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Between the Covers: Nashville Behind the Strings

With me being heavy in the editing on the 2nd draft of the sequel to Behind the Strings, I thought today’s post could be a fun tribute. If you haven’t read it yet, Behind the Strings takes place in the vibrant city of Nashville, TN and it’s country music scene. It’s a story not only about love, but forgiveness, learning to let your guard down and trusting your heart to find your way to true happiness. All of course while navigating life in the spotlight.

Today I’ll be taking you on an exciting trip around Nashville to some of the places that inspired scenes within my novel. Keep scrolling to join in on the fun and don’t forget to leave a comment when you’re done! I’d love to hear your favorite spot.

Happy Touring!

Bongo Java- Belmont Boulevard

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Celia Westbrook is a pretty darn good music blogger for the popular Nashville blog Behind the Strings. When she’s not in the office she spends a lot of her time writing at Soulful Grinds Coffee House where you’ll see autographed pictures of many of Nashville’s most famous artists. The inspiration for Soulful Grinds comes from Nashville’s oldest coffee company, Bongo Java in the Belmont Boulevard area of Nashville.

 

 

 

 

 

Winners and Losers Bars – Division St. 

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Lots of country music talent play here on their way to the top, so it’s no wonder this was my inspiration for Shotguns bar in my novel. The place where Logan used to strum his six string before he signed a major record deal and the place where Celia first meets Jesse and his band Jackson’s Soul. It also was only the beginning of a night Celia can barely remember and later finds it was filled with surprises.

 

 

 

 

12 South Area- Nashville

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Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a beer on the 12 South Taproom patio on a warm, sunny day in music city? This patio is one of the places Celia struggles with a secret she is keeping from Logan throughout the novel… I can’t wait for all you lovely newbie readers to learn what that secret is :)

 

 

 

 

I Dream of Weenie – East Nashville

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Celia and Logan come from the small town of Hamden, TN where the only place to feed late night cravings after a night out was Frank’s hot dog stand. It only made sense when they reunited after 5 years that they would reminisce over old memories by finding a similar one in Nashville. I Dream of Weenie’s was the perfect inspiration for this scene. But, while you’re munching on your beef, turkey or tofu dog, watch out for Hunter Jennings. He’s a sly one and is always ready and waiting for the next story in the good old country music world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Patterson House- Division St.

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Although it’s not on the rooftop of a hotel, I loved the idea of the mellow and intimate atmosphere The Patterson House offers and used it for the lounge scene for one of Celia’s first dates. And of course, since I love a good cocktail, who wouldn’t want to choose this place where they are all hand crafted to perfection. Celia is really gonna need one of these cocktails when her date is interrupted with a phone call from the last person that needs to be calling her in that moment.

Celia

Country Music Fans Get Ready!

Chapter 2 of Behind the Strings is here!! Read and then share away my friends :)

If you still need to read chapter 1 click here

2

Front row, directly to the right of the stage. That was where the ticket that came along with my press pass had put me. I snapped a few pictures for my blog and jotted down some more notes as Logan sang. I didn’t sing along to either of his singles, but I knew the words to both of them. I had a countdown set so I wouldn’t forget and bought them both online the day they were released. Even if he didn’t want me to be, I still liked to think I was always his biggest fan. Maybe second-biggest, only to his mom of course.

The crowd cleared quickly once the encore was over and all had exited the stage. It had been a long night and was still far from over. If I thought the press conference was awkward, it was about to get worse.

Nashville: Behind the Strings was one of the hottest country blogs in the city. I’d been working there for a year now and had been given the official title of New Artist Media Manager. It was my job to introduce the world to the hottest newcomers of the industry. That meant mingling with them as much as I could. So after the concerts comes another perk of the job…the after party.

About an hour later there I was, walking through the lobby of the Opryland Resort to the ballroom written on the invite. I spotted him right away, surrounded by reporters, shaking hands and posing for pictures. I leaned my elbow on one of the cocktail tables off in the distance, sipping on some champagne I grabbed from a waiter who passed by. Once I came into Logan’s view, I watched him excuse himself and push his way through the crowd. My heart raced. I couldn’t read his poker face as he stepped closer to me.

“Twice in one night, huh?” he said as he placed his palm on the table next to me.

“Just doing my job,” I said.

“And what exactly might that be?” he asked.

“I’m a writer,” I said, “music blogger, to be exact.”

“I’m sorry, can you say that again?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.

He put his hand to his ear to make sure he had heard me correctly and stood there, waiting for me to repeat myself, but I didn’t. The only thing I did was continue to stare at him until he grabbed my hand and pulled me across the room and out through the hotel doors. Neither of us said a word as he led the way to the brick steps across the way from the lobby entrance. It reminded me of his parents’ 15th wedding anniversary party. That was when we snuck away from the black tie gathering and ran through the vineyards until we were both out of breath. Then we lay with our heads together, staring up at the stars. I think we were maybe 10 at the time. Now, over a decade later, we were standing side by side under that same sky, staring up at those same stars. But this time it was different.

“Logan?” I asked.

“Don’t,” he said as I stood.

