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Imagine you're an up and coming country music artist making your way Nashville after days of hitchhiking, with naught but your guitar on your back. Look around at the neon lights of Lower Broadway, take in a breath of the smoky, beer-perfumed air, feel the rumble from the boot-stompin' deep inside the honky-tonks, and think to yourself: 'I've made it.'
For country-music fans and aspiring songwriters the world over, going to Nashville is the ultimate pilgrimage. Since the '20s the city has attracted musicians who took the 'hillbilly music' of the early 20th century and transformed it into the 'Nashville sound' of the '60s and alt-country of the '90s.
Its attractions range from the Country Music Hall of Fame to the renowned Grand Ole Opry to Jack White's record label. It also boasts a vibrant university community, excellent down-home grub, and seriously kitschy souvenirs.