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  • Writer's pictureEric Dahl

Nashville Can Humble You

Danny Gatton, a well-known guitarist in guitar world circles, was nicknamed “The Humbler” because any one that saw him or performed on stage with him was humbled after doing so. I have found Nashville to be similar to Gatton, it is a city that can humble you. The first time I moved to Nashville was in 1982 right out of Jackson High School. Coming from a small town in Missouri I could hold my own as a guitarist and felt confident in my capabilities. After a semester at Belmont I realized how much more I had to learn about guitar and how little I knew. Fortunately, it sent me back to home where I studied Radio and TV and Southeast Missouri State University and only minored in guitar – but still play to this day. Fast forward to thirty years later and I’m back in Nashville for a second time but now I work in media and play music on the side. It is interesting to meet and get to know some of the musicians, singers and songwriters that move here to Music City to make it. Many of them were huge successes in their hometowns, won talent contests, appeared on radio, TV and the Newspapers. But Nashville is different, it is safe to say that we have more musicians, singers, songwriters and entertainers than any other city in the world. Therefore, the bar has been raised much higher on what is considered A List talent. Another thing that I learned about Nashville is that most people you meet will not tell you what they do or what their background is, even if they tour with an A list artist or have written songs that have millions of plays. The code is that it is alright if someone else tells you, but it is not humble to tell you personally. I believe part of this is Southern Charm in that people here would prefer that you like them and know them for who they are instead of what they have done or who they know. Some musicians and songwriters I have known for years are only know giving me tidbits of what they have really accomplished in the music business. For my side of things, I make it my business to dig and research as much as I can so that viewers and listeners learn something new about the music artists they didn’t know before. The surprised looks on my Interviewees faces is also priceless and fun. Many of us, myself included, need a bit of humbling from time to time. We start believing our social media feeds or what others say about us. Knowing our place in the universe and being humble and kind are incredible virtues that pay dividends everyday of our lives. Some of the young people that move here to Nashville will make it, but the percentages are small. But I would also never discourage someone from chasing their dream here in Music City. If you don’t try then you will never know if you had what it takes or not and what a sad feeling that would be in our old age. I also believe the old line that Nashville is a Ten-Year Town. After living here again for almost eight years I am finally starting to see some of the fruits of my labors and hopefully I will see more in the next few years. Sum Overnight Sensations coming of out of Nashville paid their dues for ten years, but are only now being recognized by the public and the music business. Being humbled by Danny Gatton or Nashville aren’t bad things if we take that knowledge and experience and use it to make ourselves better. I’m personally not comfortable about bragging about myself or any small achievements I have made, but I’m always happy to brad and cheer on others. I find great satisfaction in seeing others around reach their goals and continue to push forward. Here is hoping that no person, city or situation humbles you so much that you do grow from it and become better than you were yesterday! Whenever I have been humbled it has forced me to look within, evaluate my own actions and chart and new and better course! If you’re looking for some inspirational guitar music I would suggest listening to a few of the late Danny Gatton’s songs also!

A City Built on Great Songs!


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