There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

30 August 2016

The Ryman

On October the 12th, 1841, Thomas Green Ryman is born.

In 1892 the Union Gospel Tabernacle is completed.
December the 23rd, 1904, Thomas Green Ryman dies. At his funeral, the Rev. Sam Jones takes a vote to rename the tabernacle the Ryman Auditorium.

The audience responds with a standing ovation.

Throughout the early 1900's a variety of acts grace the stage, from Harry Houdini, to Presidential candidates, African American singers to budding country artists.
June 5th, 1943 The Grand Ole Opry moves to the Ryman. Acts such as the Carter Sisters, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash join the Grand Ole Opry. Elvis Presley himself even played here once.

The Grand Ole Opry eventually moves out, renovations take place, and the Ryman is now a concert hall for all kinds of acts.

Yet it's rich Americana history is still alive and well in it's historic walls and church pews.
I sat in wonder, waiting for tonight's show to begin.

Will I see history being made here tonight?

29 August 2016

Greensky Bluegrass 2016

Banjos and steel cut guitars.
Bad ass beards, long hair and redneck trucker hats.

It must be time for Greensky Bluegrass.
With this being my second time seeing them, I'm fully prepared for the awesome sounds, or so I thought.

The night was full of surprises, however. It's the thing I enjoy the most about a live concert, you never know what to expect.
Case in point would be when the band opened up to a killer jam of a Pink Floyd classic. It was undoubtedly one of the greatest six minutes of my musical experience.

Enjoy it, won't you? 

26 August 2016

Leftover Salmon

My seemingly annual return trip to Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado happened last July.

This time around it was to see the local band Greensky Bluegrass. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to find that Leftover Salmon was opening.
I settle into my front row and center seat.
Take a sip, grab a small bite, and enjoy the antics of the opening act.

22 August 2016

Hip hatchet & Sarah Jarosz

It's mid morning on a Sunday, and I'm driving through the high northern Arizona desert. The crackling of the radio only quiets on the National Public Radio station. I let it play.

They are talking about Sarah Jarosz and her new album. The single House of Mercy is played, and her hauntingly beautiful voice stays with me.
As soon as I get home, I find that she is touring, and with a couple of clicks, I find myself walking in Fremont, Seattle's famed "center of the universe" district, towards the Neptune.
While on the plane, I do a little more digging and find that the opening act is a band by the name of Hip Hatchet. I love the name, and the singer's beard even more.
When he starts to sing though, magic happens.
Heartfelt lyrics, true Americana.
Both artists create an atmosphere of chills and joy. It's that rare combination that one hopes for when seeing a show.
As I step out into the cool summer Seattle evening, I find myself under the marquee. I stop for a moment and close my eyes under the soft lights, and marvel at the experience I just had.

18 August 2016

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

After taking our time driving up from the Phoenix area, we finally pull into Williams, Arizona after a few hours. Tired and hungry, we find our home for the next couple of nights....

From the outside, it isn't all that impressive. Honestly, I was wondering if I'd made a big mistake. Yet once inside, you are immersed in the grand old splendor of the place.
The best part of staying here is having the train station that goes directly to the South Rim right behind the hotel. Train enthusiasts have old railway cars to explore.
We get checked in, then enjoy what the hotel has to offer ; a swimming pool and hot tub, a game room right out of the 1970's with Ms. Pacman and air hockey, vintage cars on the grounds outside, and just beautiful evening weather for cocktails whilst enjoying the sunset.
We are rested, refreshed, and ready to start a new adventure in the morning....