My Top 10 Scenes From Nashville Kitchens. All of which have taken place in sprawling homes that need to be and sometimes are sets of reality TV shows. They’re epidemic here.(Warning: Not ALL of these scenes took place inside… but most of them did.)
1. Telling a record label executive that he was destroying Country Music in a 4 am, whiskey fueled and rather intense conversation that concluded: “I really, really wanted to not like you. I wanted to think you were full of s*&% and, I gotta say, I still think you’re label’s just that. But, after getting to know you I have to say I misjudged you; not your label, but you as a person are pretty cool.” I woke mortified the next day and, to my surprise, he thanked me and said he knew a lot of people felt that way when they met him but very few had the nerve to actually say so. He then invited me over for Christmas dinner.
2. Arguing about the Constitution as intensely as I had previously argued about Country music with a gentleman I didn’t know was part of TN Gov’t. My friends are still talking about that one. When I asked what specifically I had said had made such an impression on them they said, “Well, it was something along the lines of, “I am a VIRGINIAN and the Declaration of Independence is written in the blood of my ancestors! Do not TELL me about the Constitution!” The Representative, far from being upset, continues to strongly recommend I go to law school.
3. Listening to an artist management room-mate from LA translate a grocery list for a Bluegrass musician room-mate from NC. It was like listening to someone reading a Hippie to Redneck translation dictionary and it went on for at least an hour. “Almond milk, arugula, soy creamer, tofu, organic dark chocolate, candles, soy cheese, soy sausage, Nag Champa…” I wish I’d seen the check out girl’s face when he pulled the cart up dressed in overalls and holding dip in his cheek.
4. Telling a very famous Pop Country stars brother to please pass on that he needed to stop doing that to Country Music, much to the alarm of a number of people around me on the Midtown sidewalk outside of Rebar I chose for this moment. “Hush!” Friends said, “You’re in the middle of the sidewalk in Midtown!” “The Middle of the sidewalk in Midtown is where this NEEDS to be heard.” I continued. “I most certainly will not be quiet.” The best part was the brother, (also a Pop Country artist), was laughing and saying he saw my point. I was then dubbed Nashville’s, “Walking Truth Machine”.
5. Playing the little classical music I know on the piano while drinking Woodford with Sen. Douglas Henry, who’s wisdom and kindness make me feel our Gov’t might not be as hopeless as New Country after all.
6. Noticing a hanging rack for pots and pans had real iron hooks while singing ‘Never Smile at a Crocodile’ in my most theatrical voice. I took one down to make my Captain Hook impersonation more convincing and, after nearly spearing someone while making a sweeping motion for dramatic effect, was told I am no longer allowed to play Captain Hook in the kitchen. I’m not sure I think that’s fair…
7. Wondering how a friend got so drunk so quickly and discovering, to my alarm, that she’d consumed a bottle of Lonesome Liz’s Hoodoo root juice, (not toxic but not for human consumption). I told her I was NOT at all sure that was the way to keep Hellhounds off of one’s trail.
8. Standing in a living room trying to run damage control on about 5 simultaneous extreme emergencies and, when all had reached fever pitch hearing the phone, (which announces who’s calling like an electronic butler) said, “Phone call from Compton, C-A… phone call from Compton, C-A…” My friend turned to me and said, “Who do you know in Compton?” “No one.” I replied, “Must be a wrong number but it certainly matches the tone of the action here.” We stopped playing Harvey Kietel in Pulp Fiction long enough to compose a rap song based on the events of the evening and including the line, “Phone call comin’ in from Compton” as a refrain. Gotta love it when the universe adds it’s own comic relief.
9. Being awakened with a request to make no less than four of Minnie Pearl’s famous chess pies. As I am not a morning person and am not exceptionally good at making pie, my immediate response was, “Is her ghost going to come on over and help because I’m not sure I’m going to do so well at that.” She must have based on how good those pies were.
10. Living, (briefly), in a home where the property manager threw people together willy-nilly without interviewing them to see if they’d get along with other residents. Now THAT should have been a reality show. The best way I can describe it is that a lot of what you see as a disintegration of real Country is the result of a huge migration of executives and artists from New York and LA; they understand music, just not Country because, well, because they’re not Southern for one thing. At the same time, you have, of course, a huge number of Southern artists and executives here as well. Now, imagine putting all of them together like Boggle pieces you’re shaking up, (refer to #3 for a humorous result but trust me, the result’s not always funny). That’s what the house was like and I’m certain they’re all over town. The resultant clash of cultures was not as pleasant in a home environment as it is in the city at large.
~ Lonesome Liz
Lonesome Liz is an Outlaw Country and Blues singer/songwriter, dubbed ‘The female Robert Johnson’ by ‘Southern Fried Magazine’. Her performances and multi-media productions have included Drive-by Truckers artist Wes Freed, Jesco the Dancing Outlaw and others. Also a writer for GratefulWeb.net and ‘Fine Art Magazine’ she lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she strives daily to save Country Music from itself… one cowboy at a time. You can also find her on ReverbNation , YouTube and Twitter. Choose your own adventure.
Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.