Why Nashville is Music City

Last Sunday, we were invited to a neighborhood pop up front porch concert given by our son's girlfriend's parents, a.k.a Blake, Em and Dena and Ren, in that order and from here forward. Em's brother, Barton, is in a band called A Boy Named Banjo. Recently they were in a contest with other bands competing for a spot to play at this year's Bonnaroo Festival. In each round the bands were matched against each other and fan voting determined the outcome of which band would move to the next round. A Boy Named Banjo came out victorious and won this coveted spot! The pop up front porch concert was a thank you to the many people who voted and a warm up to Bonnaroo. It was also the first time that I was privileged to meet Em's parents. People started arriving at 4:00 loaded down with appetizers, drinks and lawn chairs. They were also equipped with rain coats and umbrellas as there seemed to be a fair chance of rain for the afternoon. Predictions ranged from 0% (from the most optimistic) to 80% (from the realists). Among other things, Dena is a piano teacher and the first act of the day was a performance by one of her piano students who played Pachelbel's Canon in D and Billy Joel's version of Root Beer Rag. Then we were treated to a wonderful set by non-other than the hosts themselves and their band – I believe they called themselves RenDenAroo for this performance. My favorite was their rendition of Poor, Wayfaring Stranger. I'm thinking they should take their act on the road as they were very entertaining and talented. As the rain began to fall from the sky, A Boy Named Banjo took the porch and what a treat it was. I haven't been to Bonnaroo, but I imagined the front yard as a mini festival complete with rain gear clad concert goers, a young child riding a battery powered train around the muddy yard in the rain, the family dog singing along, pop up tents going up as the rain came down in a more steady stream, beer cans and water bottles in each concert goers hands and through it all, the audience content to remain in order to hear this talented band. As the evening wore on, the concert continued inside in the living room in an acoustic jam band style with other attendees joining in on occasion. All of this has gotten me wondering whether I might make the trek to Bonnaroo on a day pass to hear this great band and experience this yearly festival. I believe that they are performing on June 12. I'm certain you can find out for yourselves on their website – boynamedbanjo.com – or their facebook page – facebook.com/boynamedbanjo or check out my facebook page for a homemade video of the day – https://www.facebook.com/swmeador/videos/vb.1233103922/10204490617325456/. Bonnaroo will be taking place in Manchester, TN June 11 through June 14th. For more information on the line-up for the festival, check out Bonnaroo's website – www.bonnaroo.com.

There are a couple other notable festivals coming up this month. The CMA Music Festival will take place on the same dates as Bonnaroo. I have often wondered why these two festivals coincide, but there seems to be an endless supply of music fans in our fair city and also those who are willing to travel in to experience great music, food and fun. Check out this year's lineup and festivities at www.comworld.com/cma-music-festival

For your culinary delight, A Taste of Music City Festival will be held on June 20th at Public Square Park. This day long festival benefits Second Harvest Food Bank, Martha O'Bryan Center and Tennessee Hospitality Association. Treat yourself to great food, music and family entertainment. The order of events can be found at their website – www.tasteofmusiccity.com.

As always, there are many FREE events in Nashville starting with great pop-up front porch neighborhood concerts like the one I attended last weekend. Here are a few you can check out this month and over the summer:

Free Yoga in the Park – every Tuesday at Centennial Park from 6 – 7pm by the sand volleyball field from Memorial Day through Labor day presented by Team Green Adventures

Musician's Corner – also in Centennial Park on Saturday's through June 28 (Saturday and Sunday that last weekend) beginning at 12:00 noon and continuing until 5:00pm. Live music, food and beverage. This is the spring series, taking a summer break and starting back up in the fall.

Movies in the Park – Thursday nights at Elmington Park

Enjoy your summer!

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