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The Road to Nashville: Center Stage and Home Again

 Ducati Monster Road Trip

I have not seen a raw vegetable for 6 days. I feel a little dejected from the fact that I am so far from home, and I am now ready to start heading back through Kentucky and Ohio towards Toronto. I can chalk up the weariness to the fact that we had been riding 300+miles a day, that my Ducati Monster 696 is really not built for long distances, and perhaps at age 42 it is simply harder to sit without moving for 6-7 hours a day. My right hand is still numb after two days of rest, and the lack of non-processed food is taking its toll. Where are the vegetables and fruits, America?

On a more positive note, the actual experiences we are having through the small and larger towns has been worth our efforts. Last night, in Nashville, we happened upon a barely publicized show at The Station Inn with the legendary Dale Watson. It was the real deal. He is country/Ameripolitan music at its best, and we were able to experience the whole show in a small room that simply reeked of history and broken hearts. Visiting King Baby Studios for some cool rock star accessories, Carter’s Vintage Guitars for some impromptu jamming, and Third Man Record’s recording booth were other highlights. Being able to record a song in the same booth as Neil Young, Jack White and many others gave me a real sense of connection to the history of music. I fumbled my way through “Landslide” on a tiny guitar, but the sounds on playback were eerie and beautiful. Like all great adventures some days are rougher than others, but nostalgia will soften the edges after a few months.
King Baby Studios Nashville IMG_3307IMG_3303 Third Man Records Door

Our next stop is Louisville, Kentucky. I am hoping to see the Muhammed Ali Centre, visit a bourbon distillery, and get a chance to walk around the city a bit more than I have been. After a long riding day, I usually just want dinner and bed, but perhaps walking around a bit more would straighten out my body for the next day’s ride. I do have to admit that when we speak to people about what we are doing, they all have a bit of wistful admiration in the voices. The great American road-tripping experience appeals to most people, but it is the cost, the time, and the fear of leaving the daily grind that keeps most people from hitting the road in search of adventure.

Dale Watson

Nashville is always a great town to visit. The music is fabulous if you know what to look for. The guitars and shopping will empty your bank account for months to come. But you might just find out more about what makes you tick inside and about how to keep your cool when all that the rest of the world wants to do is to wear away at those freedoms we often give up for the illusion of safety. Perhaps like all great adventures, the hardest part is halfway, if only because you know how far it is back home to those you love and the turnaround point is always what requires to most physical energy to turn the ship around.

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