Honky Tonking in Nashville, Tennessee
Top 5 Honky Tonks of Nashville:
If you love country music, downtown Nashville, Tennessee is a must-see. There is a reason it is called Music City. The neon signs of Broadway,and 2nd to 5th Avenue illuminate the streets, while musics pills out onto the sidewalks, as cowboy boot clad patrons hop from bar to bar,or as it’s called in Nashville, go “honky tonking”.
Also known as “Honky Tonk Row”, holds some of the most famous music venues in America. All along Broadway, the streets are lined with live music clubs, western stores,restaurants, and record stores. There is an unusual disparity of skyscraper buildings full of lawyers and real estate offices, and down and dirty honky tonk bars, blaring loud music, sandwiched between Western souvenir shops. In this area, it doesn’t matter what time it is, the music is perpetually flowing.Check your attitude at the door, because in Nashville you are bound to have a good ole time.
If you a true country music lover, the Country Music Hall of Fame is home of plenty of historical rock and roll memorabilia. The Ryman Auditorium is the previous site of the Grand Ole Opry, and now a renovated concert venue. But in the alley behind it lie some of the most well known honky tonk hot spots, such as Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Robert’s Western World. The world renowned Tootsie’s has entertained the likes of Cher, Pamela Anderson, Shania Twain, and was the original stomping grounds of Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, and many others. With its brightly painted orchid colored building, it is a tough one to miss. If you are searching for some late night greasy food, Robert’s Western World, another famous bar on Broadway, serves up burgers and fried bolognas sandwiches. (This is honky-tonk country after all). Or have dinner at Jack’s Bar-B-Que for some Tennessee style Southern cuisine. At B.B. King’s Blues Club and Restaurant, you’ll hear blues, Motown, and rock and roll at one of the largest music venues downtown,although there is usually a small cover charge.
A few doors down from Tootsie’s, guarantees live music seven days a week, but never a cover charge. Unless you have a sense of humor or want to get the full “tourist experience”, the Wild Horse Salon may be one you’ll have to miss. This three story bar and restaurant has plenty of space for line dancing, and is brightly lit with fluorescent lights, unlike many of the dark and smoky honky tonk bars downtown. Legend’s Corner, located on lower Broadway, is yet another historic honky tonk with an original Elvis Presley 78 record, and a guitar signed by Johnny Cash on display. Expect a crowd of all ages at these bars and clubs, as everyone in Nashville is seeking good live music and Jack Daniels.
Although there are some complaints by local Nashvillians that the famed bars of “Honky Tonk Row”have become commercialized, loosing their genuine country roots, there is no where like Nashville, Tennessee for country music. If you want the more authenticunderground experience, stop by the Bluebird Café on Hillsboro Road, a little hole in the wall that is a have nfor singer-songwriters and budding musicians. It just seems to be the case in Nashville that the more dark and rustic the bar, the better the music and the talent. Although,over the years Nashville has gained its fair share of trendy hipster scene bars and clubs near Vanderbilt University, the real honky tonks are still alive and kickin’.
By Carrie McCloud