THURSDAY, JUNE 25 through Aug. 30
Arts at the Airport: Meet the Oglanders
Nashville International Airport, ticketing level
One Terminal Drive
For the first time, the Arts at the Airport’s Flying Solo series at Nashville International Airport is taking on passengers. The summer installment of the airport’s art program is a decidedly family affair, and the Oglanders — Gary and Eva (husband and wife) and their sons, Daniel and Eric — are sharing exhibit space.
The family will be at the airport from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday to discuss their latest works, on display at BNA through Aug. 30. “We’re a family of artists that work and live together in our home studio in the woods outside Nashville,’’ Gary Oglander said. “We make art because it feeds our spirits and hopefully imparts the joy we feel as we create it.”
If you’re taking a trip this summer, give yourself some extra time to view the artwork. If you’re picking up family and friends, spend some time with the Oglander family, or if you just want to stop by and gaze at something other than planes taking off, do it. Remember, your first 30 minutes for parking is free.
— Vincent Troia
THURSDAY, JULY 2
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
116 Fifth Ave. N.
$25.50, 7:30 p.m.
Ricky Skaggs has been a star since childhood, when he first appeared on stage with Bill Monroe as a 6-year-old prodigy.
The list of awards he's won includes 14 Grammys, 11 International Bluegrass Music Association honors and seven Country Music Association wins, and his most recent CD Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass 1946 & 1947 just captured the 2009 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy. But that's just one small part of the impressive Skaggs resume.
He's a superb mandolin player, yet is also outstanding on guitar, banjo and fiddle. His experimental tinge has led to intriguing collaborations with jazz bassist Charlie Haden and rockers Jack White and Bruce Hornsby. Plus, he's a topflight producer in addition to being a lead vocalist, songwriter and label head (Skaggs Family Records).
Still, heading his Kentucky Thunder band is the role most fans see Skaggs in the most, and they'll be performing Thursday night as part of the Bluegrass at the Ryman series.
— Ron Wynn
THURSDAY, JULY 2
Grimey's Presents Me and My Arrow: An Evening of the Music of Nilsson
One Cannery Row
$10, 9 p.m.
The Mercy Lounge hosts another quirky tribute to a slightly obscure musical act on Thursday night, this time honoring the work of pop crooner Harry Nilsson.
A powerful singer gifted with a high and wide vocal range and a knack for penning clever melodies, Nilsson never obtained the widespread success like his one-time collaborator and similar craftsman Randy Newman.
Even though his music isn't as popular as it was in the ’60s and ’70s, Nilsson did rack up a number of hits still memorable today, such as the Midnight Cowboy theme “Everybody's Talkin'” and chart-topper “Without You.” Thursday night's show, which is a fund-raiser for the medical costs for Oblio's Terry Price's struggle with Bell's palsy, has a line up that includes The Features, Heypenny, Eureka Gold, James Wallace & the Naked Light and David Mead.
But topping the bill is a supergroup featuring Brendan Benson, Mike Grimes, and My Morning Jacket axeman Carl Broemel.
— Kyle Swenson
FRIDAY-SATURDAY, JULY 3-4
Shores & Stripes 2009
4001 Bell Road, Hermitage
$17.95, 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Soak up the sun and celebrate Independence Day with several exciting patriotic events at Nashville Shores. Shores & Stripes 2009 brings together two of summer's most beloved characteristics — sand and sun.
The water park opens at 10 a.m. each day with water slides, pools and other attractions. On Friday, families can take advantage of a special $20 carload rate that includes the fireworks show, two hours of water park fun, an after-hours Freedom Party and live music on the beach.
Burning Las Vegas, one of Nashville’s hottest bands, will perform live on the shores of Percy Priest Lake during the Freedom Party from 6 to 9:45 p.m. Friday.
After a long day of outdoors fun, unwind with a nightly patriotic fireworks display. Patriotic music is intertwined with audio clips from speeches of some of our nation’s leaders and symbolic bombs burst in air nightly at 9 p.m.
