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OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: DD ()
Date: March 26, 2007 01:12

Hello to all,

I'll be visiting Memphis and Nashville next week on a two-week holiday from London. I obviously cannot wait for this, and I'm hoping that some of you people might be able to help me..

I'm a guitarist and singer, and while over there I'd like to play, preferably in both cities if I can. The best opportunity for this will be open-mic nights. Do any of you know of any good open-mic nights, where they're held and on which evenings, please? Also, any good (and extremely cheap) guitar shops any of you can recommend (particularly in Memphis as that's where I'm heading to first)?

Also, any other tips for enjoying the cities? I have researched this trip so I will be going to anywhere at all which is in a guide-book, but I wonder if people who know those cities might have some lesser-known information about places to see, drink, eat or even avoid??

Thankyou very much in advance,

Declan

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: March 26, 2007 02:22

If you're good enough, The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

Walk down Beale Street in Memphis and ask the club owners and clubgoers. Lots of great musical stuff in both cities - enjoy.

If ya get down to Georgia, give us a holler!

"No Anchovies, Please"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2007-03-26 02:22 by Elmo Lewis.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: HelterSkelter ()
Date: March 26, 2007 05:09

If you're REALLY GOOD you can sit in with the bands playing on Beale Street. Be sure to visit SUN STUDIO, GRACELAND (of course), and the motel where MARTIN LUTHER KING was shot and killed, it's now kind of a museum, very interesting. His room has been left the way it was on 4/4/68. Memphis is a great place - have fun !!

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: kovach ()
Date: March 26, 2007 17:12

In Memphis, as suggested, visit Sun Studio, plus Stax Studio, and the Rock & Soul Museum for some great music history (and of course Graceland if you're into Elvis). The Rock & Soul Museum is in the Gibson Guitar Factory.

[www.sunstudio.com]
[www.soulsvilleusa.com]
[www.memphisrocknsoul.org]
[www.gibson.com]

I go to Memphis 2-3 times a year, great place; going again in about 6 weeks. As far as eating...BBQ! My favorite is Jim Neely's Interstate (his nephew's run a chain simply called Neely's too), but Corky's is fantastic, and Rendezvous is good for something different like the famous Memphis dry rub ribs (though technically not BBQ but grilled).

Great live music on Beale most nights, the Rum Boogie (and the bar right next to it...forget the name...but there's a backdoor between the two you can use) and BB Kings usually have very good live bands. Isaac Hayes also has a very nice bar/restaurant downtown at Peabody Place. Not sure about open mic nights at any of those places, but worth checking into.


In Nashville, must stop by Tootsies Orchid Lounge, probably the most famous honky tonk in the world. And for guitars, the world famous Gruhn Guitars is right down the street from Tootsies. And between the two is Robert's Western World, another pretty good honky tonk.

[www.tootsies.net]
[www.gruhn.com]
[www.robertswesternworld.com]

I do believe Tootsies might have an open mic thing on Saturday afternoons. But again, many places on "lower Broad" (near Broadway and 2nd Avenue) worth checking into regarding open mic nights. There are a few more places on 2nd Avenue and Printer's Alley (between 'lower broad' and '2nd ave') that might be worth checking out too.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: March 26, 2007 17:15

Oh yeah, in Memphis check out the ducks at The Peabody Hotel. This sounds crazy but they are worth taking a few minutes to see. It's a block or two off of Beale Street.

"No Anchovies, Please"

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: gmanp ()
Date: March 26, 2007 20:04

check out this [www.nashvillesongwriters.com]
and be sure to grab one of the music magazines listed in the beginning of the article. They list loads of stuff not mentioned in above site.
Lucinda Williams is gonna be in town this weekend - just an FYI

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: gmanp ()
Date: March 26, 2007 20:07

Also, get a good look at lower Broad in Nashville: it's about to change as the powers that be are gonna let a fancy hotel be built down there. Some of the cool old buildings are probably gonna get the ax because of it.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: KSIE ()
Date: March 26, 2007 20:55

Re: Nashville

That Lucinda show is at the Ryman Auditorium 30/3, and is no doubt sold-out. But, you should go to the Ryman regardless; they have daily tours. Amazing place, lots of history, and they will take your picture on-stage at the mic, guitar in hand.

Personally, I would skip the new Opry. It's like going to a shopping mall.

Robert's Western World is my favorite place in Nashville (right by the Ryman downtown). Cold Budweiser in long-necks with live music all the time. No cover charge. Tootsie's is right next door and basically the same set-up.

Other sights on Broad Street: Ernest Tubb's Record Store and the printing shop (name escapes me). You can buy replicas of all kinds of vintage show-postings for next to nothing. The Country Music Hall of Fame is downtown also. I thought it was pretty good, but a little pricey.

