Where to start?
I promised myself that I would write a blog every day during my trip so that I wouldn't have to try to cram it all into one when I get back. Here I sit...cramming. I arrived in Nashville on July 10th and stayed at The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) House for FREE! Thank you, SOCAN! During my first week, I took part in a Songwriting Retreat in East Nashville put on by a group of songwriters I met through SongTown (An online songwriting education platform). I had only met one of the writers (virtually) that was taking part, the rest were strangers to me. I showed up in the morning, ate some breaky, was put into a group of three and then wrote a song from 9-12pm. We broke for lunch and repeated the process with a new group of three from 1-4pm. It's always nerve wracking writing with new people because you don't know if you're going to gel or not but it all worked out and I ended up with 4 new songs and 14 new friends.
After the first week disappeared, I decided to play tourist. I visited the Ryman Auditorium, The Country Music Hall of Fame, and took in some music at The Listening Room and The Bluebird Cafe (I saw Rayna James which shocked me because I thought she was dead). Just joking. I didn't spot any of the Nashville cast during my trip. (cue the sound of my broken heart).
During the tail end of the second week, I took part in The Nashville Songwriter's Association International (NSAI) Advanced Song Camp. I was blown away by the NSAI staff and presenters. They are knowledgeable, kind, and good hearted people. I was so worried that the songs that I presented (not commercial country) to publishers and other industry peeps would get pooped on but they didn't. They encouraged me to "Do My Thang". One of our homework assignments given by NSAI's Executive Director, Bart Herbison was to listen to Kris Kristofferson's "Beat the Devil". A song that has now become my anthem for staying true to myself no matter what. The line "I've gotta feed the hunger in my soul" continues to play on repeat in my mind.
Thank you, Nashville for new friends and for filling me up with inspiration. I hope to see again sometime soon,