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The Back Story
By Tim Ogle - 05/09/2006 - 01:52 PM EDT

My wife and I visited Nashville in October of 2004. We were at a concert in the Ryman Auditorium, that's when I experienced ďitĒ. I was in the same building looking at the stage that had been shared by Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Earnest Tubb and a score of others. A haunting feeling takes over when you think of the souls that performed on that golden stage. Dreams begin to dance in your head and nothing seems out of reach while in the sanctuary of the Ryman Auditorium.

I had only been writing songs for about 2 years when I took my first trip to Nashville. I began writing songs in 2002 I was 30 years old. I donít know why I waited so long, if I think about it too much I become frustrated that I didnít start sooner. Something awoke and began burning inside of me that insisted I learn the craft of songwriting. My first attempts were fun, but I knew something was missing. I really wanted to learn this craft and I knew that Somerset Kentucky was not going to be the ideal place to learn. I wanted to pursue songwriting more than anything.

My wife and I discussed our current living situation which was less than perfect. We wanted to start over and we decided that Nashville would be the place to make that start. On December 31, 2004 we made the decision that Nashville would be our new home in 2005.

This is how the journey began...

The first objective was to find a job. Jobs are pretty easy to come by in Nashville. If you're willing to work you can find someone to hire you. Finding the right job is the key. I found a job working for the State of Tennessee. The job provided benefits and most importantly medical insurance. This would be the foundation of a successful beginning. This met our need so I packed a duffle bag, my Martin and a few notebooks Iíd been scribbling in. I kissed my wife and kids goodbye then I scurried of to Music City USA. Meanwhile my wife made preparations for our house to be sold and packed our belongings. My new residence, a one room apartment with swimming pool access. Okay so I exaggerated a bit, my apartment was a shed nestled in my cousinís back yard but they did have an above ground pool. I furnished the shed with a futon and an alarm clock and presto it was home for two months.

I immediately began searching for the heart of Nashville. I was training for my new job during the day and I would spend my nights trolling the streets of Nashville in search of the dream I came for. The Nashville Scene and All The Rage are two free newspapers I found extremely helpful and you can pick them up on almost any street corner in Nashville. These papers have lots of information about entertainment, specifically songwriter's nights. I used both of those papers as my roadmap to the scene I was looking for. I scouted the scene for three weeks in search of a writer's night I would feel comfortable performing at. Many days, many beers and many clubs later I was beginning to see the talent and diversity that Nashville was home to.

Reality came crashing in three weeks after I started my new job. I was finished training and I would start my second shift schedule. The work hours were 3pm to 11pm. This posed a huge problem. Most of the writer's nights started at 7pm and were over by 11:30pm. I knew I had to work, but I had overlooked the scheduling "conflict". I also had assumed that I would meet more people at work who were songwriters, my assumption proved false. This was not at all the dream that had unfolded in my mind. I continued to work, explore Nashville and prepare for my family to join me. Reality, doesn't it ruin everything...

These are some of the early experiences I had after moving to Nashville. Next month I want to share my first songwriter's night experience.

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