Patty and I drove down to downtown Nashville last Tuesday night, May 8th, along with a couple of friends from the Lexington, Ky., area to see Tony and his band mates from Sleeper Agent perform at The Whiskey Bent Saloon. We also had a chance to see another up and coming Bowling Green, Ky., based band, "Schools" also perform.
I always enjoy going to Nashville because when you get downtown, you always feel the history of the place. The place is really wild and very cool at the same time. It's kinda like a little New Orleans with a party festive atmosphere in a country funky, twangy sort of way. Even on a weekday night. When you are there, you know that this is where country music and its honky tonks all began. I remember seeing "WW and The Dixie Dance Kings" starring Burt Reynolds as a kid back in the early 70's growing up in Memphis, Tenn., and the film took place in downtown Nashville right on Broadway Avenue where we were Tuesday night. The movie had scenes from the old Grand Ole Opry, "The Ryman Theater" and the world famous honky tonk bar, "Tootsies" which is all right in that general area.
I remember in 1984 when I was attending Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., I used to go to Nashville to visit with my fraternity brother and his family. We drove down Broadway towards the Cumberland River and it was nothing like it is today. Basically, that part of town seemed dead back then. Nowadays, it has made a full-fledged comeback and things are very much alive and kicking. Downtown Nashville on Broadway where the strip is, it's a rockin'!
It was quite of a quaint setting for Sleeper Agent to be performing. They are used to performing on much larger stages and venues lately especially after just arriving back from Coachella 2012 Music Fest in Palm Springs, Calif. They put on a great show regardless. However, they were paid a pretty penny to perform in conjunction with the "Short Mountain Distillery's" grand opening celebration. Short Mountain was giving out free shots of their new whiskey but I did not drink any because I do not drink hard liquor (anymore.) The Whiskey Bent Saloon on Broadway seems like a fairly new bar and music venue but it has an old time honky tonk feel too it. It's a very nice, clean place also. Check it sometime when you're in downtown Nashville.
I was able to speak with lead singer, Jeremi Simon-Kinnaman of Schools and he said that they are still searching for a record deal. I encouraged him and told him that it would probably happen soon. Those guys are awesome! Also, Brad Shultz from Cage The Elephant and his wife, Lindsey, attended the show and I enjoyed talking to him and his lovely wife for while. Brad and I talked about the Bowling Green music scene and how it has grown lately. I complimented him and told him, "You guys (Cage The Elephant) brought the world to Bowling Green through your music." Now Sleeper Agent is following in their footsteps and Schools is on their way to do the same too. What's interesting is that all three bands have a lot of the same interconnections and they all used the famous Nashville based country and rock music producer, Jay Joyce to record and produce all of their albums.