"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

NASHVILLE STAYCATION 2008: $20 for Dinner and "A Penny for the Band"

Saturday, September 20, 2008 - Nashville, TN
We took advantage once more of the $20.08 prix fixe menus offered around Nashville this week with dinner at Mirror Restaurant with our friend, Carolyn. Excellent meal, huge portions and a white chocolate "soup" for dessert. Don't knock it until you try it. We then ambled back over to Flyte Restaurant for another flight of sparkling wines and a delicious plate of cheeses (yes, we were stuffed, but it's cheese!). We asked for Joseph again, our waiter from Thursday night, and he was happy to oblige us in the dining room even though we were only there to drink and nibble. We tried our best to close down the place, but then headed out about 10:30 PM for a cab ride over to The (Famous?) Station Inn in The Gulch for a late-night showcase set by Justin Rutledge as part of The Americana Music Festival going on around Nashville. Justin is a young singer/songerwriter from Toronto that we saw last year with Rob's favorite band, Blue Rodeo, at this same festival. The Station Inn is a tiny little place that only serves bottled beer (that's right, it's basically a beer joint) with a small stage and scattered chairs and tables. We were a little skeptical about acoustics and such, but with front-row seats and the new smoking ban in Tennessee those worries all fell away when Justin took the stage, plugged in and did his thing. His style of music is best described by what he said on stage a few songs in to the set..."As you can see, I play two kinds of songs...slow and slower." His ballads are full of strong and intelligent imagery, his voice is pure and clear, and his accompanying rhythm guitarist was simply a virtuoso. Carolyn, who was a little skittish about going with us and had never heard of him, liked Justin's performance enough to buy his new album, Man Descending, which includes the beautifully crafted song "A Penny for the Band." Justin was kind enough to chat with us a few minutes after his set and then sign both copies of his CD that we had bought.
After dropping Carolyn at her house in nearby Green Hills we had our cabbie drop us at the new Hilton downtown (did we miss Bob Dylan at The Cannery? That was the rumor our cab-mate was following, but it was late, we were tired and frankly we don't care that much about Bob Dylan). The Hilton is where we spent the rest of our "Staycation" thanks to some more frequent-stay points from Ashlee's work as we wait for gas to be shipped to our area....long lines and/or no gas available...where are we? in Russia? Oh well, we just rolled with it and didn't let it stop our enjoyment of some great food, beverages and music along the way.

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