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Nashville Songwriters Assoc. Int. (NSAI) Seven places to play in Nashville, Gary. E. Andrews  

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Gary E. Andrews
(@gary-e-andrews)
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Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 79
21/06/2019 1:13 am  

https://www.nashvillesongwriters.com/7-venues-play-nashville

If you're a performing Songwriter, you may want to explore these possibilities in Nashville, you know, the one in Tennessee.

Douglas Corner – 2106 8th Ave South

Douglas Corner has been around since 1987. A regular on NSAI’s Tin Pan South circuit, Douglas Corner is responsible for honing the skills of Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and Alan Jackson. Douglas Corner Open Mic nights begin Tuesdays at 8 pm. To play you can call 615-292-2530 between 1 and 6 pm the day of. Check out the Douglas Corner website here. (Link on the word 'here' is not 'highlighting.)

Café Coco – 210 Louise Ave

Café Coco, nestled into the Elliston Place area, provides a light atmosphere for a mostly college crowd. Café Coco is a regular coffee shop in the daytime, but nights provide a fun and creative atmosphere for poetry readings, comedy, and live music. Café Coco Writer’s Nights happen every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 10:30 pm. Signups begin at 7 but fill up fast! Get there early! For more information click here. (Clickable link on 'click here'.)

The Listening Room – 618 4thAve South

The Listening Room is one of Nashville’s newest and most popular venues. Many rounds and shows take place in The Listening Room, including some of our Tin Pan South rounds. The Listening Room doesn’t do sign-ups for their rounds but rather has you submit the information online. The Listening Room will then contact you about possible dates to play! Check out the application here. (Link on word 'here')

Puckett’s Grocery – 500 Church Street

Puckett’s Grocery has been around Nashville since the 1950’s. Puckett’s Grocery has locations in Nashville, Franklin, Leiper’s Fork, Columbia, Murfreesboro, and Chattanooga. They LOVE Songwriters. If you play your own songs and have a knack for the small town country store vibe, Puckett’s Grocery is the place for you. Application for Puckett’s Grocery can be found here. (Link on 'here' does not work. Google search: https://www.google.com/search?q=puckett%27s+nashville&oq=Puckett%27s&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.13482j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 )
 

The Bluebird Café – 4104 Hillsboro Pike 

The Bluebird Café offers an amazing opportunity for active NSAI Chapter Members. The Bluebird Cafe Sunday Writers Nights run from 8 to 11 pm and feature 8 Songwriters who play 3 songs each. Check The Bluebird Cafe website for auditor times or take a shot at their Monday Night Open Mic! 

The Bluebird Cafe Open Mic sign-ups open from 11 am-12 pm Central Time every Monday. They take the first 25 writers to call. Click here to learn more. (Link on 'Click here')

Alley Taps – 162 Printer’s Alley

Located in historic Printer’s Alley, Alley Taps gives a peek back in time into the Old Nashville way. If you aren’t looking for wild and crazy, Alley Taps is the place to go. With live music every night, Alley Taps bears the slogan, “The Home of Future Country Music”. For information on how to play click here. (Link on 'click here')

Two Old Hippies

Located in the Gulch, Two Old Hippies is a store owned by two self-proclaimed “Hippies” who were deeply inspired by 60’s era old school Rock N’ Roll. As well as a performance venue, Two Old Hippies houses instruments and a retail space. Two Old Hippies is the perfect place for a budding Songwriter to hone their chops and try out some tunes. For booking inquiries contact booking@twooldhippies.com. (Clickable link on 'booking@twooldhippies.com or copy and paste in email.)

Copyright © Nashville Songwriters Association International 2019 All rights reserved.

This topic was modified 3 months ago 6 times by Gary E. Andrews

Despite 1,000's of years of Songwriting humans have not exhausted the possibilities. There will always be another Song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 186
22/06/2019 7:45 pm  

Good list Gary, however do understand that most of those, particularly Douglas Corner, The Listening Room, the three Puckett's locations, Two Old Hippies, are mostly invitation only. People who perform there have gone through an audition process that has taken them sometimes years to get through. In most of them you have to be able to deliver an audience before you are considered to be able to perform.

The Bluebird is completely in a league of it's own. That is the hardest and the top of the heap. People wait an average of three to five years with a long waiting list. On the Monday open mic, you need to call as early as you can. Same with Douglas on Tuesday. Each have their own rules but mostly it is wait your turn in  line. 

