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Sunday, July 7, 2024

‘Music Residents’ podcast explores the folks behind Nashville’s music scene : NPR


In Nashville, extra folks work within the music business per capita than some other metropolis on this planet. And member station WNXP has began a podcast known as Music Residents about these folks and the roles that they do. The primary episode, known as The Lifer, is about an 80-year-old man who owns and operates a small music venue known as The Finish.

JUSTIN BARNEY, BYLINE: For somebody who has by no means been to The Finish, how would you describe the top?

DANIEL PUJOL: Tiny little rectangle stage.

BRENNAN WEDL: It is like a milk-carton-on-the-floor vibe.

AMY DEE: Identical to an old-school music venue.

MICHELLE EGNASKO: Stylish dive bar.

BARNEY: What’s elegant about it?

EGNASKO: Simply… (laughter).

BARNEY: The bogs are dangerous. The stage is small and shut.

ERIC: We do not have personal bogs for the artists. We do not have parking. Proper? That is the largest factor. Everybody needs to know the place they park their freaking trailers and vans and we do not have it.

BARNEY: Are you able to give me a primary identify, final identify?

JASON MOON WILKINS, BYLINE: First identify, final identify. I may give you all three names. Jason Moon Wilkins. I am the host of Music Residents. It is a new sequence from Nashville Public Radio about music’s working class.

BARNEY: I am Justin Barney, producer, reporter.

WILKINS: We’re doing this sequence at a time when venues like The Finish are in bother. You’ve got acquired gentrification, rising rents, corporatization impacting reserving, all of it. It is a lot in order that within the U.Ok., there is a wave of help for saving a few of these venues. And in Tennessee, a invoice simply this yr that will pave the way in which for serving to these venues with leases simply handed. And I feel we’re seeing this as a result of even on the highest ranges of presidency, folks perceive even the largest artists want a spot to begin, and The Finish is a spot like that.

BARNEY: Might you learn a number of the names on the wall?

BRUCE FITZPATRICK: Learn a number of the names…


FITZPATRICK: …On the wall again right here?


FITZPATRICK: Oh, what can we acquired right here? White Stripes.


FITZPATRICK: I had by no means heard of the White Stripes once they performed right here, inform you the reality. It was on a Monday night time, and we took an opportunity on it and wound up promoting out.

ALYSON ESTES: Paramore performed their first present First present in Nashville at The Finish. Bruce and Hayley have a number of photos collectively.


PARAMORE: (Singing) Whoa, I by no means meant to brag, however I acquired him the place I would like him now.

BARNEY: The Flaming Lips?

FITZPATRICK: Yeah, see, that is most likely 20 years in the past.

BARNEY: They performed right here?


FLAMING LIPS: (Singing) Do you understand?

FITZPATRICK: Quite a lot of bands play right here once they first get began, , so.

WILKINS: It is a launching pad. And as we found, the one fixed was Bruce.

FITZPATRICK: Get that proper there.

BARNEY: I spent a pair days at The Finish. A factor that simply blew me away was that this complete place, The Finish, the names on the partitions and all of its lore is precariously held collectively by one 80-year-old man who does the job of 10 folks.

What does Bruce do every single day?

ANGELA: Come right here. With out fail, he exhibits up every single day.



FITZPATRICK: Bartend, guide the bands, clear the place up.

EGNASKO: Restocks the entire bar, orders all of the beer orders, adjustments all the rubbish baggage, places the rubbish within the dumpster. He does every thing.

BARNEY: What are you doing now?

FITZPATRICK: Sweeping the toilet ground.

BARNEY: Like, at one level, there may be – there is a marquee. And he pulls this rickety ladder out of the yard, and he units it up on the marquee. And this 80-year-old man will get up on this tiny ladder, and he places up the brand new band on the marquee.

FITZPATRICK: You get all these empty beer bottles, beer cans and the craft beer and…


ESTES: It is a lengthy day. You are there from 10:00, 9:00 a.m. till 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 a.m.

BARNEY: That’s Alyson Estes. She is the expertise purchaser at Exit/In throughout the road. She additionally sort of has a job at The Finish.

ESTES: Not a salaried worker or something like that. It is understood that I’ll assist him do X, Y, Z and extra if wanted.

BARNEY: Why do you do it?

ESTES: As a result of I really like him, and I really like The Finish.

BARNEY: What are you doing now?

FITZPATRICK: Checking the beer coolers, see how a lot beer I have to put in there in some unspecified time in the future. Just about all the cash comes from beer gross sales.

BARNEY: There have been so many small, unbiased venues like The Finish which have opened and closed within the span that Bruce has been grinding away at The Finish.


