I had the privilege of running sound for a concert at the Factory in Franklin last night for Ashley Cleveland and a new Warner Bros. recording artist named Jason Reeves
. It was a simple acoustic set for each artist but Jason did have a percussionist. I share this because our conversations shed a little little on why Nashville is such a draw right now as a Creative and Artistic center for more and more artists and different forms of music beside country. Jason was explaining to me how he recorded half of his new record in LA and the other half at a guys house here in Nashville. In the same sentence he said, "Nashville is way better." Now this is a kid who followed his dream from Iowa to LA, met some key people, co-wrote all of Colbie Caillat's material, like the hit "Bubbly," lives in LA but wants to move here. Charlie Peacock is somewhat to thank for this event. Jason's percussionist/drummer was an amazingly creative and skilled player who can't wait to move here as well. But I digress...
The real reason of this post is to give my reasons for loving what young artists like Taylor Swift, Hillary Scott (Lady A), Keith Urban and a host of others are doing to make Nashville truly "Music City." Yes their primary market is (or has been) country, but they are expanding the genre in unprecedented ways. There are many musical styles and many people enjoy several kinds of music, but Taylor, right now, is bring attention to Nashville at new levels. I think it is time to end the arguments of whether or not she can sing, or if she is only an anomaly - flash in the pan - and focus on the benefits we could all experience if Nashville continues to get the kind of national attention we are getting right now.
This morning I was going over my Grammy voting possibilities and there Taylor is for Record of the Year with "You Belong To Me" alongside Lady Gaga, Black-eyed Peas, Kings of Leon (also a Middle TN act) and Beyonce. I have to say, after listening to each of those songs, I hope she wins. If I didn't know who each artist was as I listened to the production, song quality, performance, etc. I would have chosen her song as the best I heard. Plain and simple. As an aside, I happen to love all the other artists in the category as well.
So, where do you stand? Can you embrace what Taylor has done (is doing) for Nashville?