Jace Carlton
Performing Songwriter - Freelance Writer / Photojournalist - Poet - Author

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"The First Time"
Jace Carlton

OH!  She was BEAUTIFUL!  Even more beautiful than I had ever imagined!  I smiled nervously as she welcomed me and made me feel right at home.  A little something to drink?  She kept looking at me with this mysterious smile, sensing the truth ... this was my first time.  As I said, I was nervous.

I was also very excited!  My heart was pounding like thunder in my chest.  Could she see?  It didn't matter ... she knew.  No doubt she'd seen it before.  She has that kind of affect.  She knew just how to look deeply into my eyes and see my heart.  Oh, how I'd longed for her, and now ... now, after all this time, I was finally here ... feeling her gentle embrace.  I melted.

It wasn't long before the sun was setting and the stars began to shine.  I'd said my wishes on them plenty of times but it was so hard to believe that THIS one was coming true!

I wanted to take my time, but she was anxious to show me everything.  I wanted that, too, but I wanted to take it slow, to make each moment last a lifetime so that when I closed my eyes I would still be able to see and feel the ecstasy.

Passion was in the air!  The kind of feelings I thought would be too much to wish for!  Her embrace melted me deeper and deeper into her heart ...

I'd waited for so long ... hoping, wishing, dreaming for this moment.  It was so much better than I ever imagined it would be ... my first visit to Nashville.  Yes, a dream had finally come true!  I was in Nashville!
* * * * *
Perhaps a bit dramatic, but I truly had waited SO long for my first visit and I was SO excited to finally be there!  Plenty of activity was planned for my brief trip - several people to meet and lots of places to go.

First stop, though, was Music Row and an appointment at BMI.  Then a good friend, fellow songwriter / author, Jason Blume, gave me a walking / guided tour of the Row, followed by a perfectly timed visit to the offices & studios of Journey Publishing (the home of the Songwriter's Connection e-Zine) to visit with Susan Tucker and Kim Copeland.  I say perfectly timed because not only were Susan and Kim available, but a casual catered dinner had just arrived and Susan invited me to join them!  PLUS I was introduced to Rachel Williams, one of the finalists in Nashville Star 2 who was in the studio putting the final touches on her debut album!

I then met up with friends, Cassie & Shad, and headed downtown for dinner and some fun.  We finished off the evening with a visit to the legendary Bluebird Cafe followed by a drive over to the fabulous Opryland Resort Hotel.

Up early the next morning, adding a few lines to a couple of new songs I was working on, and by late morning it was time for the best part of this trip ... meeting up with my songwriting mentor, Mary Ann Kennedy!  Mary Ann co-wrote one of my favorite songs, "I'll Still Be Loving You" (Restless Heart).  She had invited me out to her ranch about a half hour from Music Row and so it was a lot more peaceful than meeting in an office on the Row and NO distractions!  I had hoped to have about 30 minutes with her, but we spent nearly 3 hours together!  It was GREAT!

After meeting with Mary Ann I headed back to the Row for some more appointments and then downtown to the Country Music Hall of Fame and dropping into a variety of stores and clubs, including the famous Wildhorse Saloon.  I couldn't stay too long, though, because the Bluebird was calling me back for a very enjoyable evening ... "D4A$" ... that translates into "Don For A Dollar"!

Don Schlitz, the master songwriter who wrote Kenny Roger's smash hit, "The Gambler", regularly plays the Bluebird for just a dollar a person.  Now, if you've never been there, the Bluebird is VERY small and intimate and so obviously Don's not doing it for the money!  He just enjoys sharing some of his big hits, which include "I Take My Chances", "I Feel Lucky", & "He Thinks He'll Keep Her" (Mary Chapin Carpenter), "When You Say Nothing At All" (Allison Krause and Union Station), "Forever and Ever, Amen" (Randy Travis), "I Think About You" (Collin Raye), and "The Greatest" (Kenny Rogers), as well as regularly introducing some new songs.  What a showman!  A GREAT evening!

Another thing that's SO outstanding about the Bluebird is their TOTAL respect for the songwriter.  Whether there's one person performing or a whole band there is NO talking allowed during the performance!  Their policy is simple ... "Sh-h-h-h-h-h".

Inspired by such an awesome day I picked up a late night snack - pizza at Papa John's! - and headed back to my room, wrote for an hour or so and then packed up and got ready to leave early the next morning.

Nashville, I've got just one thing to say ... "I'm coming back REAL soon, sweetheart, and not too long after that I'll be there to stay!"



A variety of book reviews Jace has written for Nashville's Songwriter's Connection e-Zine

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Interviews and concert reviews featuring some of the
best and the brightest

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Personal commentary
Jace has shared, primarily on
the music industry.

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