As a little kid Eric Parker dreamed of Nashville. Five years ago he made the city home, and its music has been pumping through his veins ever since.
1. Writers-round:Celebrities draw fans to Nashville, but the real magic happens when the songwriters themselves take the stage. Catch a show at the Bluebird Cafe or take in a Hall of Fame Songwriter Session. In the spring, there’s the weeklong Tin Pan South Songwriter’s Festival, March 29-April 2.
2. Honky-Tonks:No trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to Broadway, the well-known strip lined with boisterous honky-tonks. Robert’s Western World features live music that handsomely bridges the gap between outlaw and hillbilly. Tootsies and Legends Corner are equally popular.
3. Ryman Auditorium:The 120-year-old Mother Church of Country Music has hosted its share of famous crooners, from BB King to R.E.M. Recently, the Ryman appeared on screen in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Country Strong.
4. Grand Ole Opry:Once heard only over the radio waves, and rocketing singers and songwriters to fame over its 85 years on air, the Opry is best enjoyed live. Big name acts like Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts perform on this well-loved stage before packed audiences who get a chance to see and hear the world’s longest running radio program.
5. Historic RCA Studio B:Part of the Country Music Hall of Fame, tour one of the world’s most important and oldest recording studios, helping define the Nashville sound and giving rise to artists like Dolly Parton and Elvis.