Dierks plays tiny room; Ray Rice hits a dance club?; Ted Danson gets trendy

Kacey Musgraves drops in on Dierks’ set at the Station Inn

So you’ve heard of a diamond in the rough. Well, the Station Inn is a bit of rough in the diamond.

It’s a simple concrete structure bluegrass music club right in the middle of the soaringly trendy Gulch area of Nashville.

And many country artists swear by the Station Inn, including Dierks Bentley, who calls it his “ground zero.”

“This is where everything got started for me,” Dierks said at a show last week. That’s right, Dierks, who packs arenas, played a show at a 150-seat club here in Nashville.

But that’s not all.

Kacey Musgraves happened to drop in and do a song with Dierks.

Only in Nashville, I’m tellin’ ya, only in Nashville.


Ray Rice invades Titans country, hits local club

Super strange but true: Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice was in town a few days ago, and it wasn’t for a football game.

Brad spies say he was seen at the Anthem club, having a fine time.

Anthem happens to be one of Nashville’s hottest clubs right now, cranking out the electronic dance music and hosting some of the biggest DJs in the country.

So if nothing else, Ray probably had a great time.


Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen stroll through Edgehill Village

Strange and awesome but true: Ted Danson (Sam from “Cheers”) and Mary Steenburgen (in about a billion movies) have a house in Nashville.

And every time they’re spotted, Ted and Mary are at Nashville’s hottest spots.

This week was no exception as the two were seen at a couple different places in Edgehill Village, a couple square blocks of the coolest restaurants and shops in town. Hey, there’s even a world-renowned wedding gown designer among the Music Row area shops.

But that’s not where Ted and Mary were. Seems they’re already married.

No, the celeb couple was spotted in Legato Gelato, which makes its delicious ice cream-ish treats daily, and Tweed Baby Outfitters.

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No joke, Damon Wayans loves Chuy’s; Deacon hits the Oak Bar; Girl power hits the arena

No joke: Damon Wayans hits Chuy’s in midtown

Most every country singer and cast member of ABC’s Nashville have hit Chuy’s Mexican restaurant in midtown Nashville.

And now, some famous comedians are heading to the place that makes its own chips. No joke.

Damon Wayans was in town last week for a three-night run at world-famous Zanies comedy showplace.

And even comedians gotta eat.

So he hit Chuy’s, where Damon entertained the serving staff with some funny off hand remarks.

How ‘bout that? Dude gives ‘em some free comedy AND he left a nice tip.


The Oak Bar at Capitol Grille is still an “it” spot

Actor Chip Esten, who plays Deacon on ABC’s Nashville, was spotted at the venerable Oak Bar in the Capitol Grille restaurant at the prestigious Hermitage Hotel downtown.

And that made me think – I myself have personally seen The Rock, Loretta Lynn, Vice President Al Gore and a bunch of state senators over there.

I mean, yes, words like “venerable” and “prestigious” usually means the establishment owners don’t “let me in.” But I can fool ‘em every now and again.

And it’s worth it to go into the Hermitage Hotel and wander downstairs for a drink or a snack. Because you literally don’t know who you’ll see, whether it’s an out of town celebrity, a political leader or a country star. It’s one of the few places in town where all those different folks collide.


Cassadee Pope sings the anthem for the NCAA women’s championship game

OK, so this is a little outside the usual celebrity spotting, but hey – Nashville hosted the NCAA women’s basketball championship game!

How freakin’ cool is that?

And if Nashville’s gonna host a national big-time event, well, we’re probably gonna throw a little country music in it.

Cassadee Pope made a name for herself on NBC’s The Voice, and she loved being part of the championship game at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.

“I was extremely honored,” she told The Tennessean. “This is such a big event that is all about girls empowerment.”

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Keith/Nicole get Social; King George draws stars to his show; Kenny Chesney is Smooth(ie)

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman hit trendy Pinewood Social

And now it’s really really official: The new trendy bowling-alley-in-the-back joint Pinewood Social is THE “it” spot in Nashville.

I’ve already told you that Reese Witherspoon, Kix Brooks, Scotty McCreery, heck, even a former U.S. Senate Majority House Leader (Dr. Bill Frist) have all been spotted at the riverfront spot.

And now the ultimate Nashville celebrity couple has been. Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were spotted there last week.

Word is that owners are adding on a big outdoor pool, so that’ll surely heat up the already hot spot.

And this place is more than just sizzle: Pinewood Social was named a semi-finalist for new restaurant for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards.



