Country Music People December 2018 - Page 15

big hitters from the Nashville mainstream. Bob is in the studio, and I’m in the control room where I keep an eye on the technical side of the programme, answer emails, feed Bob listener comments and dedications, do the programme’s social media posts and so on. The show flies by, fuelled by some delicious banana bread brought in by Sara Cox who’s on air next, and that means that Music City is ahead of us! Sunday November 11th And off to the airport on our way to the CMAs. BA’s direct flight to Nashville means that you’re almost certain to bump into somebody you know, and it’s no different this time round as the departure gate is clogged up with the likes of Old Dominion, Eric Paslay, Otis Gibbs and James Blunt. Sensing exciting news we bustle over to the latter, only to find that he’s going to Music City on a writing trip and not to make a surprise appearance on the award show. Oh well... Nine hours later, and the madness has begun. I’ve been visiting Nashville two or three times a year since the early 90s which means that I know a lot of people here and therefore there’s a lot to pack in every time I arrive. My phone has been going non-stop since we landed and I’m already struggling to fit everything - and everybody - in. First up for Bob & I is a quick drink with Scott Borchetta, the head of Big Machine of course, and famously the Man Who Discovered Taylor Swift. I myself am The Man Who Sat Next To Taylor On The London Underground last year, which is not such a good headline but does at least get a laugh. Anyway we swap a few war stories and I leave Bob with Scott while I head over to the Exit/In to see a four act bill headlined by Lindsay Ell over Clare Dunn, Kassi Ashton and the Sisterhood Band, who are Rod Stewart’s daughter Ruby, and Alyssa Bonagera whose parents are Baillie & The Boys. The Exit/In itself is a venerable old Nashville landmark of course, having opened at the beginning of the Outlaw era and its latest makeover is more rock club than country venue. I hang with Cassadee Pope to watch the bands before she beetles up on stage to end the night with a mass singalong of “With A Little Help From My Friends” and I go to bed, clutching the bottles of wine Lindsay has kindly given me to help me through the week. It seems to be 4 in the morning UK time. How did that happen? Monday November 12th The first of two days of sessions for “Bob Harris Country”, and today is - by luck rather than judgement - a C2C day with four of the main stage acts coming in: Chase Rice, Brett Eldredge, Dustin Lynch and Drake White. We record the sessions - and pretty much everything else we do in Nashville - at Audio Productions on Music Row, a splendid facility DECEMBER 2018 - cmp 15