Nashvegas

This morning, I booked a flight to Nashville, or, as my friend, Jeff, calls it – NashVegas.

Jeff is an old buddy who I first met when Beth and I were scoping out recording studios in NYC. The one we eventually selected, Smash, featured a young, Canadian with long hair, a dazzling smile and an appreciation for good children’s music. We’ve been friends ever since.

Jeff, Scott and Beth

Jeff relocated to Tennessee twenty years ago. There, he writes and records music, takes great care of his daughter and enjoys the company of Emily, his geologist partner. Additionally, Jeff is involved with an organization called CreatiVets and that’s what bringing me to town in late April.

Here’s a description from their website…

“CreatiVets’ goal is to offer opportunities for relief and healing for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.  Our purpose is to use various forms of art, including songwritingvisual arts, music, and creative writing, to help disabled veterans cope with service-related trauma (i.e., post-traumatic stress, or PTS) by fostering self-expression in a way that allows them to transform their stories of trauma and struggle into an art form that can inspire and motivate continued healing. Through compassion, we are helping veterans live again.”

Jeff and I will be working with a veteran to help him or her write a song on a Friday and then record it with some studio musicians on a Saturday. Pretty cool, huh? I’m totally looking forward to it and learning how I can help Jeff and his team offer some musical healing.

I’ve also been looking for a good excuse to experience the studio scene in Nashville. For years, I’ve been a big fan of the people who write and record down there, not because I’m a fan of new country (I ain’t) but because I’m interested in the way they make music.

Tunes are generally written by a group of 2-3 writers who meet for three hour sessions and songs are recorded (often more than one) in similar three hour blocks. In Nashville, few people record at 2am (like in NY or LA) because a respect for family, rest and relaxation time have encouraged them to schedule business during the daylight hours. I like that focus and I hope to get a taste of how it’s done when I’m in town.

As a bonus, I’ll get to spend some time with Jeff, Emily, Samantha and, hopefully, get to hang out with our mutual friend, Tony. We haven’t seen one another since Beth and I were pulling an RV behind us in 2022.

Tony

In the back of my mind, I still wonder what our life would have been like if we had followed through on a desire to relocate to Tennessee when our family was young. There was a time or two when we considered making a musical move like that seriously, but we just weren’t ready to leave the life we had built in New York.

Perhaps some trips between the two states will be a good compromise. Let’s see!

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