Check out a Live Performance from Little Big Town (and allow me to profess my love for just a moment)

Little Big Town's sixth studio album, Pain Killer, has officially graced us with its presence this week and ya'll - it is fantastic. I recently had the pleasure of sitting in on their Walmart Soundcheck live performance which further reiterated to me why they are one of most talented bands currently in country music. Their soaring harmonies, the quality of songs, the raw emotion: in other words, another level of talent, and the antithesis of 'bro country' - a welcome breath of fresh air and qualities which are increasingly (ridiculously) rare in country radio today.

Chatting with Little Big Town
Pain Killer's first single, Day Drinking, is the featured number on the first of a three-episode series the group recorded for Soundcheck, along with an exclusive interview featuring a little background on the new record. The fabulous Karen Fairchild says it best when she describes Pain Killer as aggressive, bold, and brave and notes they "wrestled it to the ground." Damn girl. I love it (and you. Ps. Remember when you told me I was cute?)

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and check out recording - I promise, you won't regret it. Oh, and while you're there, you can also enter to win a signed guitar by Little Big Town. Nbd.

Be sure to stay tuned, as the remainder of LBT's episodes will be released in the upcoming weeks.

The Best Haunted House in Nashville 2014

Fall: It's one of my favorite times of year in Nashville. The changing leaves, the cooling temps, bonfires, cider, s'mores, Oktoberfest. Oh, and Haunted Houses. For some reason, something about immersing ones self in a terrifying experience is obnoxiously appealing to me - and I look forward to the season every. single. year.
Image Courtesy of Nashville Nightmare
I've visited my fair share of haunts in town, and I have to crown a new favorite for 2014 - one that quite simply stands out above and beyond any house I've ever experienced: Nashville Nightmare. The sets, the design, costumes, overall production, the fact that it consistently scared the hell out of me and my friends - all elements of a top notch haunted house, which made for an absolutely terrifying experience.

There are actually two houses on site - Night Terrors and Horror High. The first, contains over 25,000 square feet of scenes that will undoubtedly re-visit you in your nightmares. I can't begin to tell you how many times I screamed. Out loud. Like a child. Whatever. The latter, Haunted High, is located in the abandoned remains of an actual high school. Terrifying. By the time we made it through both, I was without voice. I mean, no big deal, right?

If you're looking for even more, thorough reviews of the other Haunted Houses in Nashville, I recommend turning to my friends at the Nashville Scene and checking their stellar recommendations. Scene contributor Justin Stokes ranks the various haunts based on scariness, acting, costumes, production design, time, price, ingenuity, lighting, sound and misc. novelty factors: a scale which of course seems ghoulish-ly appropriate. 

Topping The Scene's list with an A+ is the aforementioned Nashville Nightmare, which Stokes describes contains "makeup and monsters of a caliber you'd expect at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights." Also note, Nashville Nightmare was also named among the top 31 Haunts in the nation by Haunted Attraction Magazine, so enter if you dare.

Top 5 Music Venues in Nashville

You're in Nashville. Whether you live here or are just visiting, you must take advantage and catch some of the unbelievable musicians while in town - truly, you're among the greatest in the world.

Of course the artist you're seeing will define how the good the show is or is not, but, I'd argue that equally as impactful is the space that you see them in. Luckily, Nashville is filled with plenty of spots that will please even the most discriminatory of musical act and venue palettes.

Here are my choices for the BEST music venues in Nashville (and in my typical fashion, the following are in no particular order):

The Basement
There is just something about this place. Literally in the basement of a business on 8th Avenue near Downtown, I have seen some of the most incredible musicians in my life come in and out its doors. A small, intimate venue that gets you up close and personal with the performing acts.

Attend a Songwriters Show + Support a Great Cause

I love supporting a cause and giving back to our fabulous Nashville community in any way I can. Just a few of the many perks of living in our city are the talented folks and music involved to help raise funds for charity. Creative Nation, a music publishing and management company owned by Luke and Beth Laird, is hosting a benefit for local organization Preston Taylor Ministries on Tuesday, October 21. 

The evening will include performances by Creative Nation’s talented roster songwriters: Luke Laird (hits include Carrie Underwood's "So Small", "Last Name", Little Big Towns "Pontoon", and Sara Evans "A Little Bit Stronger"), Barry Dean ("Pontoon", Jason Aldean's "1994" and Ingrid Michaelson's "Girls Chase Boys"), Natalie Hemby (Miranda Lambert's "White Liar", "Automatic", and Lady A's "Downtown") and Maggie Chapman, as well as some special guests. 

Don't miss your chance to be up close and personal with some of the biggest song writers in the world, all while helping provide hope to children living in the Preston Taylor public housing area, who every day face problems like drug use, gang involvement, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, poor school performance, and crime.

The event begins at 6:00 PM at 3rd & Lindsley with all proceeds going directly to PTM. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here

Chatting with Keith Urban, and the Latest on Nashville's Fight to Preserve our History

As I'm sure you've witnessed firsthand or have seen in the local news as of late, we have had quite the uproar in our community regarding historic buildings being lost to commercial developers. Being the “it” city has apparently come at a cost, as we are beginning to see more and more of our past being destroyed to make room for a new future- bigger, ‘better’ developments- which unfortunately means losing a lot of Nashville’s character along the way.

I understand the need and benefits of growth. It’s exciting. It creates jobs, it allows for more opportunity, for us to be more culturally diverse. What I don’t understand is our beautiful neighborhoods being destroyed seemingly by greed. Mansions, music studios, shops, and other historic buildings are being razed overnight, with little to no concern about the effect that it is going to have on our community.

Bachelorette Weekend in Nashville

Planning to spending your Bachelorette Weekend in Nashville and need some ideas? I've got you covered with a touristy trek through town celebrating a last bit of 'freedom' before your lifetime of being a M-R-S.

Where to Stay:

You'll want to be near downtown so you can walk around on Broadway - so check out the gorgeous Omni or the newly-renovated Renaissance hotels, both of which offer prime locale. Another great resource to consider, especially for groups, is Airbnb - my new preferred method of travel. There are a ton of listings in Nashville. Be sure to book your space or hotel room sooner than later because there is always something going on in town, and space books up fast.

Now, let's get to the real fun.

Night #1: Go to dinner, Go out on Broadway!

Start your bachelorette weekend in Nashville with a night out on the rooftop of either Rock Bottom Brewery or Acme. Acme is a fabulous new and unique venue but both offer a killer view of downtown Nashville. For dinner there are a few options: You could eat at Rock Bottom or at Acme, or you could make a reservation at Merchants, Farmhouse, or Etch  (my favorite) - all within walking distance from the downtown action.

Chatting 'Favorite Things' in Nashville with Hattie B's Owner, Nick Bishop

In preparation for the upcoming Music City Food + Wine Festival here in Nashville, I wanted to sit down and chat with one of my personal favorites from this year's participants: Nick Bishop of Hattie B's Hot Chicken. As one who loves to chat about Nashville's hidden treasures, I thought it would be fun to learn more about this restaurant owner's go-to spots in town, along with a bit more about what makes Hattie B's so fab.

hattie b's hot chicken nashville
Hattie B's Hot Chicken - Photo by Joseph Woodley
When I mentioned to Nick we would be discussing his favorite spots in the city, his response was that, "It's rare to have only one "favorite" anything in our city - just too many great spots!" 

Nick - I couldn't agree more. But here we go with our most feeble of attempts.

Read on to see Nick's favorites and to purchase passes to this year's fest.