This is going to be kind of a long blog! We have a lot to catch you up on, as most of you know that myself, "Clarence Carter," and Jake spent the week in Nashville. Got a lot of funny stories and pictures to share with yall!!!!
Brothers of the Road
This has definitely been one of the funnest weeks of my life! When you get 3 guys like us together, on the road, shenanigans are bound to happen. Let me tell you, we didn't disapoint lol.
We hit the road at about noon in the rental car. Surprisingly we got a pretty nice and new rental car! Once we were all settled in, we struck out, Nashville bound. Well, our first stop was in Jasper to get some food at Tayco Bell (that's the way I pronounce it lol). Had a nice quiet lunch, loaded back up to hit the road. At this point Jake decides it's prolly best that he goes to the restroom. While patiently waiting, I got a funny idea. I moved the car to the opposite side of the parking lot, so when Jake came out, he had no clue where the car was lol! You can see this whole thing play out on the band facebook page, btw.
So we get back on the road, and just have small talk and stories amongst ourselves. It was a really long drive and we made quite a few stops to stretch our legs on the way. We went up through East Texas, into Texarkana, to Little Rock, then on through Memphis, eventually leading to Nashville. Of course I had to get a picture of all the state line signs. We had to run across the interstate to get the picture by the Arkansas one! Ole Clarence was cussing me out on that one lol, but we got it! We weren't able to get a good one of Tennessee unfortunately, since it was up in the air, on a bridge lol.
So we arrive at our hotel at about 4AM Monday morning. We had reservations from Monday-Thursday (remember this for a later story) that I made through Hotels.com. I know we're early for check in, so I go and talk to the lady at the front desk to see if it would be ok if we check in early. She tells me "Sure! No problem." We check into our rooms to finally get some rest before heading to the studio in the morning. The rooms were decent, didn't look like much on the outside, but were at least really clean inside.
We wake up to my alarm and get ready to head to the studio, and you can definitely say that we're excited. We drive about 20 minutes to the studio and are ready to get to work. Once we arrive, Dan my producer, greets us and we get started. The plan was to try and do 3-4 songs a day. Well, my voice had other plans this day lol. I guess due to the strain of traveling and the pollen messing with my allergies, my voice did not hold up well for the first day. After doing 2 songs, my voice was toast, so Dan said to call it a day. We went and grabbed a bite to eat, and went back to the hotel. After taking a nap, we decided to get up and Uber on down to Broadway, and this is where all of the best stories start lol. Overall, I was WAY more impressed with the live music this time around! We hit up The Stage, Tootsie's, AJ's Good Time Bar, etc. So we're hanging out in The Stage watching some band, can't remember their name lol, and we decided to check out a different bar. Well, as we're walking out, "Clarence" sees this good looking blonde standing there looking back at him. He was feeling pretty good to start with, thanks to the wine, so he goes and talks to her. I walk on outside and wait on him, Jake is standing there with me as well. After a few minutes "Clarence" basically comes running out saying we gotta go! Wondering what the hell is going on, I follow. He finally tells me that he kissed that blonde. Ok........ turns out she was married and her husband was right there as well lmao! I end the night down at Robert's Western World, where when I walk in the band is playing with twin fiddles and steel guitar. As I'm sure most of you can assume that I was in honkytonk heaven! "Clarence" makes his way down there with me..... he's feeling good, but not being obnoxious or anything. He is yelling rock and roll though and promply gets kicked out lol. We decide to call it a night after that, and head back to the hotel for the night.
The next morning we wake up and get ready to go to the studio again, and immediately I feel my allergies kicking in, great! We head out and stop at a gas station on the way to get some breakfast, because the hotels breakfast was pretty much non-existent! We get to the studio and get to work. I make it through the first song and immediately start having trouble again. Dan suggests that I take a Zyrtec, which really helped! We knocked out all 4 songs we had scheduled for that day! We then go back to the hotel again to get changed, and head out to Broadway again. It still pretty early in the day, so we're down there for a while. That night a friend of Jake's, who used to play guitar for Jake's Dad Keith, Mike was playing down on Broadway with the guy he plays with. Jake doesn't know who he's playing with, but I decide to go check it out with him anyways. So, it turns out that "the guy" he's playing with is actually Craig Campbell!!!! I was stoked to see the show now! We stayed for the whole show and got to hang out with Craig afterwards. It was a super fun night, but we turned in pretty early again, to try and get the most out of the studio!