Don’t miss the fifth annual Shores & Stripes Boat Parade Saturday with sailboats and powerboats decked out in red, white and blue and other patriotic themes.
— Sherry Phillips
SATURDAY, JULY 4
Franklin on the Fourth
free, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
For the 13th time, historic downtown Franklin will host its version of Independence Day revelry. The festival will feature antique cars and trucks, a host of arts and crafts and business exhibit booths and plenty of food and drink options. Also on offer is an expanded children’s play area and the chance for the little ones to entertain everyone else by signing up for a patriotic costume parade.
Two stages will feature plenty of local entertainment options throughout the day. Headlining the show will be two Nashville-based bands, Fletcher and KingBilly. Both combine country, bluegrass, rock and other influences to create their own sound.
The event, hosted by the City of Franklin and the Franklin Lions Club, is expected to draw more than 15,000 people. Of course, the night will be capped off by a fireworks display, which will be launched from the Franklin wastewater plant north of downtown.
— Geert De Lombaerde
SATURDAY-MONDAY, JULY 4-6
The Magnificent Seven
2102 Belcourt Ave.
$8.50, noon Saturday-Sunday, 7 p.m. Monday
There truly could be no better rounding out of your Fourth than a screening of The Magnificent Seven. Cowboys! Bandits! A young and virile Charles Bronson! All for you, in the cool comfort of The Belcourt Theatre. Go ahead and try to keep yourself from humming he iconic theme song as you watch fireworks in the evening.
The film is a classic American Western, but it’s based on a 1954 Japanese film, Seven Samurai. That movie is available on Netflix, if you’re interested.
The Saturday showing is in the middle of the Hot Chicken Festival, so if you’re interested in doing both, either watch the movie later in the weekend or buzz through East Nashville on your way to the theater. Just be sure to snag an aisle seat, if you’ve eaten hot chicken earlier in the day.
— Amy Griffith Graydon
SATURDAY, JULY 4
Nashville Sounds vs. Albuquerque Isotopes
534 Chestnut St.
690-HITS (4487), nashvillesounds.com
$12, 6 p.m.
Saturday is July 4, the celebration of our nation’s birthday. And what’s more American than baseball?
The rainy spring weather has passed. The Sounds are in first place in their division. The team’s new ownership group has made some major improvements to Greer Stadium. And following Saturday night’s game, there will be a fireworks show. Can you say “take me out to the ballgame?”
Time may also be running out to see Sounds shortstop Alcides Escobar, who was recently named to the World roster for the 2009 XM All-Star Futures Game, which will be held July 12 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star Week (and televised on ESPN). Clearly among the top prospects in all of baseball, Escobar has enjoyed a stellar first season at the Class AAA level with Nashville in 2009.
The July 4 game kicks off a nine-game Sounds home stand. So there are no excuses for not making it out to Greer early this summer. Play ball!
— Drew Ruble
SATURDAY, JULY 4
Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing!
100 First Ave. N.
free, festivities start at noon with fireworks just after 9 p.m.
Fireworks have become sort of a commonplace thing in Nashville. It's nothing unusual to drive along I-65 and see brilliant pops over Greer stadium or see color explosions fade into the sky somewhere over Brentwood, but none of that takes away from the intensity of Nashville's Independence Day fireworks display. Dubbed "Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing," the nearly 25 minutes of stunning, top-of-the-line fireworks is the largest in the Southeast and has been voted one of the best displays in the nation. The fireworks will go off just after 9 p.m. synchronized to the gorgeous, stringed accompaniment of the Nashville Symphony.
Events down at Riverfront kick off at noon with free Family Fun Zone activities. Pre-show music will start at 3 p.m. with Frankie Ballard, The Grascals and Lee Roy Parnell. The official main stage music will begin at 7 p.m. with Wynonna, The Gabe Dixon Band, Barry Scott and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. And no Fourth of July celebration would be complete without the national anthem to be sung by The Fisk Jubilee Singers.
Riverfront is a big place, but not when all of Nashville is looking at the same spot, so head down early and grab yourself a patch of real estate and settle in for the evening.
— Alexa Hinton