There are places like THE COMMODORE LOUNGE, in the Holiday Inn on West End, 2613 West End Nashville 37203, are a show up and sign in around 6:00 every evening with an open mic on Tuesdays. The rest of the time, Debi Champion is the host.

The Maxwell House Hotel, 2025 Rosa Parks Blvd. Has writers nights twice a week ,Wed and Thus. but those are all "ROUNDS" in that three- four people perform at the same time. Three rounds a night. Lee Rascone' is that host.

There is a newer ongoing one at the Time Traveler Cafe' next door to Cafe' Coco, on West End, is also going on several nights a week. That host is Jaye D. Marie. 

Writers shows are ongoing every night in Nashville but you do need to find out the rules, usually by visiting them. One will generally lead you to the others, as many open and close all the time. Writers nights are difficult to put on because most writers don't have much money and can't pay for food or drinks. So if you want to perform, try to bring people in to see you. 

Good luck and if you need some tips, just ask. I've been involved with them for 31 years here and know about every hole you can fall into.
MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Gary E. Andrews
(@gary-e-andrews)
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Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 79
23/06/2019 12:22 am  

Some more good tips for those exploring Nashville. 
The ones I posted are from NSAI, and each has a link to click on to get the information on how to sign up. 
Ireallydon'tknowWHYITWON'TLETMESPACE!!!Idon'tknowifanyonehereisactivelyseekingauditionsinthatmarketbutthoughtitwasaninterestinglistforexploringthehow-to'softheprocess.

Despite 1,000's of years of Songwriting humans have not exhausted the possibilities. There will always be another Song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 186
23/06/2019 8:51 am  

Nashville writer's nights.

There are many ongoing songwriter's nights and open mics, in Nashville and they are one of the main ways everyone gets to know each other. There are different rules in each one, and the best thing any writer/artist can do is to get to know the HOSTS of each one, support the night itself and the venue and be a part of the community. Writers nights are NOT to get discovered and it is doubtful anyone is going to find the hit publisher, producer, or artist there, but you MIGHT find THE PUBLISHER, PRODUCER, ARTIST of the FUTURE. And that is what you are looking for.

Nashville is a bit like high school and college all over again. "FRESHMAN, SOPHOMORE, JUNIOR AND SENIOR. And they each last about THREE YEARS. It is all an investment in time, money and patience. Even performing at the "top dog on the block", the BLUEBIRD, doesn't guarantee success. It is all just part of the steps you take to get known. But it is where you find your allies, your co-writers, your venues for the future, musicians, and most importantly, your "CLASS" and "FRIENDS FOR LIFE." We are a very communual community, and everyone are going through the same things. Some advance slower, some faster, but overall it is still about a "ten year town" and has to be approached in a deliberate, careful way. Always remember there are A L OT OF PEOPLE trying to do this. So patience is the most important thing you can have. 

The open mics and the writers night are the first steps. 

OPEN MICS- Are where anyone can show up, sign up and perform.
It is usually the "cattle call" where dozens or some times hundreds will show up waiting to play one or maybe two songs. Now, many of these have a phone number or email listed with a name of the host. You would call the day of that show, and be put into a line in the order you call. And there will be people who show up and don't get to play. There is only so much space on each night, and only so many people you can get in in a four-five hour slot. 

WRITERS NIGHTS- Are invitation only. Usually these are achieved after performing on open mics for a bit of time. It is a "stepping up" thing, with your advancement in time slots, featured access, higher caliber rounds or slots, coming with your ability to perform well, AND bring people in to eat and drink in the establishment. That is probably the most important element of the venue. Without patrons, the doors don't stay open. And while new nights open up all the time, they close just as fast.

FORMATS:

Each one usually starts between 6:00-6:30 and you really should be there as early as you can get. You would check in with the host (usually the person behind the sound board) and find your place in line. Try to find out the people going on in front of you and be ready to go onstage as soon as they announce you. The guitar or keyboard chord will be on a mic stand in front of you. Plug in, give the sound person a signal, check your mic and be ready. 
Each person on stage (usually 3-4 people) will each play one song at a time, going down the line, then back to the beginning. This is done one to four times. Depending on the amount of people, it's usually 3 songs each, but might be more or less depending on the time frame. Open mics are usually one, sometimes two, the invited are 3-4. It's usually a 30 minute set so be prepared with your set ups, remarks, and song. Don't talk too much, skip solos or musical parts, and DON'T BORE US, GET TO THE CHORUS. And get off the stage. Have business cards or CD's ready but don't offer them unless asked for. There is a term called "GHERMING" which I can explain on another post. Bad idea.

