Country Music People December 2018 - Page 17

off happy as he is such an engaging and entertaining performer. He’s especially excited as he’s currently sitting at no 3 in the US charts with “Best Shot” and is predicted to hot the top spot in a couple of days time. Sadly we can’t hang with him for long, as Bob & I have a very small window in which to shoot our links for the BBC4 TV version of the Awards and we rush to the Bridgestone Arena downtown and clamber up to the very top of the bleachers overlooking the stage where Chris Stapleton is about to rehearse a number with Maren Morris, Marty Stuart and the legendary soul singer Mavis Staples. We have to be finished by the time they start but luckily Bob “One Take” Harris is up to the task and we scurry away from the approaching security guards in triumph. With that in the bag, I pop off to meet my friends Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor in “Nashville”) & husband Brandon Young at the Thompson Hotel in The Gulch district of town. What should have been quite straightforward is complicated by the fact that on the Monday & Tuesday of CMA week the publishing organisations ASCAP & BMI have their annual awards too. It’s BMI’s turn tonight and the hotel is so full of attendees that it takes me fully 15 minutes to make it from the door to the lift as I run into old friends like Kristian Bush and make new ones like Rita Wilson who is friends with my friend Jools Holland. Finally in the bar I look up and there’s Ashley McBryde with her mum! Ashley and I (and Bob, and Kacey Musgraves) play ourselves in a forthcoming British film called “Wild Rose” and we’ve both recently seen the finished thing for the first time and so are able to tell each other how marvellous we are. Clare, who is of course a proper actor, just raises her eyebrows... Leaving Clare & Brandon in the bar, it’s time for another adventure. When I first came to Nashville the most fun that you could have was going to see BR5-49 play for hours at Robert’s Western Wear on Lower Broadway, an area that was then full of porn shops, homeless people, seedy bars and ladies of ill-repute and which is now full of bachelorette parties, artist themed bars, 436 different bands playing “Cruise” at the same time and Luke Bryan’s new sushi bar. So I was excited when BR5-49’s old singer Chuck Mead suggested I should come with him to the American Legion on Gallatin Pike for Honky Tonk Tuesday on the DECEMBER 2018 - cmp 17