I returned from Nashville one week ago with excitement, anticipation, and hope, leaving (most of) my anxiety at outstanding restaurants like The Wild Cow, PM, and The Pharmacy.
For those of you who are jumping in on this text with no knowledge of what I’m talking about, let me fill you in on the last six months:
- I published Let Go and Forget, my first full-length album, in July, 2013.
- My job as Interim Worship Pastor came to its fulfillment on November 10 as a new pastor was hired and they threw a killer sendoff for me (of which I’m still tearfully reminiscing).
- As I’m now a “free” or “unshackled” (AKA unemployed) musician, I’m planning to move to Nashville, Tennessee, with my brother and two friends in February.
- I visited Nashville from November 11-15 and left my heart there.
Nashville is surprisingly a lot like Portland, which I’m stoked about. Built on a river, filled with coffee shops, and home to eclectic and delicious food choices. Even better than these things, I was able to meet dozens of people who are genuinely kind and sincerely friendly.
My hostess typified what my experience was like. Whitney is the niece of my former boss/pastor, and told me I could crash at her house while I’m scouting out the city. As she picked me up from the airport (which she offered to do), she told me: 1) she would be staying in her roommate's room, letting me stay in her room, saving me from a couch, and 2) I would be driving her to work on two of the days she was scheduled, so that I could take her car around the city and check stuff out. She wouldn’t budge on these points despite my protests, and that was the type of mi casa es su casa attitude that everyone had.
Whitney is a Pro Nashvillian. She introduced me to a bunch of her friends from Ethos church, and I got to sit in on some of their studio time as they recorded a Worship EP for their church to take home in the Christmas season. These were the nicest people, all giving up their free time to volunteer on this album. Tight.
The next day I met this rad guy named Ben. He lives in a loft owned by his former roommate’s parents (…okay, yeah that makes sense). He has been in bands and toured and tons of fun stuff, but now he engineers/writes/produces pop music with various artists. Apparently he lives next door to the producer for Rascal Flatts. No bigs. Also tight.
“Coffee snob” is not uncommonly used to describe me (mostly by my mother). Quality beans combined with a quality pour-over are ingredients to make Jared happy. I found such a place at both Frothy Monkey and Crema. Both had very Portland-ish vibes (a good start) and pretty upstanding coffee. Coffee + Sunset = extra good.
BRINGING HOME TO THE SOUTH
On the last day of my visit, I tracked down the nearest forest park (about 15 minutes out of town) and took a little walk on a trail that prohibited picnics, pets, food, and any sort of diversion from the trail. Not a lot like Portland in that regard…but it was nice to be back in the middle of a forest.
Nashville is pretty stinkin’ rad. I met some awesome people who are very genuine and friendly, saw some great areas that we can rent a house in, and a myriad of restaurants to satisfy my inner foodie. Heck, I even found a group of friends to play Settlers of Catan with me…I think that aided in taking away any amount of doubt or anxiety in me :)
Looks like the move to Tennessee will take place sometime between the end of January and beginning of February! Money, weather, and house availability will play into the timing. The other guys (Joel Evers, Joseph Starr, and Kevin Howard) are all getting pumped for the move. Check back soon for the next update!