Regarding Memphis: make sure you eat some Memphis-style barbecue.

Don't know if you're "flying solo", but you just can't beat those Tennessee women!

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: DD ()
Date: March 27, 2007 00:25

Thanking you all very much. Most helpful. (Any further info greatly appreciated, too!)

Declan

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: March 27, 2007 00:42

Declan, here's the home page for the Peabody Hotel.

www.peabodymemphis.com/home.cfm

I told kienan about the ducks before his visit to Memphis for the Stones show. They went to see the ducks and got to meet Bernard and Kent from the band.

"No Anchovies, Please"

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: March 27, 2007 05:00

When in Nashville definitely go to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
While there, you can get a bus to take you on a tour of RCA Studio B,
which is outstanding. The number of hit records recorded there
is mind-boggling. It'll also give you a good feel for what
a recording studio looked like in the 50s and 60s.
Definitely go bar-hopping on Honky Tonk Row on Broadway.
If you have time, go the the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's house.
I thought it was going to be corny, but when you take a walk
around the grounds, it's so relaxing and peaceful.
As for Memphis, try to get to Mud Island to get a really good look
at the MIssissippi River. It's really awesome, the river and all it's might.
I would try to stay near Beale St/Front St. Although I found Memphis safe,
I read about crime going way up the last few years, gangs, etc.
If you're staying new Beale St, get a horse-drawn carriage to take you there.
Sounds corny, but it was pretty cool.
Also, enjoy the food. After Texas, you'll never eat better BBQ
than those two towns.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: IgotDbluez ()
Date: March 27, 2007 05:36

I know that in Memphis there is a bar (Kudzu's) that has an open mic night - maybe on Thursdays, but I can't be certain. It's located at 603 Madison Avenue (phone: 901-525-4924) - a pretty cool little place. It's not far from Beale Street...maybe about a mile at the most.

As for barbecue, there are 2 great little known places to eat it in Memphis - The Cozy Corner on North Parkway and The Barbecue Shop, also on Madison.

I live just outside Memphis but drive downtown everyday to work. My husband plays big band jazz every Sunday down on Beale Street but if that's not your thing, there are plenty of other clubs and genres. I'll check our weekly alternative newspaper ("The Memphis Flyer" - and it's free, so don't let anyone try to sell it to you!) tomorrow and see if I can find a few other things that might be helpful.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: Glam Descendant ()
Date: March 27, 2007 05:39

For a real Memphis honky tonk, check out Wild Bill's (by taxi).

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: IgotDbluez ()
Date: March 27, 2007 05:50

Found this link....there's a dropdown menu to the right to check on daily events (if the link works!).

[www.memphisflyer.com]

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: kovach ()
Date: March 27, 2007 16:11

tomk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When in Nashville definitely go to the Country
> Music Hall of Fame.
> While there, you can get a bus to take you on a
> tour of RCA Studio B,
> which is outstanding. The number of hit records
> recorded there
> is mind-boggling. It'll also give you a good feel
> for what
> a recording studio looked like in the 50s and
> 60s.
> Definitely go bar-hopping on Honky Tonk Row on
> Broadway.
> If you have time, go the the Hermitage, Andrew
> Jackson's house.
> I thought it was going to be corny, but when you
> take a walk
> around the grounds, it's so relaxing and
> peaceful.
> As for Memphis, try to get to Mud Island to get a
> really good look
> at the MIssissippi River. It's really awesome, the
> river and all it's might.
> I would try to stay near Beale St/Front St.
> Although I found Memphis safe,
> I read about crime going way up the last few
> years, gangs, etc.
> If you're staying new Beale St, get a horse-drawn
> carriage to take you there.
> Sounds corny, but it was pretty cool.
> Also, enjoy the food. After Texas, you'll never
> eat better BBQ
> than those two towns.


Wish I would've taken the RCA Studio B tour, sounds interesting. I was somewhat disappointed in the Country Music Hall of Fame, expected something closer to the R&R Hall of Fame.

Downtown Memphis between (and including) Union Avenue and Beale have a pretty good police presence and is very safe (probably safer than the French Qtr in New Orleans). Unfortunately, to the south of downtown it gets pretty rough; while STAX and Jim Neely's is in the south part of the city, visit in the daytime, it's worth it. But I would advise to stay out of south Memphis at night. East Memphis, where Corky's is, is very nice.

I think the main difference in Memphis BBQ and Texas BBQ is, pork is king in Memphis (ribs, pulled pork...aka pork shoulder), and beef is king in Texas (brisket). Both are great but completely different. It would be hard for me to say one's better than the other, it's like comparaing apples to oranges.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: KSIE ()
Date: March 27, 2007 16:35

kovach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I think the main difference in Memphis BBQ and
> Texas BBQ is, pork is king in Memphis (ribs,
> pulled pork...aka pork shoulder), and beef is king
> in Texas (brisket). Both are great but completely
> different. It would be hard for me to say one's
> better than the other, it's like comparaing apples
> to oranges.