DEE: I am Amy Dee from Dee’s Nation Cocktail Lounge.

BARNEY: Why do it?

DEE: As a result of I am a lifer. I have been on this enterprise since ’97. I did not go to varsity. I haven’t got a belief fund to look ahead to.


DEE: What else am I going to do? (Laughter) And then you definitely see others fade, and you are still right here.

BARNEY: And Bruce, fellow lifer, is simply holding it collectively each night time.

Bruce, we’re between – simply earlier than bands are beginning now. What are you doing on this time?

FITZPATRICK: Ready for folks to indicate up.

UNIDENTIFIED PROMOTER: Thanks. Hello. How are you? Can I simply see your ID? Thanks. Excellent. I will stamp the highest of your hand.

WEDL: I like that he is the bartender, too.

BARNEY: Proper?

WEDL: It is superior. It is superior.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Hey. Might I get a Michelob Extremely, please?

FITZPATRICK: Yeah. We do have a $10 minimal…

WILKINS: So Justin has been taking you thru Bruce’s day behind the scenes, all of the nitty gritty, however a giant a part of every single day at The Finish is the present.

REMO DRIVE: Hey, all people. We’re a band known as Remo Drive.

WILKINS: So right here we’re on stage. Daniel Pujol is aware of what it is like to face on this stage.

PUJOL: Tiny little inexperienced room. The ceilings are simply excessive sufficient to the place all people can crowd surf.

FITZPATRICK: Numerous damaged noses. We hold plenty of ice packs within the again on hardcore nights. We normally give out half a dozen ice packs.

PUJOL: It is simply large enough is that when it’s very full, it’s proper earlier than an viewers turns into a crowd.

RICK WHETSEL: Bruce is ready to do issues economically at, , a smaller venue like The Finish which you could’t do in a bigger venue.

ESTES: You’ll be able to play to 50 folks at The Finish, . You’ll be able to promote out The Finish after which transfer to Exit/In on the Rock Block, proper? After which you’ll be able to play Marathon. After which you’ll be able to play Ryman. And, like, there’s plenty of nice stepping stones on this city.

BARNEY: And The Finish is…

ESTES: This primary step.



BARNEY: That occurs each night time, . And that is not one thing that is assured in each metropolis.

WILKINS: Completely not. I imply, a few of these issues are going to go away, and so they don’t have anything to do with the powers that be not standing up for it. We reside and work in an financial system the place when you personal this area, and swiftly it is value 5 million, and it was value 500,000, you are most likely going to promote it.

There’s something that Bruce and The Finish characterize inside Nashville that now we have seen change at an accelerating tempo within the final 10 years particularly, which is beloved establishments going by the wayside. When your metropolis is called Music Metropolis, and when these establishments begin altering, it does change the material of who you might be. And what’s being at present constructed proper now, the overwhelming majority of cash that’s being invested in Nashville on the music aspect is to lure vacationers, not locals. And that’s the concern of what you may lose when you lose a spot like this.

BARNEY: Bruce, how did we do tonight?

FITZPATRICK: Do not know. I do not know what number of ended up paying. Do you’ve got that determine?

ERIC: Thirty-eight on the door. After which I feel presale is 170-something.

FITZPATRICK: Plus 38. What’s that, 211?

ERIC: Yeah.


BARNEY: Is {that a} good night time?

ERIC: Yeah. It is greater than needs to be in right here.


FITZPATRICK: Yeah, needs to be.

ESTES: You recognize, he is simply right here to run his venue, have time and to go residence.

BARNEY: So, like, why do you suppose he does it?

ESTES: I feel he likes being part of the story, , having a small function in somebody’s success.

BARNEY: It is now 12:16 a.m.

FITZPATRICK: All proper. That is it. Every thing locked up. Time to go residence. We’re good to go.

BARNEY: You need to be an proprietor? That is what it’s. That is the job.

WILKINS: That is the job.

BARNEY: Final phrases?

FITZPATRICK: Do it once more tomorrow.

BARNEY: All proper. See you, Bruce.

FITZPATRICK: All proper. I will so long.

FLORIDO: Jason Moon Wilkins and Justin Barney host Music Residents, a brand new podcast from WNXP in Nashville. You’ll be able to pay attention at wnxp.org or wherever you get your podcasts.

Copyright © 2024 NPR. All rights reserved. Go to our web site phrases of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for additional info.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This textual content will not be in its remaining kind and could also be up to date or revised sooner or later. Accuracy and availability could differ. The authoritative report of NPR’s programming is the audio report.

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