The Bedford County Fairgrounds are about an hour south of Nashville, just outside of Shelbyville, Tennessee. Locals pronounce the name of their town "SHELL-vul." Just so you'll know.
We were booked on a cloudy Friday night, but the rain never hit the fairgrounds while we played.
Arriving at our stage
The official sign
We knew we were in a rural setting from the artwork that had been painted as our stage backdrop.
The hand-painted farm life mural
David setting up his drums in the barnyard
Nathan plugs in his Hofner
Dennis quacks with the set list
And Bloggin' Bryan documents the monkey on the guitar.
For those who are just tuning in, the little monkey sticker on the red guitar was donated last summer by granddaughter Ella, who moved to Portland. So the monkey remains a way of saying hi to Ella wherever I am. Howdy, Ella, from Bedford County, Tennessee. Congratulations on entering Pre-K!
Our great friend Lucy
and the well-organized merchandise
at the WannaBeatles Boutique
And the Richard Courtney banner,
a sign of another long term friendship
Dennis and Randy
with the set list at the mixing board
Our sound man Randy was playing a soundtrack CD that included various artists doing Elvis songs. As we were setting up, we heard Billy Joel doing an authentic version of "All Shook Up," and Amy Grant crooning "Love Me Tender."
Randy, we discovered, owns the Shelbyville Record Shop, located on the square. The store first opened in 1957, selling vinyl records to local customers. Since then, Randy has diversified, offering music gear, sound reinforcement, and music lessons, but he's maintained the name and the tradition of personal enjoyment of music.
Shelbyville Record Shop, now and then
We took in the sights and sounds of the fair, finding a good local taco salad, and hearing the horse show being announced at the nearby track. We had an enjoyable show, with quite a few Beatles fans in the stands singing along.
After the show, we met a young guitarist named Chase Clanton, who's quite serious about the instrument. He's already familiar with Rickenbacker, Gibson, Epiphone and Fender guitars, and is exploring pop and blues idioms. He was there with his parents, Jerry and Phyllis, and they posed for photos with us.
Chase with The WannaBeatles
Chase and his parents with The WannaBeatles
We enjoyed our visit to Bedford County. We look forward to returning, and we won't be surprised in the future to hear about a young guitarist from there making a name for himself.
Bloggin' Bryan 3sep2014