VENUES:
Many of the venues are resturant bars and many are attached to hotels. At least half the audience are NOT music people, but hotel guests, in for business, conventions, vacation trips, or waiting to go downtown. So expect a lot of talking and people interested in other things aside music. You have to earn their attention. If you can't do that, how do you expect to win the world. 

The rest of the audience are fellow writers or their friends,  who are waiting for you to finish and get off so they can get on. Watch for "GLOW SONGS" (where much of the audience are on their cell phones, and the glow is shone in their faces. If they do this on you, you better practice a lot more.) 

STAND ALONE AND SHOWCASE CLUBS:
Places like THE BLUEBIRD, DOUGLAS CORNER, PUCKETTS (three different locations) THE LISTENING ROOM, CAFE COCO, BELCOURT TAPAS, and a few more, are "STAND ALONE" venues, which are specifically set up for music. They might also have food or other things but music is the main purpose. These usually have multiple shows a night, most often an early and a late show, and they are very difficult to get into because it requires bringing in an audience. The better known you are, the better your slot. 

There IS NO PAY in Nashville except for the downtown clubs, around 35 mostly cover bars, or the times you can charge a cover. On those you have to pay a fee for sound, lights, sound man, door man, etc, whatever the club deems nessasary. With a majority of writers and many of their audiences being "WATER AND TEA DRINKERS" (very little money) you'd be surprised that clubs don't make a lot on writers nights. Hopefully they bring in people with large appetites or thirst. Again most close down.
If you want to make money, you go out of town or your create your own audiences. So your political skills have to be good. 

It's a "SUPPLY AND DEMAND" town, with a regular population of anywhere from 150,000-200,000 people in the town with some connection to music. Any week will have around 500-600 moving or making regular trips to town. That is offset by the 1200 or so that leave each week, having lasted 6 months to 2 years. For each slot in the town, there are between 500-1000 wanna be's wanting one of those slots. Very competitive and very difficult to advance. But very easy to get to know people and get around. 
The best of times, the worst of times. The good news and bad news are exactly the same:

The good news: EVERYONE IS JUST LIKE YOU, DOING THE SAME THING, GET WHERE YOU COME FROM.
The bad news: EVERYONE IS JUST LIKE YOU, DOING THE SAME THING, GET WHERE YOU COME FROM.

Everyone is a direct ally AND a DIRECT COMPETITION. It's a great town with a lot of creativity but can be very frustrating as well. 
You have opportunity but you have to create it yourself. Be on your game, be on time and make them love you.

Any questions? Let em fly. I know this topic really well. I've spent an average of 4 nights a week, 5 hours a night, for THIRTY ONE years being involved here. I've pretty much seen it all good and bad, and am happy to offer any insight I can. 

Good LUCK.
MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Gary E. Andrews
(@gary-e-andrews)
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Joined: 5 months ago
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28/06/2019 5:31 am  

I see this on Linkedin.com for anyone exploring the Nashville route.

Doak Turner

• 2nd
Co-OWNER of Music Starts Here Music Community & sales OTTO PRINT Tour and Event Laminates, Lanyards, Passes, Wristbands. Songwriter. Music Consultant. Music Networking Pro
8h
Wednesday,, July 17th - Music Starts Here invites YOU Come hang-out, network, enjoy some good eats, have a few drinks, preview some first-look demonstrations, glean some great insight and information from top music Industry professionals like BMI, NAMM, Sound Royalties, H.O.M.E., Musicians Pro Insurance, Relevnt, Spotlight Wealth Investments, Country Music Fantasy Camp, and Action Spine & Joint. Win Awesome Prizes and see demonstrations from SHURE, KEF, FISHMAN, BOSE, Jocavi Acoustic Panels, MSH then stick around to sample some amazing original music during the NB4-Namm New Artist Spotlight.Register at the link below - High-Impact Networking - Better Than Bar Food - Assortment of Beverages - Big Prize Give-Aways - Swag For Everyone - Industry Insight From The BIGS - NB4-Namm New Artist Spotlight Our Only Guarantee Is: You will meet great people, learn something new, get some free stuff, wet your whistle, fill your belly and hear some great new local talent... and maybe even win one of the cool big prizes. https://lnkd.in/e5gTBcn
This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by Gary E. Andrews

