Is Nashville's New "It" City Status Threatening Its Musical Roots?
In Nashville's progress v. preservation debate, the home turf for blues 'n' roots master Stacy Mitchhart is at the epicenter of the battle
Nashville's blues ambassador, Stacy Mitchhart, who headlines on one of the hottest pieces of music real estate in this newly ordained "It" city, sees a silver lining in the battle between developers and citizens who fear that the soul of Music City could be lost to "progress."
Amid all the hype from national media, business, entertainment and lifestyle gurus touting the city as a top choice for travelers, foodies, retirees, urban hipsters, entrepreneurs, and of course, music fans, warning flags are being raised about the dangers facing Nashville, especially when it comes to preserving the sites which comprise the lifeblood of Music City. In fact, the Tennessee Preservation Trust has recently placed the entire city at the top of its list of endangered historic places.
At the forefront of this battle are some of the city's most treasured music landmarks, among them Printers Alley. Tucked between skyscrapers, this backstreet, nicknamed "The Alley," has served as home to legendary music venues, including the Fiddle & Steel Guitar Bar (where Rascal Flatts recently played a standing-room-only concert thanking the bar for launching the country band's career), which will shut its doors January 1 to make way for a new boutique hotel. Printers Alley, originally home to Nashville's printing and publishing industry, became the center of the city's nightlife in the late nineteenth century and has housed nightclubs since the 1940s.
"I see some good news here," says Mitchhart, who leads the line-up at Printers Alley's world-famous Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar, next door to the Fiddle & Steel. "It's sad to lose a great music venue like the Fiddle & Steel, but business and tourists are flocking to our city—and to Printers Alley—and that means more people will hear the blues in Nashville than ever before. And that's a good thing."
Mitchhart, who won the 2003 "Albert King Award" for most promising guitarist at the Blues Foundation's International Challenge in Memphis, has been playing the historic club since 1996. The club itself has a rich past dating back to the 1950s when it was home to Boots ("Yakety Sax") Randolph's Carousel Club. For almost 20 years it has served as the home of the blues in Nashville and is a leading live music venue in the city. In 2000, Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar won the prestigious Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive" Award for Best Blues Club.
"I hear all the time about how the blues is dying," reflects Mitchhart. "Well, if we can get more folks to experience great blues like you can hear at Bourbon Street, then they are bound to become fans. If getting more people to Printers Alley means that the blues at Bourbon Street gets heard by thousands more visitors every month, that can be a very good thing. More listeners means success and where there's success, more capital follows. Maybe more clubs will open up in Printers Alley and continue expanding the musical offerings in The Alley," says Mitchhart with optimism.
» Sunrise Night Concert with Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians and Chinese Artists
» MTA Arts for Transit Chooses 23 Groups and Individuals to Join Music Under New York Program
» A Festival Giving Back To The Men And Women Who Gave To Us
» The Nose for Malaysia at Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) World Finals
» From China To France: Urban Pop Singer Singer Beilei "In Between Two Worlds"
Music Spotlight Directory
» [2015-01-21] Red Bull Music Academy Sessions Kicks Off China Tour; In Order To Promote Applicants To The 2015 Red Bull Music Academy, Austrian International Red Bull Is Coordinating A Five City Tour In China
» [2015-01-19] Red Bull Music Academy Accepting Applications For Paris Academy; Red Bull Music Academy Releases Free Tokyo 2014 Compilation
» [2015-01-11] Nasty 8-bit Zombie GUIGUISUISUI Begins 2015 Tour; The One Man Punk Horror Opera Known As The GUIGUISUISUI Show Hitting The Road In Australia And New Zealand, Also Returning To Malaysia And Indonesia
» [2015-01-07] Hyphenics Presents Transmission At Shanghai's URVC; Hyphenics Brings A Vinyl Exclusive To The Heart Of Jing An
» [2015-01-01] Vintage King Launches "Make Your Mark" Video Series; Vintage King's New "Make Your Mark" Video Series To Profile Innovative Pro Audio People Who Have Established Successful Careers On A Grassroots Level
» [2014-12-31] Music Therapy May Provide Hope To Alzheimer And Parkinson Sufferers; Music Might Help People With Cognitive Impairment, Including Alzheimer's And Parkinson's Disease, A Study Suggests
» [2014-12-26] Asia Society: Shanghai / New York: Future Histories; CSIAF Has Launched A Groundbreaking New Project, Rising Artists Works (RAW), A Platform That Commissions Young, Emerging Artists From Across China
» [2014-12-20] Is Nashville's New "It" City Status Threatening Its Musical Roots?; In Nashville's Progress V. Preservation Debate, The Home Turf For Blues 'n' Roots Master Stacy Mitchhart Is At The Epicenter Of The Battle
» [2014-12-19] The Connect Sessions: An Extravaganza Presented By SPIN And Powered By Microsoft; The Connect Sessions: An Extravaganza Presented By SPIN And Powered By Microsoft
» [2014-11-20] BMG Signs Worldwide Rights Management Deal With Chinese Music Company Giant Jump; BMG Will Exclusively Manage All Giant Jump's Recording And Music Publishing Rights, Both Domestically And Internationally
» [2014-11-20] CMA Gives Snapshot Into Music Discovery Behavior; While AM/FM Radio Ranked No. 1 As A Music Source, Streaming Apps And TV Drove Higher Levels Of New Artist Discovery Compared To Radio
» [2014-11-13] How To Manage Your Talent: FIVE Realistic Tips For Success; Talent Agent, Motivational Speaker And Author Of Come Fly With Me... Michael Bublé's Rise To Stardom (A Memoir)
follow MusicDish on