Music City

They don’t call this place Music City for nothing. Last night, Paul Rovnak and I went out for dinner and found a great place with a wide array of microbrews. There was no live music at this particular establishment, but while we dined we heard Guy Clark’s “L.A. Freeway,” Slobberbone’s “Springfield, IL,” and Bob Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.” Nice little geographic theme there, and I think it’s safe to say there aren’t many (if any) establishments in the greater D.C./Baltimore metro region where one could hope to hear such off-the-beaten path musical treasures.

After dinner, we headed to Robert’s Western World for a nightcap and a few numbers by a very, very tight seven-piece Western swing band. You can walk up and down the main drag here, and music wafts out of virtually every door. Being St. Patrick’s Day, the streets and bars were crowded. I reminded Paul that we were in New York City on Halloween, another night on the road this season in which the streets and bars were crowded. Seems like that was another season, in a lot of ways.

I haven’t been to Nashville in five years, and the last time I was here was the last time Caps winger Eric Fehr was here, too. Fehr was drafted in 2003, and Nashville hosted that year’s draft. While Fehr has been in the Sommet Center before, his skates have yet to grace the surface here.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a different trip for me,” says Fehr. “Last time I was there was the big draft. Going in and playing in that rink, they’ve got a team that’s fighting for a plyoff spot. It’s going to be a high-intensity game.”

I wondered what Fehr’s memories were of his previous trip.

“The first couple of days leading up to the draft, I don’t remember anything,” he says. “I had interviews with just about every team and I was just in and out and trying to get to my interviews. I didn’t get a lot of down time before that, but after I got drafted it was unbelievable to sit down and relax and take in what just happened.

“I’m a big country music fan so that’s pretty cool that they have all that stuff around there. All the artists are around the city and you can see them walking around and stuff. That’s really cool for me.”

If I’m going to listen to country music, it’s going to be the old school, authentic stuff. Or alt-country. Fehr is a fan of the newer stuff.

“I like Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, the new stuff,” says Fehr. “George Strait.”

Quintin Laing was talking about how the tractor on his family farm had an AM radio, and how country music was such a part of the fabric of life in that part of the world.

Fehr has only played in a handful of buildings around the league, and he’ll add the Sommet Center to that list tonight. It’s unlikely to supplant his current favorite NHL barn.

“Definitely the Bell Centre had both great ice and a great atmosphere,” says Fehr. “That’s probably the best rink that I’ve played in so far in my career. I liked Ottawa. I like playing anywhere in Canada. The fans are always great there and those are the teams you watch growing up so those are the cities you like to play in.”

Cristobal Huet will be in goal for the Caps tonight, and he will face Nashville’s Dan Ellis. Washington captain Chris Clark is still not quite ready to suit up, and the Preds will be without center David Legwand.

Both Nashville coach Barry Trotz and Caps coach Bruce Boudreau held morning meetings with the media here. I recorded both and will send them back to the District for use on Trotz is one of the best coaches in the business from a media standpoint, as you’ll hear if you take 12 minutes to listen to the clip when it’s posted.

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6 Comments on “Music City”

  1. pepper Says:

    Grand Ole Opry radio, 650 AM, is worth a listen almost any time of day for serious country music lovers. Its streaming online too.

    I was in Nashville over New Years and was a bit disappointed that I did not see a single reference to Predators hockey anywhere – no ads, no merchandise, nothing – save for a logo in front of the arena itself. Lots of Titans stuff, but no Preds. I take it that’s still the case, or has the new ownership changed all that?

  2. Mike L Says:

    Nashville is a fun town….glad you’re enjoying it. 🙂

    Now, tell us the truth. Does Alex practice those 150 bank shots into the empty net? In watching the game on CSN, as I saw it I started lavghing out loud as I *knew* it was going in from the moment the puck banked off the wall…

    If it was any other player in the league, I’d say it was dumb luck. With Ovie, I’m not so sure…

  3. dumpnchase Says:

    Great crowd last night (and several great crowds lately), but sadly, not much in the way of footprint or sign of Predators life around the rest of the city that I noticed. They’re trying valiantly to make it work, but I’m not sure … I think it could go either way. They could use a smart hockey guy with some marketing savvy, IMO.

    Mike L,
    The debate about whether Ovie did that on purpose raged among us media folk as the elevator descended after the game. The view was split about evenly, but Ovie himself said it was the luckiest goal ever.

  4. Scott Says:

    Before the bands come on, I play stuff like that every night at IOTA club in Arlington.

  5. […] Pete Moss wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt“I’ma big country music fan so that’s pretty cool that they have all that stuff around there. All the artists are around the city and you can see them walking around and stuff. That’s really cool for me.” … […]

  6. dumpnchase Says:

    That’s great. I try to catch LTH there from time to time, but rarely get there much before they take the stage. Good to know, though! Keep it up.

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