Sunday, September 24, 2017 : From Memphis to Nashville


Today is dedicated to spirituality and music, with a three-hour drive from Memphis to Nashville in between.

 

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Reverend Al Green

 

It's Sunday. We decide to attend a gospel mass at Reverend Al Green's church in South Memphis. Al Green has the warmest, most sensual, most enchanting voice of soul music. He is Marvin without sex or drugs, he is James Brown without permanent drama, he is ... he is Al Green and that's it.

 

A gospel mass is a unique event. To begin with, the church is almost full. Then, people here still don their sunday clothes, and part of the audience has made a real fashion effort. Out of respect, we are also wearing appropriate clothing. We sit in the back, with some other tourists.

 

The service begins with songs and music. The performance showcases a genuine spiritual and musicial fervor.

 

We take advantage of a pause to leave quietly. I had the opportunity of a brief handshake with Reverend Al Green, one of my music idols.

 

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Johnny Cash

 

When we make it in Nashville, it's quite too late to visit Country Music Hall of Fame. We fall back on Johnny Cash Museum. The visit is very well designed, with a first section in chronological order about the life of the Man in Black, and a second one around themes. I learn a lot, really a lot, about the life of a much more accomplished, and much more controversial, artist than I ever thought. For instance, I was not aware he had played in so many films and TV series.

 

We then take a stroll on Broawday, the avenue along which most restaurants and bars with live music are located. Nashville is the heaven of country music, that's taken for granted. It's also the Mecca of Southern rock. We have dinner at a restaurant where the resident band is as musically skilled as the statements of their lead singer are controversial.

 

It is very late when we drive back to the hotel. Updates to this website will have to wait till the next day.