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.
» HBC Fall Festival Celebrates 12 years of HBC Fest
» youbloom Announces 2017 LA Music Festival
» Nick Brodeur Wins Studio Package From ReverbNation
» Earl And The Steadies To Play In Seoul For "Back To The Retro" Party
» Nielsen Release Music 360 China Report
Music Spotlight Directory
» [2017-11-21] Joint Statement By The Nordic Musicians' Unions And British Musicians' Union; Discussions On The Issue Of Gender Inequality, Sexism And Sexual Harassment, The Scale Of Which Had Been Highlighted By The Recent #metoo Campaign
» [2017-11-13] Women Make An Impact On The 2018 MPG Awards Shortlist; Nearly A Quarter Of Those Named This Year Are Female, Proving That Music Production Is No Longer A Bastion For The Boys
» [2017-11-13] The Nashville Musicians Sound Healthcare Plan Rolls Out; Sound Healthcare & Financial Announced The Formation Of A True Group Health Insurance Policy Plan For Musicians And Industry Professionals
» [2017-11-09] Streaming & Listening Diversity - Spotify Case Study; Will Artists Have An Easier Time Finding An Audience, Or Will Streaming Focus Global Attention On A Small Number Of Stars?
» [2017-11-09] Two-Sides Of Copyright Finance: Sound Royalties & Kobalt; Sound Royalties Unearths Millions In Undistributed Royalties While Kobalt Launches Fund To Invest In Music Copyright
» [2017-11-08] Career Moves: ROLI, Live Nation Sweden, Music Glue, BBR Music Group, Warner/Chappell Music Spain & Blue Night Soundscapes; ROLI Chief Creative Officer, Live Nation Sweden Managing Directors, Music Glue Global Head Of Business Development, BBR Music Group VP Of International, Warner/Chappell Music Spain Managing Director And Blue Night Director Of Music Clearance
» [2017-11-08] Europe's Digital Music Leaders Form Alliance; European Digital Music Companies Launch Of Digital Music Europe
» [2017-11-05] Pandora Subscriber Base Grows To Over 5 Million; Pandora Premium Paid Subscribers Cross The 1 Million Milestone In October 2017
» [2017-11-05] Hybrid Studios Announces Online Mastering Services; Engineers Billy Klein And Brian Frederick Spearhead New Online Mastering Effort Through OC Studio
» [2017-11-05] Music Industry Betting On VR & AR For New Revenue; The Music Industry Is Making An Early Bet On VR & AR To Create New Revenue Streams Across All Their Lines Of Business
» [2017-11-04] Sound Royalties Unearths Millions In Undistributed Royalties; Nearly $14 Million In Undistributed Royalties Has Been Found By Music-focused Finance Firm Sound Royalties
» [2017-11-02] MusicDish*China October China Label Music Releases And Charts; Several Tracks From October Releases Have Charted On Chinese Music Portal Kanjian ING Top 10 Weekly Chart
follow MusicDish on