Nashville Five, by Shane Tutmarc
5 Best Places for Free Music*
- Josh Hedley & The Honky Tonk Heroes – Monday’s, 10pm-2am at Robert’s Western World
My first job in Nashville was working at Robert’s. It was a great job for a newbie, because it gave me the chance to get to know a lot of great musicians and learn about Nashville’s history, and country music in general. I remember, very early on, making a mental list of my favorite singers who frequented the stage at Robert’s, and Josh Hedley was and remains at the top of that list. Locals have known this for years, but with the upcoming release of Heartworn Highways Revisited, the rest of the world is about to catch up. See him now while you can, with no cover charge!
- Heath Haynes & the Hi-Dollars – Sunday’s, 10pm-2am at the 5 Spot
I’d been seeing Heath Haynes around town for a couple years before I had the chance to open a string of shows for the Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson. And guess who her backing band was? Heath Haynes and the Hi-Dollars! Since then I’ve been a regular at his weekly Sunday night show at the 5 Spot. A little slice of lower Broadway in 5 Points, but without the bachelorette parties or bros.
- New Faces – Tuesday’s, 8pm-12am at the Basement
If you wanted to blame someone for me moving to town, Mike Grimes would be high on the list. A year and a half before moving here, my first time in Nashville, Mike Grimes booked me for a 2-week residency at New Faces. Once I moved to town, I made sure to go almost every week. It was another great opportunity for a new Nashvillian. I haven’t been as much the last couple years, but I’m glad to see they continue the night every week. I’m looking forward to the new Basement in East Nashville, giving me even less reason to ever leave the neighborhood.
- Shady Nasty (DJ Spice-J) – Saturday’s, 10-close at Foobar
I’ve always had a soft spot for 90s hip hop that I grew up with, but my girlfriend LOVES hip hop. All eras of hip hop. If it’s got a good flow and a good beat, she’s singing along by the second hook of the song. It makes her crazy. It makes her wanna party. So now I LOVE hip hop, too. I’ve seen Spice-J in a number of different DJ scenarios, and he is my favorite DJ in town. I’ve dabbled in the DJ world here and there over the years, so I understand the task at hand. Spice-J knows how to get a party started.
- Date Night – Tuesday’s, 10pm-2am at Foobar
I wouldn’t be a true local musician if I didn’t end up plugging something of mine. In late October 2014, Zach Ryan and I (along with a few other friends) started Date Nite at the Foobar. It’s sort of the live equivalent to Keep On Movin’ (the Monday night dance party at 5 Spot)…we focus primarily on 50s and 60s rock n roll, soul and pop. But we also venture into classic country and the occasional Bruce Springsteen or Tom Waits song. Anything to get folks dancing. The night has also been a magnet for great local musicians, and we’ve been treated with special guest appearances by Cory Younts (Old Crow Medicine Show, Jack White), Rob Crowell (Deer Tick, Diamond Rugs), Matthew Paige (Blackfoot Gypsies), Little Joe (Sturgill Simpson), Jason Eskridge, Allen Thompson, and Josh Hedley.
*While there is no cover, be sure to tip the bands, DJs, bartenders- because that’s what keeps the night continuing.