Legendary Recording Studios in Tennessee 

There’s quite a number of recording studios in the Nashville area. Hey, they don’t call it the Music City for nothing! Most of them are not open to the public. Like the Bradley Studios, aka the Quonset Hut Studio, later owned by Columbia Records on Music Row which today serves as a recording classroom for Belmont University. Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Tammy Wynette have recorded at those studios over the years.

Columbia Records Studio A and the Quonset Hut in Nashville, TN

The RCA Victor Studio B is no longer and active studio but hold a legendary status. Elvis recorded many of his greatest hits in this studio designed by the legendary Chet Atkins. Open to the public, it can only be visited in conjunction with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

In Memphis you should obviously visit the legendary Sun Studio where Elvis Presley recorded his 1st songs. But did you know that legends like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded there too? And did you know that the studio that was opened by rock-and-roll pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Aven on January 3, 1950 is still being used today?

Sun Studio in Memphis, TN

Sun Studio in Memphis, TN

Sun Studio in Memphis, TN

Sun Studio in Memphis, TN

A little less known maybe but just as awesome to visit is the studio at Stax Records at 926 E. McLemore Ave in Memphis. The site is currently a Museum about the history of Stax Records but when you think of the artists that have recorded there—Otis Redding, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Isaac Hayes and Carla Thomas amongst others—you just have to visit it.

Stax Records in Memphis, TN

Stax Records in Memphis, TN

Stax Records in Memphis, TN

Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum front, bordering the Music City Walk of Fame Park, resembles the keys on a piano keyboard combined with the tailfin of a 1959 Cadillac Sedan. And the tower is a replica of the WSM radio tower.

The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville

Inside the building’s rotunda, all Country Music Hall of Fame inductees are commemorated with their own commemorative plaque below the Carter Family’s–yes, that would be the relatives of June Carter Cash–classic country song tittle Will The Circle Ge Unbroken.

The Honor Gallery at the County Music Hall of Fame & Museum

The museum showcases anything country related: from Elvis Presley’s “Solid Gold” Cadillac to instruments and wardrobe by famous country artists like Hank Williams, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, the Dixie Chicks, Minnie Pearl and Emmylou Harris, as well as the recording studio once used by Owen Bradley.

Elvis Presley's Solid Gold Cadillac at CMHOF

Gibson Guitar Belonging to Hank Williams at CMHOF

Guitar and Wardrobe of Taylor Swift at CMHOF

Wardrobe of American Idol 2005 WinnerCarrie Underwood at CMHOF

Dixie Chicks Wardrobe at CMHOF

Memerobilia of The Grand Ole Opry's Minnie Pearl at CMHOF

Guitar Owned by Emmylou Harris at CMHOF

Owen Bradley's Recording Studio at CMHOF

And when I saw Taylor Swift’s tou bus parked in the museum, I waited for hours for Ms. Swift to come out. When I realized she wasn’t there, I finally gave up. But not before snapping a selfie in front of her tour bus.

Selfie in Front of Taylor Swift's Tour Bus at CMHOF

The Legendary Opry

The Grand Ole Opry truly a legend in the Music City. It started as a 1 hour long radio show on WSM on November 25, 1925. Back in 1925, it ran as a weekly show, Today, it runs several times a week, either from the Rynam Auditorium in downtown Nashville or from the Grand Ole Opry House on the banks of the Cumberland River.

Artists become member of the Orpy by invitation. Over the years, artists like Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and The Gatlin Brothers have been invited to the Opry. And more recently, amazing young country artists like Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town had the honor of joining. Membership in the Opry remains one of country music’s crowning achievements.

You can listen to the shows at the Opry live online via 650 AM WSM.

The Ryman Auditorium is a 2300 seat theater in the heart of Nashville. It is considered the birthplace of Bluegrass music. Over the years it hosted many famous country artists and even Bruce Springsteen has played there on his Devils & Dust solo acoustic tour.

The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville

The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville

The Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium

The Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974. The grand Ole Opry House has 4400 seats and a circle at center stage is actually a part of the original Ryman Auditorium stage.

Seeing a show at the Opry was a dream come true and their backstage tour after the show was the icing on the cake.

Selfie in Front of the Grand Ole Opry House

Artists Taking the Stage at the Grand Ole Opry House

Behind the Scenes at the Grand Ole Opry House

Behind the Scenes at the Grand Ole Opry House

The Johnny Cash Museum

I had planned to write a daily blog post about my trip to Tenneessee, but oh boy, how I have failed. Even 3 months after being back home, I still have a couple of photos to process. But hey, I look at this way: taking this long to go through my photos keeps the memories alive. And there are plenty of nice memories.

The Johnny Cash Museum on 3rd Ave in Nashville, TN surely was one of them. I liked Johnny Cash’s music but got really sucked into it after seeing the 2005 biopic Walk the Line with Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon playing the role of June Carter. So the Johnny Cash Museum was a must-see place for me while I was in Nashville.

The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville

The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville

The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville

The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville

The Music City’s Neon Lights

I have totally fallen in love with Nashville! They call it the Music City and I love music. Nashville is obviously the heart of country music. But there so much more. Music streams from every bar and restaurant in the city. Bands playing the honky-tonks on Nashville’s Broadway compete for your attention day and night. Sometimes they even play too loud to have a normal conversation over dinner. But they add to the atmosphere of the city. It is cool to stroll up and down Broadway on a Saturday night, look at the party people, have a drink and listen to the bands wailing under the bright neon lights of the all the bars they play.

