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Nashville Again! Photo Journal (Spring 2014)

Nashville Again! Photo Journal (Spring 2014) 4-10-14

Hey friends!  I got so busy having fun living life, that I forgot to write!  Some of you have been asking about the newest trip to Nashville and what’s to come so I’ll do my best to update you in this post.

March 25th through April 2nd, I returned to Tennessee to reconnect with contacts I had made back in the fall as well as do some extra exciting things.  Those of you who are connected to me on Facebook and Instagram, saw many of these stories and photos but I’ll post it here anyway for those of you who didn’t get to see it and wanted to.  Then at the end, I’ll show some of the bonus shots I got of neat experiences that didn’t go up as a daily photo to social media.

Day #1: Been re-routed which keeps me at PDX for hours but less flights so yay! As long as I make my connection to Nashville and suitcase greets me at the other end, I’m happy. So excited for another adventure! Recording tomorrow morning off the bat with a publisher from Kingsway Music! The start to a VERY full trip. Feeling blessed. Stay tuned!

Day #2: So fun! Got to record for a worship project with John Hartley of Kingsway Music this morning, hung out and had lunch with him and Darry Daugherty. I’ve been invited to cut demos with great musicians like Scott Dente from Out of the Grey this Friday! Finished the day starting a new song with my co-write buddy Carolana. Very full but fantastic day. (Once my GPS worked and I’d recovered from my awful yet humorous flight experience, but that’s another story…)

Day #3: Recorded gorgeous string parts on my Christmas song. String player extraordinaire, Tim Lorsch (credits include Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Lucinda Williams and too many others to list, contributing to Emmy and Grammy winning projects as well), arranged with me today a wonderful string part and contributed his talents on multiple instruments with ease. SO glad to have met this man the last time I was here! He offered his talent for another time enthusiastically since we really hit it off. A musically rich time with great conversation too. Finished off the day downtown with my sis and friends, then attempted to learn the three songs I’m recording on a whim tomorrow. Hope I can remember them in the morning! I’m exhausted! Off to bed…

Day #4: Favorite day so far! Got to play and record with these guys for 5 hours! Was excited especially because I have admired Scott Dente from Out of the Grey for years. Road in Scott’s car to lunch. Enjoyed Indian Food together and laughed A LOT!! I’ll list them at the end. After recording, I returned to the studio on Music Row to mix yesterday’s strings into my song from last time with Bob Britt. It turned out awesome! Can’t wait to let you hear it! In the pic left to right: John Hartley, Tommy ?, Matt Stanfield, Ken Lewis, Me, Scott Dente, Matt Pierson. You may not know their names, but you know their music.

Day #5: Performed with Tiffany tonight at the Hotel Indigo in downtown Nashville! Very fun and great audience. It was special having my coach, Mark Cawley, in the audience with his wife, Kathy, my Nashville co-writer Carolana, and my friends, Victoria and Terri. Spent the earlier day with Rhyan, my other Nashville co-writer at Integrity Music and NOW…we are out late living it up with Victoria and Tiffany in The Gulch, enjoying Sushi. Loving this trip!

Day #6: Spent the evening with Tiff at the Bluebird Cafe (her birthday treat to me) listening to great songwriters with special guest Don Schlitz who wrote “The Gambler” and Allison Krauss’s “When You Say Nothing At All”. Before we waited in line for hours, we enjoyed a relaxing day enjoying the sunshine, a beautiful walk, and the company of our hosts and new friends, the Elliott family. It was a great vacation day after hitting the ground running since I’ve arrived. (A bonus pic of Don Schlitz and I is at the end of this post with the bonus pictures).  If you watch the show “Nashville”, then you know what this cafe is.  In reality, you will not find those characters here, though strangely, people glance around looking for them out of habit…

Day #7: Spent a fun day all around downtown Nashville with Tiffany, seeing live musicians all down the strip of Broadway and even getting the chance to sing randomly when they’d ask us to come up. We harmonized with a man on the street corner for a while and then befriended a songwriter at a restaurant who took a quick break, pulled out a guitar and sang for us and we for him. Very random fun. This picture was taken there. There wasn’t anyone to hand the phone to while we sang today so I chose this picture instead. We ended the day in the sweetest way, serenading a 6 year old to sleep by her bedside. It’s not so weird when I add that she’s the daughter if our hosts. The best day of random musical opportunities. Tomorrow, back to co-writing for me after taking Tiffany to the airport.

