Greg From New Jersey

If you go to a writers round here in Nashville - whether pre-scheduled or open - one thing you'll likely see is performers accompanying each other on their songs. Even if they don't know someone else's song before it's played, other songwriters often jump in and play along. It's something that I never saw in New York and it took a little time to get used to, but it's part of the music community vibe and it can help make the song come to life more than with just one guitar and a voice can. Aubryn's Monday Open Mic at Daisy Dukes is a little different, though, because musicians come out specifically to back up the songwriters performing. Jase is usually there on guitar, and sometimes there's bass, percussion, and sax, but less regularly. Last night I happened to sit down next to a guy who introduced himself as Greg.

Greg is from New Jersey, goes to college in College Station, TX, and is taking a long, leisurely trip back to school. He was staying in Antioch with some friends (who are the kind of people that have been in the area for 8 years and have never been to downtown Nashville), and he wanted to make the most of his one night in town. Oh, and he also brought his cello. I don't know exactly how he ended up specifically at Daisy Duke's, but it sure was the right place for him to be. In an odd twist, I started introducing him to some of the people there (like I've been around for a long while and know everyone), and in a short time he had a seat on the stage, a mic on his cello, and he was backing up pretty much every songwriter along with Jase, Ryan on guitar, Lee on percussion, Chris on sax. He had a great time, and told me that it had been an amazing night and all he had been hoping it would be.

You don't get that kind of camaraderie at other open mics - in or out of town. A cello player who knows no one here for one night being immediately welcomed, and getting to sit in and play for basically the entire evening? Yeah, I think that's one of the reasons why I moved to Nashville. I just didn't know it when I did.

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