Books

Nashville in Focus

“Nashville has always been a magnet for talent, for dreamers,” writes the author Ann Patchett, “…for people who know how to distill heartache and joy into a handful of rhyming couplets.” Three Music City talents have united for the forthcoming book, Nashville: Scenes from the New American South: Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and Nashville resident Jon Meacham provides the introduction; photographer Heidi Ross captures indelible moments, big and small, of music, civic connectivity, and localisms; and Patchett, co-owner of Parnassus bookstore, lends an essay on why so many folks are drawn to the city. “Heidi Ross has given us a great gift,” Meacham writes, “A powerful visual record.” Here, see a preview of images from the book, which is out Nov. 13. 

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One of Adrien Saporiti’s I Believe in Nashville murals.

photo: Heidi Ross

A smoke break on Lower Broadway.

photo: Heidi Ross

Kelsey Montague painted these twenty-foot-tall wings on the side of a building in the Gulch, and all day long people stand in front of them to have their pictures taken. It’s called What Lifts You, and it does.

photo: Heidi Ross

East Nashville’s Tomato Art Festival is a celebration of all things tomato.

photo: Heidi Ross

Johnny Cash: Nashville’s T.J. Eckleburg.

photo: Heidi Ross

Nashville’s classic Prince’s Hot Chicken takes to the streets in a food truck.

photo: Heidi Ross

If you’re old enough to play a fiddle, you’re old enough to busk.

photo: Heidi Ross

Riding shotgun.

photo: Heidi Ross

Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell backstage before a sold-out performance. 

photo: Heidi Ross

Chris Thile (mandolin), Edgar Meyer (bass), and Yo-Yo Ma (cello), rehearsing Bach at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The internationally-known cellist stopped by Parnassus Books on his way to rehearsal and played cello for twenty people and then rolled around on the floor with the shop dogs.

photo: Heidi Ross

Blackbird Assembly is part of the resurgence of motorcycle clubs in Nashville.

photo: Heidi Ross

Whether it’s the thriving equestrian scene, weekend polo matches, the work horse who helps round up the cattle, or the pet horse ridden in the yard, Nashville cannot do without its horses.

photo: Heidi Ross

Photos and captions excerpted from Nashville: Scenes from the New American South by Heidi Ross and Ann Patchett.