The Music Of Nashville: Season 1, Volume 2

by Chuck Dauphin

nashville-volume-twoWhat I am about to say is going to be not liked by everyone. But, the second half of the inaugural season of “Nashville” kind of lost me a little bit. Maybe, it’s because I sometimes lose sight of the fact that it is a drama and not a documentary. Then again, maybe I just got too caught up in my other TV pleasure, TNT’s “Dallas,” this winter and spring. But, for some reason, I just kind of lost interest – that is, until the past couple of weeks. It has stepped up its’ game over the past two episodes, though I am still waiting for Juliette or Rayna to give a chance to that mild-mannered writer who does record reviews – alas, I will likely have to keep waiting!

But, what has stayed great from start to finish this season has been the music. T Bone Burnett has really delivered this season. That should come as little surprise, given his production skills. But, keep in mind, he’s working with actors – and that can be tricky.

However, the actors on the ABC soap each have a distinctive musical style and talent that they put on display each Wednesday night. Hayden Panettiere, aka “Juliette,” shows how much she has grown as a vocalist this season alone on cuts such as “We Are Water” and the powerful closing song “Nothing In This World Will Ever Break My Heart Again.” It’s not just smoke and mirrors  sex appeal, folks, she is the real deal.  The same could be said for Connie “Rayna James” Britton. She has stepped up her game throughout the season, as well. Though, there are times on cuts like “Stronger Than Me” and “Bitter Memory” where she sounds like an actress trying to play the part of a singer – but as something she has never done before, I will give her a pass. She still manages to make the tracks work.

There’s no doubting who the musical star is here, though. Clare Bowen has been the key cog in the wheel for “Nashville” since its’ debut, and her performances on cuts such as “Fade Into You,” and the old-school sound of “Looking For A Place To Shine” have definitely been the most entertaining of the show. —though, I have to admit that I have been charmed by “Ho Hey” from Lennon and Maisy Stella – who play Rayna’s daughters on the show. They have a sound and a style all their own.

With season one now in the books, and an official renewal, we can all look forward to another season – as well a some great music. After all, that is what “Nashville” is all about, right?



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