Knowing nothing about where to go in Nashville, I reached out to a music list and one trusty poster STRONGLY suggested that I head to The Station Inn. In his words, "Don't worry about who's playing, just go there." A little mapquest check revealed that the venue is a mere 1/2 mile from my hotel. After a nice dinner with some music colleagues, I walked over.
I stepped into the dingy bar and saw only about five people sitting scattered throughout the joint. I looked to the stage and there were five artists simply holding acoustic guitars. I grabbed a bud bottle and found a seat in the corner. The artists proceeded to go one-by-one belting out absolutly beautifuly country/blues/bluegrass songs that left me sitting mesmerized. There were songs about fathers, songs about prison, songs about farming, and songs about hope. They were all sung with incredible passion and beauty.
In all likelihood, these were relatively unknown acts in Nashville. Given Nashville's focus on utter crap, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
Tonight I saw real talent, talent that gives some credence to Nashville's label as "Music City".