Holding On then Staying High with Brittany Howard

Monday, August 19th my significant other, Brian, and I took a day trip to Nashville, TN to see Brittany Howard at the Ryman Auditorium. If you are going to the Ryman for a concert and you want to get more out of your trip to Nashville I suggest going to the Frist Art Museum and then dinner at Merchants before showtime at the Ryman. All 3 locations are within walking distance of each other which is really convenient.

Give yourself at least a couple hours to take in the art at the Frist though. The three main exhibits on display right now and until September are Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s and Diana Al-Hadid: Sublimations. All the exhibits were fascinating. I was delighted to see the Frist’s support of local artists with the exhibits Teens Take the Frist and Murals of North Nashville Now.

We then ate dinner at the Merchants on the first floor. Each floor is like it’s own restaurant. We took one look at the second floor menu (which did not fit our taste and budget) and promptly went downstairs. We had the tater tot appetizer. I had the black bean burger and the Tennessee Mojito. Brian had the French Dip sandwich and the TN High Malt Manhattan. 

After taking in the art museum and enjoying a delicious meal we made the trek over to Ryman, for the main reason we came to Nashville.

Seeing Brittany Howard at the Ryman is more significant to me than just being a huge fan of Alabama Shakes and all her other projects. 

I still remember watching the video for Alabama Shakes’ “Hold On” on Palladia. This was in the early days for the channel. They did not have many advertisers, so instead of commercials they would play music videos. Luckily “Hold On” was on heavy ration, because I needed it.  

2012, when that song came out, was a dark time in my life. I was 3 years into a terrible mistake of a marriage. I was physically and mentally unhealthy and running out of hope.

Bless my heart

Bless my soul

Didn't think I'd make it to twenty-two years old

There must be someone up above saying

Come on Brittany

You got to come on up

You got to hold on

Yeah you got to hold on

Then, later that year, “Hold On” shook my soul during Alabama Shakes Bonnaroo performance. As the song says, “I didn’t know where I was I gonna go, I didn’t know what I was going to do”, but I left my husband that September. 

Fast forward four years and I am seeing Alabama Shakes perform to a sold old show at Track 29 in Chattanooga, TN. I am couple years into my concert hopping adventures. Happy, healthy and a part of the music community.

As I sat in the Ryman and sang along as Brittany Howard belted out “Stay High” I reflected on how every time I have seen this woman I have been in a progressively better state than the first time I heard the first chord of “Hold On” in 2012.

 You know, “Hold On” wasn’t even played that night at the Ryman, which was fine by me, because I didn’t need it anymore. I have a new song from Brittany Howard to match my mood.

On that note, here’s one more tip for you, go watch the video for “Stay High”.

So, don't question my state of mind

I'm doing wonderful, just fine, thank you

I just want to stay high

I just want to stay high

I just want to stay high with you...