Day 3, this is where the drama begins! We head to the studio, like usual. I get in the booth and get 1 song knocked out. While working on the second song, my phone keeps going off and it's a Nashville number. "Clarence" finally answers it, and it's the hotel. So apparently, the lady at the check in told us we could check in early, but what she really did was change my reservations without my approval, and changed it to Sunday-Wednesday, instead of Monday-Thursday, like I set up. I explained to her as calmly as possible that I was not told of this when we checked in and didn't approve of this change. I was then told I had an hour to get back to the hotel and collect my belongings, or the housekeeping was going to pack them and leave them on the sidewalk! I lost my cool then. Longstory short, I told the lady that if they touched my personal belongings that they were going to wish I never heard of that hotel, plus a lot of other choice words that don't need to be repeated here lol. Dan tells me to go ahead and call it a day, and go take care of business. This was supposed to be my last day in the studio, so we had to add another day to the studio. When we get in the car, Jake goes "I hope I never make you mad, you get really mad!" lol. I told him if he thought that was bad, imagine what would've happened if the put my stuff on the curb lol. I booked the reservations through Hotels.com, so I call them on my way back to the hotel. After explaining what was going on, the first girl acted like she couldn't really do anything to help me. She just said that she would call the hotel and see if they'll comp us another night. I explain to her that this was not an acceptable option, unless they wanted me to burn the damn hotel to the ground lol. She tells me that's all the can do, her hands are tied. So I ask to speak to her supervisor. The supervisor was extremely nice, and asked me what was going on. After I explain, she puts me on hold to contact the hotel. She checks back regularly to let me know she's still trying to reach a manager at the hotel. After about 5 minutes, she comes back and explains the manager isn't on the property at the time, go figure. She said she's just going to email me a coupon for a free night stay at another hotel (worth $100). I thank her and tell her that will be just fine. So we go grab something to eat while looking up other hotels in the area. While there (Tayco Bell again lol) I receive a call from the first hotel's general manager. She is VERY nice and professional. Apologizes many times and asks if I'd be willing to come back for the last night and that she'd take care of us. I explain to her that although I truly appreciate her trying to make things right, but that I had already gotten a new hotel, and that I dont trust their hotel anymore. She says she understands, and hopes that I'll contact her next time I'm in Nashville and that she'll handle my reservations personally and cut me a great deal. I thank her, and then we load up to head to the new hotel. So we check into Club-Hotel Nashville. Let me say this right off the bat! This is probably the nicest hotel I've ever stayed at! The towels smelled like MINT!!!! They had an awesome breakfast buffet the next morning too! I hung out in the swimming pool for most of what was left of the day, and met some really cool people from Michigan, Dan and Amber. Then, that night, my best friend Collin, who's back in the Army stationed at Fort Campbell, drives down to come hang out. We go and find a local place to eat, and decide on a place called Bubba's Catfish and Chicken. The place turns out to be like an old MA and PA type diner, with the checkered red and white table cloths, you know the type of place I'm talking about lol. The food was AMAZING!!!! They were generous with their protions! Even brought us a few samples of other things on the menu. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area! So that's pretty much all for that night!
Last day, we eat and check out of the hotel and head to the studio. Same story as every other day, allergies are kicking my butt. Make it through the first song and my voice is pretty much DONE! To the point that Dan is saying I may have to either come back, or finsh the vocals at a later date in Texas somewhere. As you can guess, I'm stressing out and worried by this point. I say let me try one more thing before we call it quits. Luckily I had remembered I bought this tea called Throat Coat, that my friend Norma told me about. So I make a mug of it and drink it. Horrible doesn't accurately describe the taste of this stuff! But, I'll be damned if it didn't work perfectly!!!! I'm able to finish and we get back on the road to Texas.
So we head out on a super long drive back to Texas. We're just cutting up like normal. We eventually stopped in Jackson, Mississippi at Twin Peaks for dinner, that was our first mistake lol. It was the WORST service any of us have ever had in our lives! It just took us forever to get anything we wanted to order. Our orders were also wrong on almost everything we ordered. Basically had to go and get our own refills, etc. We FINALLY are able to pay our check and get back on the road! We make it all the way back to Texas at about 3 AM and get some rest!