Nashville's Broadway Neon Lights

Nashville's Broadway Neon Lights

Nashville's Broadway Neon Lights

Hello Atlanta

We arrived in Atlanta, GA with no issues. Smooth fight with Delta.

Atlanta is home to the headquarters of CNN and Coca-Cola. And what do you do on a rainy day? Right! You take the tour at CNN and Coca-Cola World.

At CNN we goofed around, posing as news anchors. They wouldn’t have us though. We lacked relevant experience apparently.

Selfie at the CNN Newsroom in Atlanta, GA

CNN Worldwide Headquarters in Atlanta, GA

Visiting Coca-Cola World is just a lot of fun: trying to unravel the secret recipe of Coca-Cola. And I think I know what it is. When you see all the promo materials Coke produced over time, I think the true secret to their success is being a famous household name.

The Original Coca-Cola Bottle

Coca-Cola World

Atlanta is our 1st stop on the music part of the trip: we got to see Faith Hill & Tim McGraw on their Soul2Soul tour at the Philips Arena. Really awesome show.

Faith Hill & Tim McGraw Soul2Soul Tour in Atlanta, GA

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Travel Soundtrack

As I pack my bags to leave for a trip to Tennessee for nothing but good food, a lot of booze, country music and time to shoot some photos, I have made a little Spotify playlist that will make them long drives over country roads a party.

There’s so much great music originating from Tennessee: blues, rock’n’roll, a bit of folk and a whole lot of country. I know for sure I will have a blast while I’m out there. YES! I will go visit the Grand Ole Opry!

But before heading to Tennessee, I go to Atlanta, GA to see Faith Hill & Tim McGraw in concert.

Light of Day Belgium 2016

It’s turning into a tradition: early December means it’s time for a Light of Day concert in Belgium. My buddy Jeffrey De Roeck brought LoD to Belgium again. LoD tries to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease.

For the 5th consecutive time local heros Jesse Ashfield were opening the show.

Jesse Ashfield opens Light of Day 2016 in Belgium

Later Vini ‘Mad Dog’ Lopez, Rob Dye and Erwin Nyhoff took the stage. Later joined by Joe d’Urso, Eddie Manion, Jeffrey Gaines and Ben Arnold for a show that ran for about 3 hours.

When Jeffrey Gaines asked what we wanted to hear, someone in the audience yelled “Something Bruce”. The band gracefully obliged with Born to Run; a truly memorable moment. I think that pretty much everyone in the audience, there were around 250 in attendance, joined in and sang along.

Vini 'Mad Dog' Lopez, Rob Dye and Erwin Nyhoff at Light of Day 2016

Light of Day 2016 in Club 27, Edegem (Antwerp), Belgium

I would like to thank Jeffrey for all his hard work getting LoD to Belgium year after year. And for allowing my to take pictures at the show every year. Looking forward to next year’s show.

Erwin Nyhoff at LoD Belgium

Jeffrey Gaines at LoD Belgium

Joe d'Urso at LoD Belgium

Steel Mill & former E Street Band drummer Vini 'Mad Dog' Lopez at Light of Day Belgium

Eddie Manion, former sax player with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, joins LoD for the 2nd year

The full photo album of the show is on the Frontview Magazine website. And I am happy to see that my pictures were used in an article of HLN, a Belgian national paper, covering the concert.

Norwegian Singer Aurora Impresses Me

Norwegian Singer-Songwriter Aurora Performing at Le Botanique Brussels

Aurora is a young Norwegian singer-songwriter that has just released her debut album All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend and is touring Europe to promote the album. She has released a couple of singles and EP’s since 2012. I picked up on her music a couple of years ago.

Norwegian Singer-Songwriter Aurora Performing at Le Botanique Brussels

Last night she was performing at Le Botanique in Brussels and I was fortunate enough to be at that sold out show enjoying her music while working for Frontview Magazine. She totally impressed me with her mix of electropop and more intimate songs that show her singer-songwriter talent.

Norwegian Singer-Songwriter Aurora Performing at Le Botanique Brussels

Norwegian Singer-Songwriter Aurora Performing at Le Botanique Brussels

See the full album on the Frontview Magazine website.

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A Springsteen Fan in Numbers

I became a Springsteen fan at the age of 14 with the release of the Born in the U.S.A. album back in 1984. So I’ve been a fan for 32 years now.

I attended my 1st Springsteen concert on April 23, 1993. I was too young to go to one of the Born in the U.S.A. shows. And I have always regretted not seeing any of the Tunnel of Love concerts in 1988.

Since that 1st concert in 1993, I’ve attended 41 more concerts in 22 cities and 10 countries including the US. I’ve heard Bruce perform 211 different songs. And since Springsteen almost always plays Born To Run, that is the song I’ve heard the most; 31 times in total. I have heard 49 of his 50 most played songs all-time.

I’ve seen Bruce perform with many guest artists, including Elliott Murphy, Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem, R.E.M., John Fogerty and Paul McCartney at the infamous Hard Rock Calling 2012 show.

I have heard all songs on the albums Born In The U.S.A., Born To Run, In Concert MTV Plugged and Devils & Dust. But I still have not heard all songs on Tunnel Of Love and The Rising–my 2 favorite albums–live so I have to go to a few more shows I guess.

Bruce Springsteen The River Tour 2016

On the 2016 The River Tour, I saw 4 concerts and 61 different songs: Madrid, The Hague, Copenhagen and Rome. And much to my surprise on those 4 shows I heard 8 songs for the 1st time ever: Jersey Girl in The Hague and New York City Serenade in Rome are my most memorable moments on this tour.

(statistics courtesy of bosstime.nl)