a couple of weeks ago. It was her first day downtown to start portraits to make some extra money. She was about to pack up, and I still had some time before I went back to work, so we had nice conversation down by the river for about 20 minutes. I wish her well with her street portrait venture.
I went back to the Nashville Limited and some else was there. No big deal, I found another spot, about a block up the street. I played more than an hour. During this time, a man named Kenny heard me playing and came to talk to me. He said “From one street musician to another!” He pointed out where he was when he heard me, and I was amazed at how far my sound went. He went on to explain how this was a night time town, despite how many people were out there. He sings on the street from time to time and told me later would be better. I packed it up and went to an ice cream and coffee shop on Broadway and wrote in my journal.
I went back around 7pm. Fortunately, I was able to get my original spot. I was happy to be there, I liked Nashville Limited and there was a big Elvis statue right there. There were actually several of them all around town in front of stores. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. I really don’t want to say anything negative, but — it seems to me, some of the buskers don’t know “the code”. Or maybe, “the code” is just in my own mind. I was there for about 45 minutes and a couple other buskers with a guitar set up 20 feet away. It just seems disrespectful and counter productive to me to set up so close to another musician. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. I put up with that for about 30 minutes and said “Okay!” I walked in to the store and spoke to Angela, who was working at that point, to say thank you again. She offered a couple other places, I checked them out and it didn’t look good. I walked around the corner and saw a horse carriage tour guide I spoke to earlier, named Billy. He was a cool guy, he actually gave me a tip as I walked up to him. He wished me well for the rest of my trip.
I would to thank the people that made Nashville a pleasant stop!
I got to my car and headed to my brother’s house in Dandridge.