It’s all about a story, and I heard one or two good ones in my decade of living in Nashville, Tennessee.
In Nashville, there’s a back alley between The Ryman Auditorium and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
Hank Williams would sing “I Saw the Light” on the stage of the “Mother Church of Country Music”, and then sneak across that back alley for a sip or two before the next performance.
That back alley came to be known as a metaphor for the fine line between heaven and hell, and continues to inspire many creatives and songwriters today.
What was it that brought your favourite artist to their big break, their hit song, or their international debut?
My song “Alberta Bound” became art imitating life on the day I was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, housed at Studio Bell. While I maintain strong ties to Nashville, I’m thankful to be home, and among other Canadian artists who continue to proudly wave the maple leaf as we bring our music to the world.
I feel very honoured to have my own exhibit showcased at Studio Bell (running until December 31, 2018), especially when I experience the stories so beautifully told about artists who came before me and blazed the trails to allow me to pursue my musical dream. The Paul Brandt Legacy Collection: YYC to BNA features some of my very favourite items from the early days of my career – including original handwritten lyrics (read: scribbles) that I stashed in the cutlery drawer at my old apartment in Nashville. These scribbles developed into “I Do” and the album, Calm Before the Storm, and some of the songs that got me started. I share a preview and a musical performance in my interview with CBC Radio, plus a fond memory of the very first president of my fan club!
Five levels of exhibitions will draw you in, and tell you the story of some of the world’s most influential artists, and take you down a few back alleys you’ll never forget.
Where will your visit to Studio Bell take you?