The Love List

est. 2006

Travel Diary: Nashville, TN

OCT15, PEOPLE, STYLE, MUSIC, BOOZEJess Graves
Caroline and I, pioneering the hot mess express at Pinewood Social, where work quickly turned to play. Caroline's necklace is Twine & Twig and the bag is by Whitby. 

Caroline and I, pioneering the hot mess express at Pinewood Social, where work quickly turned to play. Caroline's necklace is Twine & Twig and the bag is by Whitby

Words: Jess Graves | Photos: Caroline Fontenot | Regrets: 0

When you write for a living, at some point that requires actually getting off your tail to go find a story. I know, weird how that works.  When you write magazine and internet things in particular, people don't really give a shit unless the pictures draw them in first, which is why oftentimes, Caroline comes with me to take them. You'll see most of the blips below as stories and videos on The Love List in the near future, but here's what happened behind and in-between. I've done my best to link all the people, places and things so you can check them out for yourselves. Whew!


Day 1: Not as smooth as Tennessee whiskey, but still fun going down.

Charlie and myself at the shiny new bar in the Oak Room at Nelson's Green Brier.

Charlie and myself at the shiny new bar in the Oak Room at Nelson's Green Brier.

Tennessee whiskey, represent.

Tennessee whiskey, represent.

Shooting video with Turbo Fruits.

Shooting video with Turbo Fruits.

We pretty much drove directly to Nelson's Green Brier distillery from Atlanta, save a delicious pit stop at Cochon Butcher for lunch. One of the primary goals of the trip was to shoot video of a wide variety of emerging Southern music talent, and the first of the day featured the upbeat cacophony of the band Turbo Fruits (thank you Jason Morrow and Robbie Crowell!) unapologetically rocking the brick walls of the venue, followed by a hospitable, boozy mosey through Andy and Charlie Nelson's storied family history and distilling process. More on that another day, but we definitely had a good buzz —aural and otherwise— going when we checked into the Hutton Hotel

The eco-conscious (as in zero incandescent lights and electric car charging stations eco-conscious) Hutton is a super sleek hotel, down to the yummy Molton Brown bath products. We had a great stay, and given our frenetic itinerary, I was really glad to be somewhere so accessible. I wish I'd known about the pet concierge before I left though, Maggie would've been one pampered pup.

Going for the strike at Pinewood. Jamie won, I think. Or maybe it was Larry?

Going for the strike at Pinewood. Jamie won, I think. Or maybe it was Larry?

Shoe crew: Caroline, Cooper Samuels, Anchorline's Adria DeLaune, Cause A Scene's Larry Kloess, photographer/ Caroline's platonic life mate Jamie Clayton, and myself. 

Shoe crew: Caroline, Cooper Samuels, Anchorline's Adria DeLaune, Cause A Scene's Larry Kloess, photographer/ Caroline's platonic life mate Jamie Clayton, and myself. 

Yes, that is a Donald Trump piñata. No, I don't know what the hell is happening here. But you can follow the piñata on instagram, so there's that.

Yes, that is a Donald Trump piñata. No, I don't know what the hell is happening here. But you can follow the piñata on instagram, so there's that.

That evening, we shot another talented artist named Whissell, who as it turned out also hails from Florida (we had lots to talk about) and (what do you know) works a day job as a tour guide at Nelson's Green Brier. Hey! Small (Nashville) world! 

At the end of the day, we had every intention of shooting some products and work-type things at Pinewood Social, we really did. But we were so damn deliriously tired from traveling and working, it just didn't happen. Instead, it turned into a reunion of our wayward Nashville crew. We bowled, drank cheap beer/crafty cocktails, and blew off some steam. Some blew off more steam than others. You know who you are.

Day 2: Skateboards, shoes, soul!

Salemtown Board Company's Will Anderson doing his thing.

Salemtown Board Company's Will Anderson doing his thing.

We rose (to say "and shone" would be fibbing) to meet Josh, our valiant videographer, at Salemtown Board Company. When we got there, co-owner Will Anderson's dog Piper was running around, a couple of hipsters were smoking AM cigs while debating the merits of a Paleo diet, and Josh, an avid runner, was doing some kind of back-room deal with his shoe guy out of the trunk of a sedan. Perfect.

Moments later, in walked Jonny P, cool as a cucumber, fresh off a late-night hang with his new cohort Leon Bridges, looking like he just stepped off the glossy pages of Esquire. I can't wait for Josh to edit that video. Jonny P is my new favorite soon-to-be-famous person. We also shot Jonny for Southerners & Their Dogs

MIGHTY's guitar case at the Nisolo show room. We threw the necklace on the mannequin 'cuz we thought it looked pretty.

MIGHTY's guitar case at the Nisolo show room. We threw the necklace on the mannequin 'cuz we thought it looked pretty.

Josh recording a low-key session with MIGHTY.

Josh recording a low-key session with MIGHTY.

After a siesta back at the Hutton, we met back up with Josh at the spankin' new Nisolo showroom. Buttery leather shoes abound. I remember a few years back going to a pop-up shop Nisolo put on in Atlanta, which Caroline invited me to. They were itty bitty then, and look at 'em now! Neat! They nicely let us shoot an artist there who calls himself Mighty, one who came on our radar just a week or so prior to the shoot, when Grouplove's Dan Gleason (who's taken an interest in Mighty) emailed me an EP I'm super glad I listened to. I love running across exciting new talent, especially when someone like Dan puts it on my radar - the thrill of discovery never really fades.

I was totally romanced by the melty candles at 5th & Taylor.

I was totally romanced by the melty candles at 5th & Taylor.

If you look closely, you can see my "hurry up and take it" bad sport face under the hat, but Caroline was right, it was a cool shot.

If you look closely, you can see my "hurry up and take it" bad sport face under the hat, but Caroline was right, it was a cool shot.

Go eat here if you're in Nashville, get the quail and steak tartare. Yum.

Go eat here if you're in Nashville, get the quail and steak tartare. Yum.

Four videos under our belt, as is post-shoot tradition, we had #teamdinner next.  Sustenance! Yay! The food at 5th & Taylor is just the kind of comforting fare you want after a long day. The hazy candlelight, the wine and the cocktails made for a perfect exhale after 48 hours of straight work. I went back to the hotel and slept, but Caroline went out and was rewarded with a sighting of Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba. No, his hair was not, in fact, everywhere, nor was he screaming any infidelities, from what she could ascertain. 

Day 3: Girl, bye.

Here is our "blogger cliche" photo. No! We are not good at styling! Yes! We will tell you where all the things are from! Sunglasses // Clutch // Field Guide // Bracelets // Jacket

Here is our "blogger cliche" photo. No! We are not good at styling! Yes! We will tell you where all the things are from!

Sunglasses // Clutch // Field Guide // Bracelets // Jacket

The next morning, we headed out of town and onto Louisville, but not before a pit stop at Frothy Monkey to catch up with our friends at Taigan. Look! Latte art! I bet you've never seen that before! It's a heart because The Love List, get it? 

Onward.