The email came in - "Bonnie Raitt at the Ryman Auditorium in May?" Three words caught my attention - Bonnie, Ryman and Nashville. I responded instantly, "I'm in!" A fan for decades, I've never seen Bonnie Raitt perform. A longtime aficionado of Nashville, I've never been to the Ryman ("home of country music"). What a combo - a legendary lady of a certain generation and a legendary venue for the best of country, rock and rockabilly. From iconic performers to modern-day interpreters, Bonnie - like the experiences of most Baby Boomers - bridges both sensibilities.
But hadn't she stopped performing? Indeed, now 66, Bonnie has been out of sight for a while. Musically speaking. “Dig in Deep," the title of her new album, suggests a period of reflective introspection and creative renewal. "Let’s dig in deep and get out of this rut,” declares the title song. Who can't relate to that?
So here's how I'm getting ready for Nashville:
Watching the new season of TV's Wednesday night melodrama Nashville (oh, Rayna, Deacon and Juliette, the weekly highs and lows you put us through!)
Checking in with my friend, the inspirational, mega-talented singer-songwriter Keeley Valentino, who's back on the Nashville circuit.
Making a list of possible excursions, such as the Blue Bird Cafe (home to new and timeless musical talent), Ann Patchett's independent bookstore Parnassus (home to inveterate readers) and family-style restaurant Monell's (home to heart health-defying Southern cooking - and where you "enter as strangers and leave as friends").
Listening to Loretta Lynn's new album "Full Circle" (at age 83), recent documentary and interviews by "The Coal Miner's Daughter" - and who like so many of us is mourning the death of Merle Haggard this week.