“King” George attracts fellow country artists to his Nashville show

George Strait is on his final tour, and that Nashville stop was star-studded.

You may already have heard that Eric Church and Kenny Chesney came out onto the Bridgestone Arena stage to sing one each with King George.

Oh, but that’s not all.

Usually at Nashville concerts, you might have a celebrity sitting next to you in the crowd. Fer real.

Ronnie Dunn, now a solo artist, once the second part of Brooks & Dunn, was spotted on the floor of the arena, looking cool and being tall and what not.

And – we’ve GOT to have a spotting from TV show Nashville, right? – Jonathan Jackson also was seen walking around Bridgestone Arena that night. Jonathan, of course, the guy who plays Avery, Juliette Barnes’ boyfriend of the moment.

All of those celebrities are probably just a little hard of hearing because the fans went BANANAS screaming their heads off when George first walked out.


Kenny Chesney is one Smoothie kinda guy

And under the category of “You really might see a celebrity ANYwhere in Nashville,” there’s this.

Kenny Chesney was spotted – in T-shirt and ballcap – at the Smoothie King in the Belle Meade area of Nashville this week.

Store employees tell Brad spies that Kenny is in there often and that he’s a really nice guy.

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Little Richard gets tutti fruitti in the Village; Mario van Peebles was where?

Little Richard will take you to the cleaners

A celebrity in Middle Tennessee who enjoys being recognized is Little Richard.

The rock/pop legend has been spotted in the back of a limo with the window open, waving and smiling and shouting at folks on the street.

And just last week, Little Richard was spotted outside Village Cleaners, a groovy little dry cleaners spot in Hillsboro Village.

He shouted out at a gorgeous woman getting her cleaning, and they both chatted and smiled for several minutes.

Her day was made.

And so is ours!


Kix Brooks boot scoots his way down to Pinewood Social

OK, seriously, Pinewood Social – with its hipster drinks, round ice cubes, cool coffeehouse, kale Caesar salads and bowling lanes – is becoming the “it” spot for celebrity sightings.

I personally peeped one tall cowboy/country star/national radio personality in the form of Kix Brooks (half of Brooks & Dunn) sauntering through the place last week.

“Hi, Brad.”

“Hey Kix!”

And that’s the kind of scintillating interaction and riveting convo that this column is made of, people!

But really, Kix is TALL. (Or am I really short?) And he’s a nice guy, shaking hands and saying howdee to about a third of the restaurant.


Mario van Peebles hits East Nashville’s Foobar

Do what?

Strange but true: Hollywood actor Mario van Peebles was spotted in East Nashville, where all cool things happen.

What has he been in? Well, he’s one of those guys who has been in a hundred movies and a thousand TV shows, but you can’t quite name one breakout thing he has done.

But you know him, I promise!

A bartender at Foobar reports on Facebook that he served Mario van Peebles a “sex on the beach” drink.

What makes this unusual – besides the fact that Mario van Peebles drinks such a drink – is that Foobar is one of those small really cool word-of-mouth bars.

So Mario knows someone in Nashville.

Think he lives here now???

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Taylor is NUTTY for Nashville!; Bogguss is bonkers for biscuits; a Rascal Flatt loves Olive Garden

Taylor Swift loves Radnor Lake – and drinking coffee at Fido

taylor-swift-photo-shoot-2Once in a while Taylor Swift tells a reporter how much she LOVES Nashville. And we love it!

“I absolutely love the parks and trails. There’s a park called Radnor Lake that’s gorgeous on a fall day. I’ve had some of my best days walking there with my dad, talking about life,” Taylor tells TIME magazine.

“Another huge priority for me is having a good coffee place to go and hang out. Fido has such a great atmosphere, and you can wander around browsing the shops in Hillsboro Village once you’re there,” she says.

Go on….

“I love driving past the Bluebird Cafe, because that’s where I played the acoustic show that ended up getting me a record deal. The other areas where I like to go for cute restaurants and shopping are 12South and East Nashville.”


“Now I have to stop because I sound like I am the president of the Nashville Tourism Board. Sorry, not sorry, I just love it here.”

We do too.

Just call her Suzy “Biscuit Lover” Bogguss

And who can blame her? The biscuit is a Southern treasure, light, buttery, fluffy, with a dollop of homemade jelly or preserves on top….

Shut UP, I love those things!Suzy+Bogguss

And so does our country singer friend Suzy Bogguss, who was spotted at the biscuit mecca, Loveless Café.

In fact, I’m told Suzy is a regular there.

