Category Archives: People We Love

People We Love – Ryman Auditorium

 

Lots of music venues are special in their own right: the Hollywood Bowl is iconic; you can’t think of punk music without picturing hordes of New Yorkers lining up outside CBGB in the East Village; Luckenbach, Texas is a one-horse town known mostly for it’s saw dust covered dance hall and the Waylon Jennings song that made it famous. But stepping foot into the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry and one and only Mother Church, is a sacred experience. The fact that we, as a catering company, get to step foot through those doors so often, is an actual blessing.

A Brief History.          Built in 1892 by Tom Ryman, the Mother Church was, in its origin, a church. Then known as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, it housed thousands of people who gathered to hear revival lectures. The fate and future of the Tabernacle, however, was shifted when a stage was built to host the New York Metropolitan Opera’s tours of Carmen, Faust and The Barber of Seville – an unintentional foreshadowing of the little Tennessee-style “opera” with which the venue would later become synonymous. In the years leading up to the debut of the Grand Ole Opry, many a famous name graced the stage: Teddy Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini, and Helen Keller – the first person to sell out the Ryman Auditorium’s 2,362 seats.

But it was in 1943 that the WSM Grand Ole Opry first premiered on the Ryman stage with the likes of Little Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl, Bill Monroe – names that instantly bring to mind the twangy country and western sounds of Nashville in its heyday. The show continued there for 30 years, airing live and homes around the country three nights a week, before it relocated to the larger Grand Ole Opry House at Opryland in 1974. Since then, the Ryman has become known as a world class venue playing host to the brightest names in all musical genres.

Flavor + The Ryman.          As a company, we are honored each time we are asked to cater an event there – be it backstage for a show, a reception in the newly opened Soul of Nashville room, or a plated dinner on that infamous stage. We work hand in hand with Ryman staff to meet the catering and hospitality needs of artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Mumford and Sons, Jack White to Ed Sheeran.

But the Ryman plays host to more than just musical performances. We’ve catered a plated dinner on the stage for the Kennedy Center. Last summer, Interior Design Magazine held their Hospitality Giants of Design awards there, complete with three-piece string band and plated dinner on the stage. The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Kretschmar Deli granted the wishes of several children with a private concert and dinner in the Soul of Nashville Theater. Together we created a menu suited for kiddos (Mac & Cheese! Pizza!) using the company’s own products.  But our favorite event at the Mother Church to date? Oh you know, just Ringo Starr’s birthday party.  NBD.

Taking in a show at the Ryman is an experience every person who visits the city should have. You say you live here?  You should go as often as possible.  From the moment you step through the door to the moment you leave, you are guaranteed an incredible event. The most common refrain heard from any musician lucky enough to play the stage is, well, just that – how lucky they are to be playing the Ryman, to add their names to a roster as large and as legendary as any list.  We are truly lucky this special place is in the heart of our fair city — what else is there to say?  We love the Ryman.

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Rachel Rogers

People We Love: Rachel Rogers and The Real Good Feel Goods

One of our favorite bands here in Nashville is the old school Motown act Rachel Rogers and the Real Good Feel Goods. Channeling the iconic sound of Detroit in the 1960s, they bring both heart and soul to the dance floor. The smoky sounds of Roger’s voice backed by a seven piece band adds up to one rocking reception.

Rachel Rogers

Rachel Rogers and the RGFGs have been together for three years, since their days at Belmont University in Nashville. The group includes two backup vocalists, and boast a mix of originals soul songs and classic covers in their repertoire. From The Temptations to The Chiffons to Beyonce or Ray LaMontagne, Rogers understands the importance of versatility and keeping a crowd on their feet. But have no fear: any song they play will have a Motown spin – even the Patti Page classic, “Tennessee Waltz.

But their absolute favorite song to play? Well, that’s easy. “Can’t Hurry Love” by The Supremes: “The second Joe starts strumming the intro, every woman within 200 ft grabs another woman and heads to the dance floor, losing all their inhibitions and singing along to every word,” says Rogers.

Piqued your interest?  Be sure to check out their website and give ol’ Rachel Rogers and the Real Good Feel Goods a listen.

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Venues We Love: The Cordelle

It takes a special pair of eyes to see the beauty in something faded.  In this case, it took three pairs.  Chandra and Leigh Watson and Nealy Glenn instantly saw the potential when they discovered the beautiful but abandoned Rutledge Hill home now known as The Cordelle.

Built in 1871, the home at 45 Lindsley Avenue was originally owned by a steamer:  located within walking distance of the famed Cumberland River, it was his job to help guide the steamboats safely into harbor.  This is, in fact, where the venue name originates:  a cordelle is the kind of rope used to pull the boats in to the banks of the river.  For Chandra, Leigh, and Nealy,  this rope is rich in symbolism:   

“Like that unifying rope, The Cordelle brings people together: it’s an event space for weddings, corporate parties, fashion and art shows, music, community gatherings and much, much more.  It’s a place that connects us to friends, family and the memories we create… a place in history… a place where new stories begin.”

With that in mind, the Victorian home was lovingly gutted and renovated:  the earliest portion of the home was restored to its original beauty; a “Great Hall” was added; the second story was converted into a loft to be used as a bridal suite, green room, or for more intimate parties; and the veranda and gardens extend the interior beauty with a lush landscape.

Their attention to detail is unparalleled.  Older features of the home were reworked into the new venue in surprising ways:  the table in the loft was made with wood from the original flooring, and the mirror in the bridal suite comes from the crown molding.  The use of local artisans and builders was also integral to the reanimating of The Cordelle.  The loft boasts barn doors created by Holler Designs out of Lascassas , Tennessee.  The floors, taken from an old tobacco barn, were done by Good Wood in Nashville.  The walls are adorned with Emily Leonard’s paintings depicting the middle Tennessee landscape, as well as Nealy’s own photography.

And our favorite detail?  The original cordelle rope tucked reverently away in a corner of the loft.  

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