Day #8: After sadly dropping Tiff off at the airport, I had a great day meeting with two different writers and then spent the evening with this little sweetheart who was happy to play her violin for me. Both of my host homes were absolutely fabulous. I’ll be back for sure. Great new friends!

Day #9: So excited to be headed home where I can hug my 3 guys. Thank you to the generous people who made this trip possible. My heart is full and my head is just swimming with exciting information. A really great trip. Thanks for following me, you guys! It’s less lonely to take your friends with you.

Below are some bonus pictures that weren’t part of the social media updates but are really fun.

 

First, this is downtown Nashville on Broadway.  Just cross Downtown Disney with a saloon.  People on the rooftops, people on the ground, live music ringing from every doorway, street singers who are happy when you harmonize along…it lasts all day and night.  The fun never ends!

Here’s an example of the live music you find inside the doorways…

Recording for Kingsway Publisher, John Hartley, really was a highlight of the trip for me.  Here are some more shots of our fun. First shot is Scott Dente recording his guitar while I sang on the other side.  All the guys recorded behind walls simultaneously.  Made it feel like a live performance.  Very fun experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naturally, many restaurant servers are songwriters there.  When this guy asked us what brought us to Nashville, we told him.  To which he replied, “I’m a songwriter, too.”  To which we said, “Sing us a song!”  To which he said, “Sure, if you sing me one!” So when a bit of his business died down enough for us to have some fun…we did. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Don Schlitz and I after the show at the Bluebird.  I mentioned above some of his songwriting credits.  He also wrote Kenny Rogers’ “The Greatest” and Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen”.  It was a fun and humorous show.  He was very nice.

Tiffany and I with my songwriting coach, Mark Cawley, his wife Kathy, and my co-writer and friend, Carolana at the Hotel Indigo just before Tiffany and I played.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal at a restaurant called The Pub in the Gulch area of downtown Nashville just before heading over for an extended evening together.  A lot of fun!  Was so great to see Mark again.

Old and New Friends!  One of my hosts and new friend, Terri, made it out to our show at the Hotel Indigo.  Terri’s in the white turtleneck sweater.  Loved getting to know her!  After the show, an old friend from Sherwood who now lives in Nashville, Victoria (in the green), went out for a late dinner with Tiffany and I and we had a blast until dawn threatened to approach.   Sushi is even yummier when you enjoy it at 1 Am.

 

 

 

 

And last but not least, after returning home, I jumped straight into the recording studio I’ve always wanted to experience (and got to thanks to a generous supporter) and re-cut “Just Like Coffee” with the aim of a Film and TV pitch.  But that’s another story for another day…stay tuned.

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed my photo journal.  It really has been a full and very rich last few weeks, which followed a very full winter.  Since returning home, my head is still spinning and with the recording project, my students, our family’s new spring concert series we’re doing on various weekends, our sorrow over our beloved pastor and his family moving away, and our desperate house search before our apartment lease is up….I can hardly think straight.  But I can’t complain!  I am so blessed.  Sometimes, I feel TOO blessed.  And that’s when there are no words and it takes me a while to sit and write to you wonderful people — those who support me in so many ways.  Thank you for enhancing my journey.  You are such an important part of my life and very appreciated.

Love to you all, Nicole (4-10-14)

Nicole Wells is a singer-songwriter, soccer mom and story teller who enjoys encouraging and entertaining others through music and testimony.  She can be booked for performances, worship leading, and speaking engagements.  www.nicolewellsmusic.com

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