It’s not often I write about music aside from my obvious love of Taylor Swift.
I find this a bit funny because music has always been a huge part of my life and is one of the few things that can cut to my core in an instant.
My Dad is a musician. Not by trade anymore but it’s his passion and I grew up in a house full of music. The Husband loves music and is often found plucking away at the guitar or learning a new song on the drums. Live music in your home is hard to beat. Especially if it’s that acoustic 1D song that was learned just for you. (But will deny if confronted.)
A good song has always had the ability to stop me in my tracks. I remember one night driving home to my Dads house and this song by Tomi Swick came on the radio. I actually had to pull over because I was so consumed by the song, the lyrics, the acoustic guitar. I was still in University, hadn’t yet met The Husband, and I’m sure my young heart was bruised and looking for comfort and this was just the thing it needed.
Despite being a junkie for boy-bands, Britney and Christina, in high school I had a stack of CD’s that were full of emo music that I came across in some way or another. These CD’s could track-for-track trace back to the boy I had a crush on, the one that broke my heart for the zillionth time, or the victorious moment when I knew I was finally OK again. The best and worst memories of my younger years had a soundtrack and I LOVE that.
Those years were so magical and powerful and sometimes so sad and frankly deserved an epic score.
As much as I love music and have so many songs to attach my memories to, I hadn’t paid much attention to the songwriting or the process. I had always thought about what a song meant to ME and not what that song meant to someone else – which was clearly a lot if it compelled them to put pen to paper, and music to words and so on.
This October that changed for me and the genres of music I love expanded considerably. The Husband and I took a trip to Nashville. A trip I had never really thought would be up my alley but turned out to be one I’ll never forget.
A charming duo performing a cover of ‘Blank Space’ lured us into Jimmy Buffet’s Margarittaville. (Shocking, I know.) This is easily the least Nashville of Nashville bars, but housed some incredible talent. Next thing we knew, it was three hours and a bunch of tequila later and we had gone from Taylor Swift to Neil Young to One Direction to Tracy Chapman and way beyond. They even threw in their own originals and every single song was perfect. The talent was pouring out of every bar we went to regardless of what they were singing.
The Opry was another surprise for me. I had never loved Country music. To be honest, I never even really liked it. By the time we left the Opry I was a changed woman. I thought Country was a bit lame and whiny, but it’s actually so soulful and powerful and beautiful.
At the Opry we got to see Nathan Chapman, the mastermind behind virtually every Taylor Swift album with the exception of 1989 perform. (Although he did produce ‘This Love’ which is one of my favourite songs on the album)
The next day we got a chance to see him again at an intimate Songwriters Circle where he played music, told stories and shed some light into the background of the writing process. This was when I realized how selfish my approach to music had been. The stories and heartache and happiness and struggle are so real for the person making the music. Not just for you. And now we were watching someone who has seen crazy amounts of success as a producer, testing the waters with a solo album. A new kind of vulnerability and uncertainty.
Nathan Chapman at The Country Music Hall of Fame.
His album sold for $10 in the lobby and came with a chance to chat with him. I was one degree of separation from my idol, but found a new one in him, and a new love for music in Nashville.
From Broadway to the Bluebird, we saw more than 40 acts over a long weekend, and I couldn’t get enough.
Tonight as I flipped through the channels on TV I caught a clip of someone performing a cover of a Chris Stapleton song on American Idol. I immediately searched the song and it hit me again. That feeling of falling in love with words and a melody and really just the feeling of being in love with music.
While sometimes my taste in music may seem questionable, every song and artist I love I love because they make me feel something.
I love that no matter how much time passes, music can just cripple you, act as a time machine, or lift your spirits when you need it to.