I recently was privileged to experience the powerfully moving and passionate sounds of Orchestra Nashville (formely the Nashville Chamber Orchestra) along with the beautiful country songs, many of them hits I wasn’t even aware I would know, however, Orchestra Nashville’s Valentines Celebration: An Evening of Great Love Songs at Grace Chapel in Leipers Fort went off without a hitch.

Featuring Matraca Berg, Suzy Bogguss, Gretchen Peters and Raul Malo, the show was well put together, peaceful, relaxing, and love was most definitely ever present in that room. I am not sure whether it was romantic love, simply the Valentines Day spirit, or perhaps it was just the lovely music, but love enveloped everyone in that room, and it was beautiful.

As music director Paul Gambill announced at the beginning of the show, the orchestra, along with the special guests, created an array of instruments usually not known to share the same stage. However, the results were astounding and beautifully uplifting, even though Bogguss jokingly remarked how most of the songs they performed were depressing.

The singers truly impressed me. They repeatedly commented on how strange it was for them to perform in a church, and I could tell they were censoring a lot of what they said to respect the church’s values, but even through their professionalism and respect for the church they still managed to maintain their down home country personalities. And they were truly a riot.

When they sang the song "Strawberry Wine" my heart simply melted, and then I was blown away when Matraca Berg sang two enormously moving songs; one was about Hurricane Katrina called "Muddy Waters" and it made me ball, the other was inspired by a conversation she had had with her aging aunt, and it was simply perfect. I urge you all to purchase her latest CD.

Having been too busy to celebrate Valentines Day, it was a huge treat for my sweetie Phillip and I to experience this show together. I must say, this concert has made a country music lover out of this Yankee, and that has made Phillip extremely happy, as he is as southern as they come.

Be sure to visit www.OrchestraNashville.org for more information about the musicians, upcoming performances, CD download offers and more. If you’ve not yet experienced the magic of Orchestra Nashville, now is the time.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

Red Bull Unlocked Nashville

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

Rumble Boxing Gulch, Nashville

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Post-Covid travel planning

Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?

For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:

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