Post Aussie BBQ, lots of hugs and bon voyages etc …  All are agreed that it’s been a notable success.  Certainly form my point of view, I’ve sensed yet another level in awareness of the Australian artists and the Sounds Australia ‘mission’.  Enormous amount of positive feedback from US industry and fans, and lots of reports of positive meetings and outcomes from our crew.. Going to be a good report!

Monday was a write-off.  Well not quite, but a non-music day – just sitting on the deck at Tom’s place was a VERY welcome respite.  Tom’s house is the last in quiet street in East Nashville in Shelby Park, next to the public golf course. Surrounded by trees, just by the Cumberland River and with a lake and parks all around, this is a blissful spot.  Bit of lazy emailing and photo editing and blogging – nothing too strenuous.

Tuesday 18th – Catch-up and Shop!

Chance to drop into the AMA and say thankyou.  Jed was going to be in LA, but is still here.  Get to give he and the wonderful staff some Yellow Tail wine that I’ve been saving.  It’s small team of 6, but they deliver an outstanding, world-class event  This year – the best ever!

Then off to Aristomedia for a de-brief.  Jeff Walker and his team – especially Ryan Moore, have done an outstanding job.  In addition to the coverage on Inside Music Row TV and their usual first-class e-releases to industry and music media which have helped produce such great crowds at our events, this year we’ve added No Depression TV and the coverage in The Tennessean.  Great job!

So, off Downtown for a bit of retail therapy, and then a visit to the Costume Shop so I don’t let the side down when I’m a ‘guest’ pirate at Music City Roots.

Not a boot sort of a person, but this place is like the final scene from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.  If I could pan out, you’d see that there’s another half-a-store full of boots.  “Buy One Pair – Get Two Free” is the standard deal.  If you’re into boots – this is your town!  Manage to resist a soft drink based on bacon on the way home.  Tempted though ….

The bad news is that on my annual visit to Book Man/Book Woman, I’ve uncovered some treasures.  What a surprise!  An irresistible, definitive Civil War trilogy by Shelby Foote (one of the key historical consultants on Ken Burn’s amazing documentary series), plus some other must-haves.  So the annual trip to the post office to send home the ‘excess’ is on again.

Music City Roots – September 19th

Well, we all know what today is right?  September 19th?  Correct!  It’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day.  So the ‘Aussie’ special edition of Music City Roots will feature Caitlin Harnett, Jordie Lane, Chris Altmann, Felicity Urquhart and honorary Aussie Tom Mason & The Blue Buccaneers.

Music City Roots is a weekly live concert that’s broadcast on radio and the web.  It takes place in a wonderful, purpose-built venue (The Barn) adjacent to the famous Loveless Cafe – a renowned food and tourism destination.

I’d been a little surprised to find Tom in the kitchen this morning in makeup.  His house after all….  But he has been to the radio and TV to promote piratey things.

We did our first Aussie special last year, and I’m delighted that the MCR folks have agreed to another.

Great gig to do because the artists get paid but, more importantly, get an HD DVD of their performance – immediately after the show!  Plus the broad/web cast, plus free use of the photos taken on the night.  Plus MCR blogs and posts videos on YouTube etc …..

I’ll go into more detail in my report, but needless to say, a wonderful night of music, greatly enjoyed by an enthusiastic audience – some of whom came in pirate costume.  This is an awesome group of highly talented musos, so expected nothing less.  So happy for Caitlin – our ‘youngster’, who’s just bought a lovely new Gibson, and comes off stage Soooo excited – “they stood up for me!”.  Great sets everyone!

And my pirate debut?  A success I think.  A chance to dress up and play – what could be better?!

Tomorrow, Tom and Pru and I are off on a bit of a road trip to Memphis.  On previous visits, I just hadn’t managed to find time to get out of town, so really looking forward to – the Civil Rights Museum, the Stax Museum (MY roots upbringing), Sun records and the Metal Museum.  Not sure what the latter’s about but comes highly recommended.  Don’t think we’ll have time for Gracelands – am tempted though.

Then it’s a leisurely drive back ‘home’ and out to the airport for the trip home.

It’s a magic place and we’ve had a magic time!

Thanks to Millie and Esti back at Sounds Australia HQ.  Thanks to the wonderful AMA folks for helping to make it all work.  Thanks Tom Mason for being a brilliant host, chauffeur and helper – couldn’t do this without you.  Jeff Walker and Aristomedia, you have gone above and beyond – again!

And to all Sounds Australia’s sponsors, and our specific Americana supporters – Tamworth Regional Council, Maton Guitars, Telstra Road To Discovery, Yellow Tail wines and John Lomax (Roots Music Exporters) and Sister Cities of Nashville – you made this happen – I love you!

Until next time ……..