Hey, everyone. It's been a long time since my last blog - four days, but you better believe that I have a good reason. And I even have the doctor's note to prove it.
I'll spare you the details, but I had a serious stomach virus and had to have IV treatment for an hour Thursday morning. I'm just glad that I've recovered in time to get back to my daily work schedule and that I won't be missing a trip that's 11 years in the making - the Nashville trip during the CMA Festival.
There were a bunch of things that got me through these days - my wife, chicken noodle soup, apple sauce, country music and "Talladega Nights, The Ballad of Ricky Bobby".
A few country music thoughts since I've been away. Let's hope Luke Bryan becomes a serious player in Nashville. He's got a new video out, "All My Friends Say", and I made a strange connection with the video. Bryan resembles actor Luke Wilson, the main character in the film, "Old School". The video seems to have the same theme as the movie where both Lukes can't remember what happened at a wild party the night before.
Another artist I'd like to see succeed is Odiss Kohn. I've read and listened to a lot of different singers, but I think this guy could be the next Randy Travis, and I say that based on one song, "Forgiven". He doesn't have a web site or even a myspace. The only place to get any information on this new artist is Category 5 Records, the label that signed him.
If you're looking for an alternative country sound, there's a Georgia-based band that mixes rock, blues and country, Deepwell. I recently received an e-mail from their lead singer, Ronnie, and I really enjoy the real emotion of their song "Hiway Home".
And what do you know? Four of the top five videos on the Great American Country Top 20 Country Countdown belong to former American Idol or Nashville Star contestants. That's not all bad, considering "Famous in a Small Town" by Miranda Lambert is a really good song, and the ballad "I Wonder" by Kellie Pickler is heart-wrenching.
It would just be nice to see a few non-contestant show artists in the mix like the aforementioned artists in this entry and a few others.
I have put together a list of things that I'm going to see and do in Nashville. Almost all of them include country music, but I'd also like to see the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. You see, I've already visited state athletic hall of fames in Kansas and Missouri as well as the New England Sports Hall of Fame in Boston.
If you have any ideas of things I should go or see, do tell. I would prefer things that tourists wouldn't normally know about. I discovered several places like that during a trip my wife and I took to Memphis in the spring of 2004. I hope Nashville is just as fun of a city as Memphis was. I know it will have a much different vibe.
This leaves my next big trip to be East Tennessee. Rocky Top, Dollywood and Pigeon Forge in a few years, maybe.