My favorite part of the visits – besides the biscuits, well, and the peanut butter pie is taking home a jar of their peach preserves. They’re amazing!

Whew, I’m exhausted. And hungry….

And even that Rascal Flatts guy loves Olive Garden

Gary LeVoxSo we usually try to feature unique Nashville places in this column, but hey, really, truly, you might see a superstar ANYWHERE in Music City.

Gary LeVox, lead singer of Rascal Flatts, was spotted having brunch Sunday morning at the Olive Garden in the blue collar Antioch part of Nashville.

Even Gary LeVox can’t stay away from those breadsticks. Mmmmmmm…

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Luke loves burgers; Dierks hits three stories of honky-tonk; Chris Young puts soul in his pizza

Luke Bryan visits the Republic of Burger

Luke Bryan continues to be the most spotted big star in town lately, and it’s really fun that he likes to get out and about so much. luke bryanLuke was recently spotted at a new trendy Nashville hamburger place called Burger Republic. I’ll let Zagat describe this place. “Burger Republic might be a relative newcomer to Nashville’s famed burger scene, but it’s managed to embody the essence of an entire state between a nice set of buns.” WHAT? “Nothing says Tennessee quite like the Tennessee Burger, loaded with maple-glazed Benton’s Bacon, American cheese, crispy BBQ onions and smoked ketchup, and topped off with a Jack Daniel’s honey glaze.” Oh. BTW, there are two locations, both in areas that are growing wildly in size and hipness. Luke was eating at the one in Lennox Village, about 20 minutes south of downtown. The other is in The Gulch, just south of downtown. BTW, part II: This place has the BEST milkshakes in the world! Nutella/vanilla ice cream is my fave.


Chris Young loves his pizza with a little soul

chris-youngWhen you think pizza, Nashville might not be the first place that jumps into your head. But hey, things are looking up on that front. There’s a cool new place called Soulshine Pizza, near Music Row, which is a hip live music joint that happens to serve some pretty good pizza. And it’s there that Chris Young was spotted a couple of weeks ago. Dare I say that’s not the most famous celeb spotting in or around Soulshine Pizza. Have you seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlQkvvVGJhI That’s golfer John Daly smacking a tee shot off someone’s mouth in the Soulshine Pizza parking lot. Only in Nashville, folks….


Honky Tonk Central is open for business – and celebrities

It’s right in the middle of Lower Broadway, and it’s huge, three stories to be exact. Honky Tonk Central often has different bands on all three floors, which makes the place exciting – and pretty loud!honky-tonk-central And it’s getting quite the buzz. Dierks Bentley and Thomas Rhett stopped by recently to take a CMT Top 20 countdown show there, and yes, the public could just drift on it and be a part of it. The other great thing about the place – keep going from floor to floor and you’ll work off all the beer you’re drinking!

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Are Gunnar and Zoey REALLY together? LeAnn Rimes hits a fancy gym; Little Big shopping spree!

Wait a minute – Are Gunnar and Zoey together in real life?

Looks like the Gunnar-Zoey romance on ABC’s Nashville is back on track this season. But wait: Are the actors who play them together in real life?

The answer is, who knows?Sam Palladio and Chely Rose

But I can tell you that Gunnar, er, uh, Sam Palladio and Chely Rose have been spotted together several times.

In fact, Sam and Chely were spotted together just a few days ago at Hillsboro Village coffee house Fido, where Brad spies tell me they’ve been spotted many times. They’ve also been seen together at the downtown YMCA.

Then again, they might just both like coffee and working out….

And if you like coffee and celebrities, Fido is a good hang. You might remember that Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has been spotted there a time or two when he’s in Nashville.

 LeAnn Rimes hits the Maryland Farms YMCA

We all know that LeAnn Rimes likes to be workin’ on her fitness. Here’s a witness.leann rimes

LeAnn was spotted at the Maryland Farms YMCA in Brentwood, just 15 minutes south of downtown Nashville.

Can’t say that I blame her. That YMCA used to be a hoity toity private club, so some of the amenities are amazing.

And just to prove celebs are real people like you and me….

  • Kimberly Schlapman, the super blonde-curls member of Little Big Town, was spotted at the Dillard’s department store make-up counter at Cool Springs Galleria, where many Nashville stars shop – and where an American Girl store is opening next year.kimberly_schlapman
  • Brad Arnold, lead singer of 3 Doors Down, had a post-Super Bowl dinner at Chili’s in Smyrna, Tenn., about 30 minutes southeast of downtown Nashville.

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