“I didn’t come here to upset you.”

“Well I’m upset,” he said. “Damn it, Celia.” I walked over to him, placing my hand on his shoulder, but he pulled away. “The girl who wanted nothing to do with music. Who couldn’t even stand entertaining the idea of being a part of its world…now you live in it?”

“I guess I realized I was spending my life blaming music for all the things I lost instead of the people who took them away from me.”

“Oh, good for you. I didn’t try and tell you that dozens of times or anything,” he said rolling his eyes.

“Logan, it’s been five years. I don’t want you to be mad at me anymore.”

“Who said I was ever mad at you?” he asked.

“You haven’t talked to me in five years. Not a single return phone call, not even a text. If you’re not mad at me then what the hell are you, huh?”

“Hurt,” his voice rose as he turned towards me. “You hurt me, okay? You and I, we were supposed to be in this together, you know and you just…you let me down, left me to do this all alone.”

“I did not!” I said.

I had told him not to stay in Hamden for me. That I wasn’t ready to leave yet, but that there was no way I was going to be the reason he gave up his dreams. Yes, for nineteen years we were inseparable. Our mothers were in the same birthing room of the hospital. That was where it all started. Apparently going through labor together forms an unbreakable bond. We spent so much time at “Mommy and Me” classes, on play dates…you name it, we did it all together. But that didn’t mean the rest of our lives were going to pan out the same. He knew what he wanted back then, he always had. I was still trying to figure it out.

“You may as well have,” he said, “That’s what it felt like to me.”

“That’s the last thing I ever wanted. You were my best friend. You still are.”

I was about to grab his hand, when a young girl with curly blond hair, dressed in sequins, yelled out his name. That was his cue to return to the party.

“And the high life calls,” he said. “You coming back in?”

“I think I should probably get home.”

“Now? That’s kind of a long drive home this late at night.”

I shook my head. There was so much Logan didn’t know about the last few years of my life. The fact that I too had moved out of our small town was one of them.

“4817 Blueberry Hill Rd,” I said as he stepped away from me. “Can you meet me there tomorrow morning, ten sharp?”

“What’s there?” he asked.

“Just say you’ll be there, please.”

No verbal commitment, but I saw the nod before he turned away and if there was one thing I knew about him, it’s that he always did as he said. Like the true Southern gentleman his mama had raised him to be.

When I arrived home that night, I sat the laptop onto the couch next to me and pulled up the songs from Logan’s album. I scrolled down until I came across “To Walk Away,” clicked for it to begin and listened closely.

She held my hand while I was shaking

Searching the words I had to say to her

I looked into those eyes

Bluer than they ever were

Underneath that midnight sky

As the rest of the song played it became very apparent what he meant when he said this song “hit close to home.” Every line brought me back to that night he said goodbye. Suitcase in hand, standing on my porch. The only real friend I had ever known was about to embark on a new adventure without me. As happy as I was for him, it was hard to let him go. We had been through so much in all of those years, I couldn’t imagine how the next chapter of my life would start without him there.

The bridge played again and I lifted my fingers to my lips, remembering how his had so gently brushed against mine back then. We both lingered, our lips locked together until I finally pulled away. I was so young and so confused.

My head was spinning as the song continued to play. I could barely understand the words once again as the vision of him walking down the front steps clouded my mind.

She was already moving on

Before I was even gone

I knew there was nothing left to say

She didn’t feel the same

So I had to love her enough to walk away

He really couldn’t have written it any better. It described perfectly the events following that kiss. I cried, he left. I watched him go and he never turned back.

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www.rosscoppley.com

Ross Coppley comes home to Johnny and June’s

Kane Brown made his way to North Carolina this past Friday to perform at Johnny and June’s in Winston-Salem, but I wasn’t there for Kane Brown. I didn’t drive 180 miles round trip or get stuck in 2 hours worth of traffic on the way there for Kane Brown. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike him, I’ve just never really jumped on that bandwagon.

So why then was I at Johnny and June’s this past Friday night? The answer is simple: Ross Coppley.

A Lexington, North Carolina native who made the move to Nashville a few years ago opened up the show. Ross Coppley is an artist that has always stayed close to his roots. His lyrics are real and genuine and hold true to everyone singing them back to him even if all for different reasons.

His high energy performances and veteran stage presence along with a talented group to back him make for a show you don’t want to miss no matter what it takes for you to get there. His newest single “Wildfire” is climbing the charts and that song is only the tip of the iceberg for what this guy is capable of.

Below is a montage of a few of the songs sung during Coppley’s performance on Friday night. See for yourself what you’ve been missing.

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5 Times Brian Kelley’s Wife Got it Just Right

“Behind every good man, there is a good woman”

I have always been a fan of Brittney Marie Cole Kelley (“B Cole” as my friend and I call her). Since the beginning she’s let the world in on her journey with generosity and class. Her pictures shows a spirit that is genuine, carefree and loving. I love the way she loves her family. The way she stands by her man and the way she has taken opportunity and turned it into something great. So today, on Woman Crush Wednesday, here’s my tribute to 5 times B Cole got it just right!

