Despite the cold winter weather, Nashville’s music scene not only survives but thrives. Talent sightings, even spot performances are the norm after artists end their long tour season and head home. In town, Nashville’s live music venues are at the heart of it all. There are over 50 of these venues scattered throughout the sprawling downtown. They range from stand alone arenas such as the Nashville Convention Center and the Sommet Center to the intimate performances in the round at Blue Bird Café. LMVs are legendary concert halls like 12th and Porter and the Exit/In, as well as hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs
BB King's Blues Club Downtown Nashville. Photo by Ric Farrah
One such live music venue is B.B. King’s Blues Club located on 2nd Avenue in the heart of the tourist district. For example on Monday nights the club features Stacy Mitchhart and his Blues-U-Can-Use-Band. Mitchhart who recorded three albums has been a Nashville staple in blue for over 14 years. He and his five piece band pack the energy and a powerful play-list, expertly mixed with originals and covers, to draw a very respectable crowd to the 500 seat club on the toughest night of the week.
Stacy Mitchhart photo by Ric Farrah
Mitchhart who relocated to Nashville from Cincinnati in 1995 via Philadelphia has built a worldwide fan base thanks to phenomenal live performances, national television exposure, radio airplay and loyal enthusiastic fans.
From the show’s opening note, even the musical “nube” knows the Blues U-Can-Use Band is a gathering of highly credited and talented musicians. On sax is Jules Caldarera and playing trumpet is Cory Distefano. Together they bring a dimension that is defines the sound so familiar to Mitchhart fans. On bottom, tight in the pocket is Emanuel Cole. On drums is Darin James. In addition to winning Blues Drummer of the Year in both 2003 and 2004, James also founded the gospel label, Victoria Records. On keys is none other than Paul Brown whose credits is a who’s who list in the world of world-class music. If you can think of the names, chances are Brown has worked with them.
Even in the dead of winter, Nashville live music venues pack a big sound and allow show goers an up close and personal look at some of the best musical talent in the country.