The Listening Room, Nashville, Tennessee

After our early lunch with Speedy of the Barbecue Bros at Edley’s, Nancy and I made another run at Lower Broadway to listen to some music in the honky tonks. By then it was around 1:00 pm and getting near Lower Broadway was just about impossible. The area was packed to the gills with bachelorettes and party buses, and we couldn’t get anywhere near Broadway. Nancy did some quick internet research and found a well-regarded music venue at a safe distance from Lower Broadway, the Listening Room. It offered food and drink and, that day, four singer-songwriters in concert.

The event was sold out, but there apparently had been a no-show, so we were able to get a table. We didn’t need a ticket since we’d arrived late, but each of us had to spend at least $15. That;’s rarely a problem.

The four featured singer-songwriters were, from left to right, Nikki Lickstein, Landon Wall, Lexie Hayden, and Marie-Claire. Each was singing her or his own songs. You can — you really should — check out their websites and listen to their music.

And each was immensely talented, and Nancy and I thoroughly enjoyed each of the four. I tend to enjoy live music, unless it’s too loud. (I’m a delicate creature.) At the ListeningRoom, each perfumer was a wonderful perfomer, talented enough for me to wonder why I hadn’t heard of them. (I don’t get out much.) Nikki Lickstein had the cleverest lyrics, in that country-clever way, with a song about the fragility of relationships called “Temporary Tattoo,” and one about the apex of stardom being to have your name on a Honky Tonk. I liked Lexie Hayden’s voice and phrasing the most — one song reminded Nancy of Dolly Parton — but, as I say, we enjoyed each of the four immensely.

The most impressive, to me anyway, was Landon Wall, who’s reached the ripe old age of 17. One of the other singers noted that his voice was a lot deeper than last time she’d heard him. I noticed some tittering when Wall introduced a song about the pain of broken relationships, but it was a solid song. He had a great song about the joy of love, and a song about why he writes and sings that brought the house down.

We missed a little at the beginning, but they sang for a couple more hours. We were enchanted, and I would go back to the Listening Room in a heartbeat. The only difficulty was how to spend that $30 minimum. We’d just eaten, and neither of us was up to another meal right away. Other people were ordering all sorts of food and drinks — and they all seemed to be well pleased with the fare. Notably, the serving and eating was done quietly and did not disrupt the performance or the listening experience.

Nancy ordered a club soda, and I ordered a beer, a Bearded Iris IPA.

Now, Bearded Iris Brewing makes a bunch of IPAs and I’m not sure which I had — possibly a Chasing Rainbows. It was a very good hazy IPA, and as I see on their website, a four-pack of cans retails for $16. Tall cotton. By the time we left and settled our bill, I’d had a second IPA.

The bill came to … six dollars. I love Nashville. There wasn’t much to do except leave a 400% tip.

It was a great show, and we would happily have paid $30 each to see it — and paid for the drinks on top of that. As I say, you should check out the web site of each performer. Nashville, more than any other place I’ve been, is full of great music of all genres sung by hugely talented people chasing that neon rainbow. It was a joy go to the Listening Room and see some dedicated and talented people who are going somewhere. Go visit Nashville. And make a plan to go to the Listening Room.


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