“[Mayor Megan Barry] is Nashville’s first female mayor, and she has been integral to countless equal-wage laws being passed, as well as being an advocate for better public education. I also love that she comes to all the concerts in town.”
"Growing up in Nashville, I've seen this town change so much. One of the things I'm most proud of is how Nashville has become a foodie town. So many incredible restaurants have popped up all over this city. I love to go out for a nice date night to places like The Southern, MOTO, and 5th & Taylor. Bon appétit, y'all!"
"There is a new restaurant called Tartufo in an old little white house off of West End that is my getaway. Although the food is Italian and to die for, the vibe and cocktails alone make you feel like you’re in another world. Chef Marco is an absolute character and makes the whole experience unforgettable.”
"I'm always excited about new artists and how they do things in a new way. One of the most impressive to me has been Bailey Bryan. Luckily, we share a label and because of that I've been able to see so much of the cool stuff she's doing."
“I am still without proper words of gratitude for the many artists and fans who showed up for my tribute at Bridgestone Arena in February [where Travis was honored after recovering from a debilitating stroke in 2013]. It was a beautiful mix of artistry and camaraderie. It does this old guy’s heart good to see so much kindness shown toward each other, and to me. God bless Nashville.”
"It feels like there's a rising awareness for women in our format and I love it. There are more platforms for female artists and songwriters in Nashville than ever before."
"I think one of the best things to emerge in Nashville culture over the past few years is Preds Fever! I know the Predators are not new to the city, but I really feel like over the past five years, especially, they’ve earned their place as one of the things that makes Nashville special. To watch the attendance go from pretty full to sold out every single game has been so incredible."
"The Music City Center. It’s a hallmark of the growth in our city, from all the new places to eat and visit and all the development going on downtown. I’ve done at least two red carpets there in the last seven months and I also like what they did with the distinctive, curved look of the building.”
“I love the new Sounds stadium. The atmosphere and location are amazing, and I love that Nashville has really embraced it. Baseball is my number one sport to play and watch, and going to the games is a special time for me and my family."
“I love the Music City Playboys! I discovered them one year ago, and it is some the greatest country music you will hear anywhere. They play on Tuesday and Wednesdays, and if I'm in town, I try never to miss them. Their music warms my heart.”
“My first Nashville home, my management company, my label and my
booking agency are all based there. I am truly grateful and never take for granted that I get to be a part of the Nashville music community, and that area has been the epicenter of my entire music career.”
"One of my favorite new hangs in Nashville is Carter Vintage Guitars. It's a who's-who of musicians in there at any given time yet they treat everyone the same. Their open door policy embodies what's great about the Nashville experience."
"The addition of the rooftops on the bars downtown. I'm not home enough to enjoy them often, but I was home for some of the playoff games and it took cheering for the Preds to a whole other level Nashville hadn't seen before."
Haley & Michaels
"John Marks has brought a new level of excitement and opportunity to Nashville with his position at Spotify. John takes the time to listen to music without any preconceived ideas and he is not afraid to champion any artist if he believes in their music. He's also one of the kindest and most sincere people in the business. If you're having a bad day, there's nothing like seeing John for a drink or a hug to lift your spirits."
"I'm a chairperson for the National Museum of African American Music, which is set to open their doors in Nashville in 2019, and I’m very proud and excited to be championing this institution. It's a great way to share the origin stories and rich history of African American’s contributions to American music.”
"My favorite new place to come to Nashville in the last 5 years is a store called Two Old Hippies. I can find cool clothes and jewelry for stage, or pajamas for lounging on a day off. They have fun gadgets and greeting cards that make me smile. They also have live music sometimes. If I’m in the Gulch, I always stop by just to see what’s going on in there."
“Two of my favorite people in the Nashville music community are Leslie Fram at CMT and John Marks at Spotify. We are so fortunate to have two champions for unique musical voices living and working in our city.”
“My favorite new restaurant in Nashville is Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. I first visited the place last year with my manager Scott Stem for an event soon after it opened, and loved it. I’ve been to a lot of restaurants in Nashville and I think Jeff Ruby’s cooks the best steak in the city. My favorite appetizer there is an avocado that is stuffed with tuna tartare.”
“My favorite thing to emerge in Nashville is Henley, RJ Cooper’s new restaurant. RJ is a James Beard Award winner who has been featured at our Southern Ground Music & Food Festival, and his new place is amazing.”