In the new season of Travel podcast Trip Notes, New Zealand's award-winning country music sensation Tami Neilson shares her top tips for visiting Nashville.
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If there's one place in the world where Tami Neilson's heart constantly pangs for, it's Nashville, Tennessee.
"I spent one year living there in our childhood. We played there on a year contract and whenever I go back there, it feels like home," explains the Chickaboom! musician.
Neilson, who spoke to Stephanie Holmes and me in the latest episode of Trip Notes, says she feels homesick for the place famously known as Music City.
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Growing up in a musical family, Tami toured across North America in a 12-metre motorhome, performing with her parents and brothers as part of the Neilson Family Band.
There are other musical meccas like New York or LA, but it's the small town, intimate vibes of Nashville, its music history and honky-tonk after honky-tonk, which makes Neilson swoon.
"Nashville, in a nutshell, it feels like family and it does feel like a really intimate gathering," she says, describing it as a city encompassing a celebration of songwriters and musical history.
Iconic country music stars like Patsy Kline, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash have all played there. "So many magical things happen in Nashville and the artists and musicians are so accessible."
There's an obvious pull Neilson feels, given the time she lived in Nashville as a youngster with her family, and the city's rich country music history. She says returning there is like putting on an old pair of shoes.
Though country music is the blood pumping through Nashville, the city is also a hub for artists of other genres, including pop, rock, blues, jazz and soul.
But it's not just the musical landmarks that are Nashville's pride and joy. You need to eat well to keep up the energy to enjoy a night out in the city. Think southern style cooking, fried chicken, barbecue pulled pork, sweet tea and biscuits.
"You can go anywhere, and there's incredible food and incredible music," says Neilson, with one key piece of advice: "Bring your stretchy pants."
So where should a music-lover go in Nashville? Listen to the latest Trip Notes podcast with Tami Neilson to find out the best way to visit Music City.
Where to see live music in Nashville:
• The Blue Bird Cafe
• The Ryman Auditorium
• Grand Ole Opry
• Country Music Hall of Fame
Where to eat:
• Peg Leg Porker
• The Loveless Cafe
Where to go for good old honky-tonk vibes:
• Long Hollow Jamboree
Download Trip Notes to hear more about Neilson's top tips for exploring Nashville, as well as her travel lifestyle and tips for frequent flyers.
Subscribe, and each new episode will automatically download when available. You can also go to nzherald.co.nz/tripnotes to watch video from the podcast, and catch up on any episodes you may have missed.
Tami's new album Chickaboom! is out now