The country music playing loudly through speakers hidden in the parking-lot hedges put me in better spirits, but they soon dissipated when I finally got to see the Geek and he told me there were no US maps loaded on the satnav that I had bought on eBay on the promise of it having US maps… However, he went on, he could upload US maps onto it for $60, but it would take 8 hours to do. That would be a problem because I needed (a) to be able to navigate my way back to my B&B and (b) to come out to play at an open mic this evening on the other side of town from the B&B. So I called Alamo rental cars to find out how much it would be to hire one. A shocking $179 for a week, I was told… So I went back to the Geek and said I’d have the $60 upload please. “That’ll be $60 … plus $40 for labour,” was the more detailed reply this time (well, he actually said "labor", but I’m writing in British). I blanched. “But you could get a new one for $120,” he then told me. So that’s what I bought with great irritation at already having forked out for the non-functioning one before I left the UK. The new one worked a treat, thank goodness, and I sailed home to the instructions of my American-toned GPS girl. (I set it to American English, thinking that it might more closely resemble the correct pronunciation than posh British Emily would.) As soon as I got home I fired off a testy message to the eBay seller – who, on the second reply, agreed to refund my money if I sent it back when I returned to the UK. So that’s something, I suppose. I still have no idea how I managed without it last night though – someone must’ve been watching over me, I reckon.
In the evening I went along to the Commodore Bar and Grille, where I nursed a G&T (this seems to be becoming my tipple of choice…) while awaiting my open mic slot later on. The way these ‘writers’ nights’ work in Nashville is that three or four people take it in turn to sing a song at a time, each eventually singing three songs, and because these are writers’ nights, all the songs are original. Then another group of three or four songwriters gets up and the process is repeated, and this goes on through the evening. I’ll be on later in the evening because I’m just doing an open mic slot – the acts on before are all doing showcase sets. By the time I’d contacted Debi to tell her I would be in Nashville at the end of October the showcase slots were already filled, sadly. Still, I’m happy to be doing the open mic – this IS Nashville, after all! :)
There’s a youngish woman at the bar with a high, shrieky voice practically yelling at the chap next to her by way of casual chit-chat. I stood it as long as I could, casting significant looks her way each time she got particularly loud and shrill in the midst of a singer singing his or her heart out, but finally moved closer to the stage. I can still hear her clearly, however. How obnoxious and rude! I hope she’s gone or lost her voice by the time I get to sing.
She had gone, I think, but although I’d carefully tuned my guitar before I got up to sing, it was hopelessly out of tune again by the time I was on stage, which was embarrassing and made me looked quite unprofessional :( Somehow a not very satisfactory evening. Not sure exactly why I’m feeling like that at the moment. I’ll mull on it a bit more… But I’m looking forward to tomorrow, when I’ll be recording two songs at Bob Angello’s studio outside Nashville.