When Amy Kurland opened the Bluebird Café in an unassuming strip mall five miles from downtown Nashville in June 1982, music was an afterthought—something to keep the after-dinner crowd entertained. Within three years, though, music lovers were flocking to Kurland’s dining room for the nightly shows, which showcased three or four artists (often songwriters) performing in the round, meaning the musicians sat in the center of the room, swapping stories and songs. Garth Brooks was discovered there in 1987, and even after the Oklahoman was selling out arenas, he would stop by for Writer’s Nights looking for his next hit. Today, the café, which turns thirty-five this year, is one of Nashville’s music meccas, right up there with the Ryman Auditorium and the Station Inn, where you’re as likely to find A-list artists in the audience as on the stage.
Like the staff at the Bluebird, the folks at Blackberry Farm—the five-star family-run resort in the foothills of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains—are passionate about music and the people who create it, treating guests to intimate concerts throughout the year. This summer, the two Tennessee landmarks are teaming up to host three singer-songwriter nights (June 18, July 27, and August 10) at Blackberry’s Bramble Hall [pictured at top], the resort’s stunning new barn-like music venue and event space. In classic Bluebird-style, each of the shows will be performed in the round with seats for just thirty to fifty people.
The June performance is extra-special as it will feature three of the four women who played the Bluebird’s very first Women in the Round series back in 1988—Ashley Cleveland, Pam Tillis, and Tricia Walker, who has written chart-toppers for Faith Hill, Patty Loveless, and Taylor Swift. Get details on the July and August dates and reserve your tickets, which must be purchased separately from your room.