04 December 2016

 
Grand Ole Opry Tennessee
Different country, same brilliant music...
Rising British singer Crissie Rhodes makes a pilgrimage to Nashville, the spiritual home of the music she loves
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s a British duo called The Shires that makes country music, it had always been our dream to go to Nashville. So when Ben Earle and I signed our first record deal and were flown to Tennessee the very next month to record our album, we couldn't hide our excitement. We were born and raised in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire (hence our band's name) and it was the first time either of us had been to Nashville - in fact the first time we'd been to America, so it was a totally new experience.

Nashville is the home of country music. We expected it to be everywhere and it was: from the moment we stepped off the plane we were immersed in it. In the airport all the announcements are done by country stars such as Dolly Parton and Lee Ann Womack.
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Nashville is the home of country music
Enjoy a meal at the famous Whiskey Kitchen
Grand Ole Opry - the Ryman used to be the Grand Ole Opry but they have built a new one which is a huge complex just outside town. Ben and I managed to get backstage, and seeing all the dressing rooms was amazing.

We were also at the side of stage to watch Sam perform with a country music act called the Striking Matches. One of the things we were most excited about - besides the music - was the food. We tried all kinds of Southern delicacies. At the famous Whiskey Kitchen we had fried pickles, now one of our favourite foods.

They are rolled in batter and then dropped in the fryer, and you eat them with a sour cream sauce. They taste amazing. We also went to Arnold's, a traditional classic, Southern place. It's really oldfashioned and you all have to queue out the door - politicians, football stars, musicians, everyone. A speciality is 'meat and three veg' and they had a big beef brisket laid out in the middle of the restaurant. The local people were so nice and seemed excited by our appreciation of their music and that we were putting our own twist on it.


Original article published in July 2015. All info and prices correct at time of publication.
Sam Palladio, an English actor who stars in the American TV series Nashville, showed us around and took us to the Ryman Auditorium, the mother church of country music, where we saw Crosby Stills and Nash play. The next night we went to the
"One of the things we were most excited about - besides the music - was the food."
 
 
 
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