It’s quickly turning into fall in Nashville, which has meant for me more time on the trails of Randnor Lake and Percy Warner counting the shades of yellow and orange in the trees; more layers on walks to the 5 Spot or MD Music Loft and more time on the couch in oversize sweatshirts, drinking red wine and sifting through records and bandcamp pages. Like a fall wardrobe, I always have a habit of seeking out new music as the seasons change. Certain songs no longer feel right in the 40-degree nights, and neither do those shredded-up jean shorts.
One new discovery is Great Peacock, a duo of Andrew Nelson and Blount Floyd, who make southern-tinged folk set to textural pop melodies that carry a certain plaintive moodiness, perfect for long October drives and rustling leaves. Listen to their tune “Take Me To The Mountain” here, and expect an EP out soon.
Both Nelson and Floyd are extremely inspired by their surroundings here in Nashville, as so many of us are. So we asked them to list their favorite spots and experiences that most often breed a melody, lyric or just tha fickle mistress muse. Thus, here’s Great Peacock’s Top Five Things in Nashville That Inspired Their Music :::
1.Camping the Islands on Percy Priest: We both love the outdoors, and the islands on Percy Priest are a cool place to experience nature. One of the great things about them is that you can feel shutoff from the city, yet only have to drive a bit past the airport to be there. We typically go with a group of friends and bring instruments or a boombox, get a fire going, and enjoy the night. The firelight and companionship, as well as the early morning sounds of the lake and birds, help to inspire our songs about this area of the country. To get to the island that we camp we like to take a boat from the Vivrett Creek boat ramp and float over to Cable Crossing Island right around the bend, it’s hard to miss.
2. Fishing on the Harpeth: We also both love to fish, and while we love to use Blount’s boat, a nice day of fishing on the bank of the Harpeth is much more inspiring for songwriting. We take I-40 out to Kingston Springs where there are multiple public use areas. Since these areas are owned by the great state of Tennessee, they are normally well taken care of, picturesque, and free. Just like camping, fishing the Harpeth produces a nice array of landscape and wildlife to inspire our songs about nature and such. Although unlike camping, we really get the chance to get in the “zone.” When you fish you can really hone in on ideas, if you don’t get hung up too much!
3. Blackbird Studios Rentals: Alright, Great Peacock loves nature, but we do live in Nashville, Music City, USA. Our friend and coproducer Nick Worley works here. Just visiting this place and seeing all the audio equipment available one can’t help but be inspired to do something cool in the studio. All the major studios/producers/engineers in town take advantage of this place. The sheer volume and variety of boutique, vintage, vintage-modded, modern, and modern-vintage inspired equipment, that is one “day-rate” away at this place, is sure to make any gear-nut flip their shit. A great sounding eq, compressor, microphone, or preamp can be just as inspiring as a phenomenal sounding guitar for us.
4. Yazoo Gerst: As most Nashvillians and musicians in general, we like to throw some beers back. We also love to support local things, but have both never fell for any beer brewed in Nashville. However, all that changed one night at the Gerst Haus. We LOVE the Yazoo Gerst, and now it is showing up at a lot more places in town on draft. We typically like to enjoy this tasty brew down at The International Famous Twin Kegs, where our buddy Eddie Christy doesn’t even have to ask what we want. Sipping some cold Gerst and talking things over usually helps to get our creative juices flowing.
5. Nashville Skyline: No, we’re not talking bout the Dylan record, although we do love it, we are talking about our city’s actual skyline. I know we are teetering on sounding cheesy here, but I do remember pulling into town with my clothes and guitars for the first time, and seeing the skyline. As I looked up at the buildings, it felt as if there was going be a lot of possibilities musically for me here. While this town does kick your ass and test your patience, I still feel it when I’m getting home from out of town. This city has fostered a preposterous amount of music and history. Don’t get me wrong, it will never let you forget that, but it also lets you know that it is far from being finished. Nashville is just as exiting as ever with the talent it hosts, and I’m always just one good view away from inspiration.