I Never Imagined I Would Spend an Afternoon in a Honky-Tonk and Love It!
Ten years ago, I would have told you I did not like country music. Two weeks ago, I voluntarily went to Robert’s Western World, the most authentic honky-tonk in Nashville, and had a terrific afternoon there!
I was advised by a number of Nashvillians that Robert’s is the only honky-tonk that natives visit because it is the only one that still delivers authentic and traditional country music. Naturally, I headed straight for it when I was in The District.
The music at Robert’s starts at 11 every morning. The musicians play for tips and CD sales (I’m sure some also sell t-shirts, but neither of the acts I saw had them), which is a great way for people like me to see acts I would not otherwise know. I might not be as likely to buy a ticket to see an unknown act (or one that has not been recommended by a friend whose opinion I trust), but I’m glad to throw money into someone’s tip jar after seeing them perform.
I walked into Robert’s in the middle of the first set of the day. The sign said John and Lois Shepherd, but only John was in evidence while I was there.
John (and Lois, I presume) is a member of the Grand Old Opry which is a good pedigree to have. I read that John is the voice behind the Miller High Life jingle, ‘If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer!’
I enjoyed John. He plays traditional honky-tonk favorites, and that’s a style I had never heard live before this afternoon.
After a short break, Pork McElhinney took the stage. I thoroughly enjoyed the part of his set that I heard!
He has great stage presence. Every person who dropped money in his jar on their way out of the venue was thanked with a ‘You’re my new best friend!’ I presume every musician has a shtick that they use, and that was Pork’s.
Pork introduced his song ‘He Calls Me Dad’ with the back story on why he wrote the song (when he married at the age of 21 – 21 years ago – his wife had a three-year-old son who Pork adopted). He brought a tear to my eye with his honest and wide-open emotions. He noticed it, and asked me where I was from. When I told him Boston, he launched into ‘Please Come to Boston’ for me. That was awesome and completely endeared him to me!
Yes, I put a tip in his jar AND bought his CDs. How could I not?
What a great way to spend an afternoon – sitting with a beer listening to good music! Life is definitely good!
Robert’s also sells western wear; I was sitting next to a shelf filled with cowboy boots!
If I lived in Nashville, I know I’d spend a lot of afternoons and late nights in Robert’s, enjoying the local flavor and supporting live music. I’ll bet I’d become a country music aficionado (not that country is the only music found in Nashville, but there is a lot of it) quickly.
Posted on September 13, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged concert review, Country music, John Shepherd, music, Nashville, Pork McElhinney, Robert's Western World. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.