Monday, August 21, 2006

The Five People You'll Meet in Nashville

The Lone Star A person who believes that no one born outside the state of Texas has the heart, soul, sensibility or talent to write a song. This individual worships the ghost of Townes Van Zandt, the mystique of Rodney Crowell and the legend of Guy Clark as if they were the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Jerry Jeff Walker used to be part of this Trinity (in Texas, where everything is bigger and better, the Trinity had four members) until it was reported that he was from New York.

The Rebel Typically, a male from a deep southern state with a drinking problem, low self-esteem and an unnatural affection for his mother. This individual is still angry about ‘The War of Northern Aggression’ and is more than willing to argue with any damn Yankee way past closing time about the glory of Jefferson Davis, the tragedy at Gettysburg and the evil of Re-Construction.

The Natural A singer, writer or musician - usually from Mississippi or Georgia - who possesses extraordinary natural gifts. When encountering The Natural reasonably talented individuals will question their own self-assessment that led them to move to Nashville with confidence that they could succeed in the music business. Sadly, it is too often the case that The Natural’s nature is toward self-destruction.

The Grifter A person with one remarkable ability: Working the room. Without talent, vacuous, loud, pushy, arrogant and deceitful The Grifter will want to manage you, write with you, represent you to the media, book you, coach you, produce you, marry you and/or publish you. In recent years many Grifters have become stars. This is not surprising since many of The Grifters who arrive in Nashville end up running the companies that make these things happen.

The Companion A person who wandered far from the stability of home and family to follow some barely-illuminated star hanging over an uncertain manger in which a nameless child had not yet been born with the hope that they may somehow be delivered from a life of total obscurity in a steel mill, sock factory, patrol car, restaurant or classroom; guitar-in-hand, shy, humble, down-to-earth and hardly prepared for that which will greet them; singing for nothing, singing for anything; awkward, reticent and resilient - longing for something absurdly familiar; kind-hearted and willing to help. God bless ‘em...


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