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1. She married a man that looks at her like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2. Her kids have 4 legs and fur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. She nailed the no makeup selfie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4. The girl did a photo shoot with wolves, for a clothing line she collaborated on, because she’s one hell of a girl boss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5. That time when she wore the same outfit as Miranda and killed it!

We ride together.... My boo  #instagood #instadaily #ilovemydog #themoreboysimeet #roadtrip #twinning #nashville #clt

Lights, Camera… Nashville!

This past weekend I waved goodbye to the Queen City and my favorite furry friend and road tripped it to country music city for a role in a music video! One of my best friends was able to make the trip with me so we made a long weekend out of it and had a little fun. For country music lovers like us, we were in paradise. Here’s a little inside look at our Nashville fun!

We got in Friday and headed downtown to meet some friends for dinner at Demo’s. The food was so good and our awesome waiter Austin made the experience even better!

demos

 After dinner we headed to the famous Bluebird Cafe. bluebird2There was a line to get in, but we of course had to snap a few pictures just to say we were there. I tried to scope out the scene for Charles Esten or Sam Palladio, but no luck!

bluebird  We were up bright and early Saturday morning for hair and makeup before we headed to Blue Bar and Rack Room to shoot Philip Claypool’s “Three More Beers” music video. It was an awesome experience and so much fun. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

bluebar2

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And once work was over, it was time to play! We made or rounds to downtown, Opryland and topped the night off with some seriously good sushi from Lucky Belly. It was such a fun weekend and we can’t wait to come back this summer!!
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We got to spend some time at the Opryland Resort today ... What an amazing place! #nashville #musiccity #opryland #girlstrip


luckybelly

Country Artist Spotlight: Chase Bryant

Chase Bryant PHotoMusic defines Chase Bryant. At every level and in often unexpected ways, his truths are expressed in melody, lyrics, hooks and sounds … but his reality goes even deeper than that. Bryant’s heritage is defined by music. His upbringing, his craft, his inspiration and his obsessions are all centered in the same – which is good – because there’s no other way to explain how a 21-year-old Texan could already be a top-flight guitar player, head-turning songwriter, RED BOW recording artist and co-producer of his debut album.

Last month Chase’s single “Take it on Back” was released and I’m still blaring it in excitement every time it comes across the radio airwaves. It is one of my feel good songs of the summer. I’m so glad he had the chance to stop by Girl Behind the Covers and answer a few questions for me!

Chase, can you talk a little bit about how life (and your career) has changed since signing with Red Bow Records?

Not that I’ve changed in general but life has been crazy. Traveling has been the highlight at the moment, but beyond all of that it’s made a huge dream come true. I’m a small piece of the greatest family there is: Red Bow Records.

Co-Producing your debut album at just 21 years of age is quite an accomplishment. Where did you get the skills to add that to your repertoire?

As a child I always listened to my grandfathers music. I’m a music and music gear geek. I’m fascinated with sounds and arrangements. That makes me strive in the studio to create something that has my stamp all over it. It’s the sound that’s in my head that will translate into the record. Thankfully I’m co producing with my best friend.

Every time I listen to “Take it on Back,” I can’t help, but get up and dance to the upbeat tempo.  It’s such an easy song to really get into. What other factors did you consider when deciding to release this as your debut single?

We were originally going with another song that was just a strict summer song. Radio had reacted differently to “Take it on Back” more than any other song they were hearing. I really trusted there ears and we went with it instead. If you listen to that song and wanna know who I am, that’s me!! As a writer, singer, player, producer, and person.

When can we expect the full length album to be available?

Talking about after the first of the year
On one of your earlier interview I found this quote: “I never wanted to be anybody else,” he says. “My grandfather always told me ‘you can’t be good at being anybody else. You can only be good at being yourself.” I think that your grandfather was a very wise man and that quote is really something I think people struggle with daily.  Tell me how you stay “Chase Bryant” with all the pressures in the industry today.

 I’ve surrounded my self with people who I can trust will always keep me level headed. My label, my friends and most importantly, my family!

What is the hardest part AND the greatest reward of being a country music singer?

You know the quote “no sleep for the restless?”  Well there’s not much sleep for anyone in this business. There’s no 9-5 in the industry. Everyone works just as hard or harder than you. As soon as you slack someone may take your spot. You have to love what you do, and be passionate about it. There’s not a lot of sleep involved. I try and catch it when I can!! 

It looks like you’re going to be getting even less sleep this fall when you will be hitting the road on Brantley Gilbert’s Let it Ride tour. How are you preparing for that and what are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to playing for Brantley’s crowd every night. They love them some Brantley and he’s one of those guys who is true to himself and his fans. I strive to be like that. For now I’m just preparing with rehearsing for this tour and staying healthy. I really can’t tell you the gratitude of how excited I am.

And lastly, a fun one. Tell us something we would be surprised to know about you?

I am a FISHING FREAK!!!!

And there you have it! A little bit about newcomer Chase Bryant. If you haven’t heart “Take it on Back Yet,” check it out now and request it on your local radio stations! And of course don’t forget to like him on Facebook and follow him on twitter!