You're definitely right-on about Texas vs. Memphis. Many different styles as you cross the Southern U.S. Tomato vs. vinegar "wet" sauces, and the overnight-cook, dry-rub style of Memphis. Kansas City and east/west North Carolina have their own distinctive styles. Man, I'm making myself hungry......

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: gmanp ()
Date: March 27, 2007 16:36

DD
Try "Brown's Diner" and "Rotier's" for burgers in Nashville [almost anyone can tell ya how to get to'em] Local atmosphere, good food, and you might run into some other music 'types'.
"Loveless Cafe" is famous for it's breakfast food, and rightfully so, but the atmosphere has changed since the new owner's took over. It was way more enjoyable when the floors creaked and you had to squeeze by people to get to the tiny little restrooms smiling smiley

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: kovach ()
Date: March 27, 2007 18:19

Man, you don't know how many times I'm driving south of St. Louis on I-55, discussing dinner plans, I've said "we can be in Memphis in 3 1/2 hours"!

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: IgotDbluez ()
Date: March 27, 2007 19:54

In Memphis, some more open mic nights:

(1) Kudzu's (mentioned earlier) - on Thursday's at 8 pm
(2) Neil's (1835 Madison, ph: 901-278-6345) - blues jams on certain Thursday nights.
(3) Zinnie's (1718 Madison, ph: 901-274-7101) - late night (11 pm start?) open mic upstairs on Tuesdays.

Guitar shops:
(1) Taylor's Guitars, also on Madison (website: myspace.com/taylorsmemphis)
(2) Consignment Music, 4040 Park...further east than the aforementioned Madison Ave. sites.

Also a cool place to drop in: Shangri-La Records, 1916 Madison.

The Madison places are all located in mid-town Memphis, the semi-bohemian area. Another cool place to hang is the Cooper/Young area.

A friend of mine helped me with the open mic stuff...she is very active in the music community and sorta leads the open mic thing at Kudzu's. She also mentioned checking out old pawn shops for guitars (back in the 70's, whenever the Stones came to Memphis the 1st thing they did was go to a pawn shop and buy back Furry Lewis' guitar).

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: gmanp ()
Date: March 27, 2007 19:59

And more thing....
This: [www.tinpansouth.com]
is going on in Nashville, right now.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: kovach ()
Date: March 27, 2007 23:57

Suggestion: If in Memphis on a Saturday afternoon, stop by Silky O'Sullivan's beer garden on Beale, there's a guy who sings and plays solo acoustic there named Buddy who seems well connected in the local music circuit, he might be able to tell you some open mic hot spots. Met him a few times (although I seriously doubt he knows me by name), very nice guy, I'm sure he'll help out if he can.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: DD ()
Date: March 28, 2007 00:32

Thankyou all very much! IgotDbluez - thankyou for going to so much effort, I really do appreciate your help.

Declan

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: IgotDbluez ()
Date: March 28, 2007 00:48

DD Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
IgotDbluez - thankyou for
> going to so much effort, I really do appreciate
> your help.
>
> Declan

No effort at all.....just a couple of keystrokes! Let me know if you have any other questions about anything.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: March 28, 2007 04:34

kovach Wrote:

> I think the main difference in Memphis BBQ and
> Texas BBQ is, pork is king in Memphis (ribs,
> pulled pork...aka pork shoulder), and beef is king
> in Texas (brisket). Both are great but completely
> different. It would be hard for me to say one's
> better than the other, it's like comparaing apples
> to oranges.

Indeed. I was just pointing out that having good BBQ in the South
is a real treat.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: IgotDbluez ()
Date: March 28, 2007 17:13

After you've had barbecue, in Memphis try the cajun catfish at the Bayou Bar & Grill, 2105 Madison......my favorite advert of all time is hanging on the wall - "Regal Yams."

They make a right wicked Long Island Tea, too....

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: kovach ()
Date: March 29, 2007 15:56

The catfish at Blues City Cafe (across from BB Kings) on Beale is pretty darn good too.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: #6 ()
Date: March 29, 2007 17:53

Wild Bill's is actually a blues place. Kinda touristy but also "fairly genuine" if that combination makes sense. It's much better than any of the Beale St. tourist traps.

The Stax Museum is an absolute MUST. I had to go two days in a row to fully take it all in. The Rock and Soul is fairly hodge podge and not very well thought out at all but if you don't have much time, it is a very rough over-view of Memphis's music legacy.

Re: OT Memphis and Nashville help
Posted by: kovach ()
Date: May 15, 2007 22:19

Hey, how was your trip??



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