I have a tendency to get a little obsessive over certain types of music. Granted, I have my mainstays – Conway Twitty, Mos Def, Father John Misty – but it seems like every year, I’ll come across a new genre or trend in music that moves me to my core. I’ll discover an artist or group that imbues energy so infectious, so vivacious, that I have to tirelessly consume any and every ounce of material available. When I was 14, my obsession was hip-hop – scouring bookstores and record shops for anything by Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep, or Black Star – and that lasted until I came across the next obsession; some of which stemmed from the last, others jumping from genre to genre, but no doubt equally as enthralling.
In the brief couple of months in 2016, its become quite apparent what my newest musical fixation will be – the new class of “throwback” country singers. With pop country in the slightest of lulls, the class of unapologetic, “true” country artists has made waves – Kacey Musgraves, Nikki Lane, and Margo Price have come on early, but the most pleasant surprise in my “deep dive” of kick-ass country has been Jillian Jacqueline.
A singer-songwriter-turned performer, Jacqueline has spent over half a decade carving herself a path in Nashville’s country scene, harnessing the pristine timbre of her voice to collaborate with the likes of Kenny Rogers and Vince Gill, as well as opening for Willie Nelson on the road. The Chester Springs, PA native was named one of Spotify’s “Spotlight on Country” artists in 2015, so we at Lockeland Springsteen figured we should ask Jacqueline to put a spotlight on Nashville in her very own Nashville Five.
Nashville Five ///by Jillian Jacqueline
Hailing from the great state of Pennsylvania (the Amish make amazing root beer, FYI), I split time between PA and New York City as a teen, but when I moved to Nashville about 5 years ago, nothing ever felt more like home. I think, this town, it has this way of feeling like an old, comforting, nonjudgmental friend.
I’ve watched a lot of people visit here and fall completely in love. And, if you work in music, like I do, you’re destined to never leave…cause nowhere else does daily life circle so unapologetically around songs and lyrics and “hey what year is that Martin?” like it does here. It’s rad. You should move here. Just kidding. Please don’t.
Here are some places that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
1. Old Made Good ::: First of all, the floor is gold glitter. It makes me feel like Cher when I’m shopping.
If you’re looking for quirky, vintage, one of a kind stuff, this is your spot. I bought my most cherished vintage denim jacket from this place for about $30.
Chances are you’ll find something eerily similar to your grandma’s couch there, in mint condition, no less. I love wandering in and seeing what catches my eye, and rarely do I leave without buying something, cause who doesn’t need an old framed photo of every endangered North American bird hanging on their wall?
Keep in mind the entrance is on the side of a building…not so easy to find, but well worth it when you do.
2. Rumours East ::: THIS PLACE. Perfect for a romantic evening or if you just want to drink an entire bottle of wine at dinner (yes). In the spring and summer months, the backyard seating area is the most magical spot. Hanging lights, hydrangeas, music, its damn magical.
They have the best cheese plate in town (and who doesn’t love cheese…), a really legit wine list, and some of the best gnocchi I’ve EVER eaten.
3. Betty’s Grill ::: Don’t tell anybody about this place. I repeat, don’t tell anybody about this place.
I have my friend Neil Mason from the most epic country rock trio Cadillac Three to thank for introducing me to this glorious hole in the wall. They serve food through the tiny window behind the bar, hence the “grill” in the name.
Truly one of Nashville’s last original dive bars, you will leave with lots of cold cheap beer in your belly and cigarette smoke clinging to your clothes. Be respectful of the regulars and don’t play any Top 40 on the jukebox.
4. Peabody Shoe Repair ::: I was exceptionally sad when this wonderful little place got relocated from its original location in hillsboro village to make way for new condos, but the owner Troy found a new home off Thompson Lane in a strip mall. I brought in a pair of old boots with literal holes in the soles and they looked brand new when I came to pick em up. The small space is floor to ceiling shoes, in what looks like no apparent order, smells wonderfully of old leather and polish, and is THE spot for the best shoe repair in town. Be prepared to only pay with cash or check, and smile nice.
5. The courtyard at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center ::: Go on a Sunday or a weekday afternoon. Just hidden enough away from the street, its the perfect spot to bring a book and read or people watch. There’s enough ivy growing up the walls that you feel like you could be at a villa in France, and you definitely don’t feel like you’re one block away from all the noise and craziness of the honky-tonks. Ride your bike here, though, cause parking SUCKS.