Nashville: Where Music Outshines Guilt

I hate to put someone’s death on the back burner. But even with Rayna’s father dropping dead on Wednesday night’s (Feb. 26) episode of Nashville — and all the aftermath of that, like the lack of any real remorse, Deacon’s Bluebird Cafe prayer, Maddie and Stella’s grief, the tension between Rayna and Tandy, Rayna’s temper tantrum and Teddy’s ultimate admission that he was guilty of letting Lamar die — that whole scene just kind of paled in comparison to the music everyone was making.

Music such as:

“I Ain’t Leavin’ Without Your Love”
This performance by Avery, Gunnar and Zoey (imagine a Lady Antebellum tribute band) stemmed from Deacon having struggles with a backing band. When Deacon got a last-minute, faraway booking, he was having a hard time finding players. “I need to find some like-minded suckers willing to play for warm beer and cold pizza,” he said. So Avery offers to play guitar, Gunnar to play drums and Zoey to sing backup. At the gig, Deacon was ready to walk out when he found out they wouldn’t be going on until midnight, but his new band said they didn’t care. “All right. We stay and we play,” Deacon said. Good thing, too, because now you know that trio will become one of those accidental, why-didn’t-we-band-together-before overnight sensations.

“Black Roses”
Scarlett cannot make up her mind about anything, including who she wants to be friends with, where she wants to sleep, who she wants to make out with and which pills she wants to keep taking. But in this episode, she made up her mind to sing her ass off for this song about not being under your spell and being clouded by his lies. “You dug deep for that one, girl,” Rayna raved to Scarlett.

“Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet”
This song is so good, I downloaded it before the show was even over. First, Avery lets Juliette hear his mix of it. “I don’t know how you did it. It feels like you put my soul in there” is her response. Then, because a New York Times critic praises her voice, good things start happening. (Even though Juliette is quick to point out to Avery, “You do know you’re the only person in Nashville who reads The New York Times.”) She ends up getting called to the altar of Howie, a hotshot producer in L.A., who I couldn’t stop thinking of as Piper’s tree-hugging brother from Orange Is the New Black. Howie tells Juliette her rebound from country music needs to be bigger and bolder, that she should let those country folks cry into their boots, that they didn’t realize the absolute goddess in their midst, that he’s going strip the twang out of her voice and that he is going to put her on the cover of Rolling Stone. You can see where that was all going, right? Juliette ultimately realizes she’s a country peg in a rock hole, so she leaves that whole scene just as quickly as got there. “Howie seemed a little eager to get me away from country music,” Juliette says. “And I am sorry, but I am not willing to pull the stakes up yet.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.