Despite 1,000's of years of Songwriting humans have not exhausted the possibilities. There will always be another Song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 186
28/06/2019 1:26 pm  

Gary, thanks for mentioning that. It is a wonderful networking opportunity. One of the sites everyone should be on is MUSIC STARTS HERE. It is sort of a "yellow pages" for the Nashville songwriting community. Has listings for writers nights, studios. rehearsal space, workshops, networking events, musicians, etc. and many teaching blogs and videos. I have many up there. I am one of the founding members and contributors to the site. Doak was the NSAI coordinator in Charlotte NC for many years and moved to Nashville for about a decade before moving back to Charlotte. He is in town about once every six weeks and doing these events is a great way to get connected. 
Any one looking to find a rental space in Nashville, one of the other owners, Will Carter, has realty property for one or multi nights. Very good locations and prices.

This event will be during the NAMM (New Music Merchandise showcase) next month. Another great way to check out the new stuff coming out. Doak has many discount coupons, informations, for that as well. And you might see me, you never know. A great way to meet people and plug into the industry quickly.
MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Gavin
(@gavin)
Honorable Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 362
28/06/2019 4:33 pm  

I see Doak Turner's name popping up on the NSAI Charlotte chapter's Facebook page every so often, although I have not seen him at any of the meetings.

I joined NSAI last year. To be honest, I don't think I have got a lot out of it, because I'm just not the kind of writer or person who is positioned to do so. I thoroughly enjoy the local chapter meetings though. I have met some very nice and talented people there. I was a bit shy about the whole thing at first, but everyone is very welcoming and has made me feel part of the gang. I expect that would be the case at just about any chapter - a good way to get out from behind the computer and meet people.

My membership is due for renewal in about a week. I will probably renew it, just to support the organization, although there are people who attend the meetings who are not actually members.

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 186
29/06/2019 9:21 am  

Gavin,

Doak was the coordinator from the late 90's up till about 2004 when he moved to Nashville. He's not there anymore. At one point they had one of the top five chapters in the US, with an average of 40 members showing up each month. They did retreats, workshops, co-writing nights, "song finisher" nights, all because of Doak. He is a master networker, and really brings people together. He also did quite well in Nashville, getting cuts, writing tons of songs with a lot of people, particularly artists, and really lived the dream.

He started something called "THIRD SUNDAY AT THREE" where songwriters would gather at his house, sit around various rooms and play songs, hang out, bring food, etc. on the THIRD SUNDAY AT THREE OcCLOCK, to connect with their "Nashville songwriting family.' It started with 10 of us in one room. Seven years later, it had grown to 150-200 people in six rooms and outside in the yard. The biggest was 600 people, at a thing called "THE GUITAR-B-QUE." It became THE thing to go to. Many hit writers, future artists and hit makers and many celebrities showed up each month. Was a ground central to find co-writers, musicians, and a heartbeat of the town. It was many people's first exposure to Nashville. And a vast majority of the people were not artists or writers themselves, just interested people, hanging out enjoying the true spirit of Nashville. Had many more people than any of the songwriter clubs in Nashville.

My favorite memory was one June evening, with about 100 people on the deck in the back yard. (which was scary to begin with.) There were about 3 or 4 of some of the best players, and I was asked to get into that round. In the corner of my eyes I saw Gunner Nelson (Rick Nelson's son), Denny Saroken, guitar player for Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, and Larry Weiss, who wrote "RHINESTONE COWBOY." I invited them in, and for the next thirty minutes we did some really cool songs. Finally Larry kicked into Rhinestone cowboy and every one sang along, and that took it to a new level. Then.we culminated with Denny, and Gunner, leading us all in "Garden Party", with Gunner singing his Dad's parts, and Denny playing the guitar solo he did in the band. Was a "Hair standing up on your neck" moment. 

That was DOAK'S doing.

Music Starts here is an offshoot of that experience, and we actually came up with that idea while participating in those Third Sunday's. Doak still is a master organizer and one of the best things any writer/artist or interested party can do is join that  organization.

Marc-Alan Barnette


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