19:00 – Touch down for dinner
Book a direct flight from London Heathrow and arrive in the early evening in Nashville International Airport. Then it’s straight to dinner. East Nashville has plenty of restaurants which will set the pace for your evening. Two Ten Jack serves classy cocktails alongside Japanese food in a pub-style atmosphere. It’s lively, but dimly-lit enough to hide any traces of jet lag.
21:00 – See songbirds
Be sure to book ahead for a table in the tiny Bluebird Cafe. This unassuming venue is an intimate performance space for songwriters, where everyone from Taylor Swift to Faith Hill has sung on their way to stardom. Jam into a chair in the packed-out listening room, where the atmosphere will sizzle. Doors close late and then it’s back to the hotel, humming all the way home.
There’s an exhausting amount of live music every single night, often multiple bands on multiple floors, and you can shuffle along until you find a crowd and sound you like
09:00 – Star spotting
After breakfast, it’s time for the big hitter. The Country Music Hall of Fame is massive and comprehensive following a recent renovation. Feel free to take it at pace, but stop to admire the architecture from outside – the windows are configured to look like piano keys and the whole design is roughly based on a bass clef. Just nearby is the Walk of Fame Park, where you can walk over Hollywood-style stars on the sidewalk until you spot Jack White, inducted in 2015, and Kings of Leon, inducted in 2012. As part of your ticket you’ll also have access to a far more intimate site: RCA Studio B.
10:30 – RCA Studio B
It may not look like much, but this is where Elvis recorded over 200 of his songs, and Dolly Parton wrote ‘Jolene’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’. There in the corner are a string of Christmas lights hung up to help the King get in the festive mood for a July recording of some Christmas songs. And there is the ancient piano he would use to warm up and record. Perhaps you’ll get your own flash of inspiration.