Buffalo Soul is a one-of-kind vacation rental that delivers an authentic Music City experience unlike any other
When in Nashville, there are certain staple experiences that you make sure not to miss. They often include, in no particular order, hot chicken, meat and three, and honky-tonking on Lower Broadway. There’s no shortage of live music in the crowded bars, the sold-out Bridgestone shows, or out in the elements at Ascend Amphitheater, but what they lack is an eye-to-eye connection to the artist.
This is a gap that Mike’s friend and recording artist JT Hodges and his wife Kasey aim to close by bringing folks closer to the music. For those Two Lanes travelers looking to have an authentic Nashville experience away from crowds and cliches, check out Buffalo Soul — a unique house rental where intimate performances from artists and singer-songwriters are an optional part of your stay.
It’s never fun trying to cram your crew into a cheap downtown motel. (No one wins when they draw the shortest straw and end up on the sleeper sofa for the weekend.) At Buffalo Soul, there’s plenty of room to keep everyone in your group together to fully enjoy your vacation, a couples retreat or a big birthday celebration. Rent a room or the entire place! JT and Kasey want Buffalo Soul to be your “roam away from home”.
“People visiting Nashville know that they can buy a ticket to The Opry or Ryman, rock out for a few hours, and then go home,” says JT. “At Buffalo Soul, we’re taking guests beyond the final bow by demolishing that fourth wall, giving them one-on-one time with the artists and songwriters before the show over some drinks or with a fire in the backyard after,” explains JT. “One of our goals, along with our partner, Todd Baldree, is to make the artist to fan relationship stronger and closer than ever before in today’s new music landscape. Millions of people are searching for new music experiences and I’m here to tell you, Buffalo Soul Music Row is a live mixtape performance that will give an authentic, personal experience. It’s the real Nashville”
The name Buffalo Soul pays tribute to JT’s dad, who opened Buffalo Sound Studios, the first multi-track recording studio in Fort Worth, Texas. The sign that welcomed artists like Michael Bolton and Delbert McClinton for two decades is now preserved under glass as the dining room table.
“Dad was inspired to name his studio after honeymooning with my mom in Santa Fe and feeling the ground shake while the buffalo would run past them,” says JT. “He said you could feel the power and spirit of them in your bones…similar to the way good music gets in your soul. Buffalo Soul was born to honor my father, our combined passion for music and the desire to create impactful new experiences for people.”
Buffalo Soul is a 3,500 sq ft 1927 Tudor house located in the Edgehill neighborhood across from Belmont University and just a stone’s throw from Music Row. This historic street in downtown Nashville is where folks like Little Big Town and Sheryl Crow are always dipping into meetings with their labels and recording new music. It’s a place that’s familiar to JT and Kasey who have both worked in the industry for years.
“This is about giving back to an incredible music community in Nashville,” says Kasey. “We want people to come here whether they’re an artist or not, and enjoy an unforgettable musical experience without having to put on their boots.”
When you rent out Buffalo Soul, you can get ready upstairs in one of the three guest suites. (The entire house is artfully decorated by Misti Fahr of Design Hive Nashville.) Each room has been outfitted with subtle music markers, like snare drum and guitar wall hangings. Then come downstairs and gather around the glossy Baldwin upright piano for a singer-songwriter round curated by JT’s artists and singer-songwriter friends.
“We’ll set up a show in the living room generally, but if the weather agrees, our guitar-shaped patio is great for acoustic fireside performances,” says JT. “When you look out from one of the upstairs bedrooms you’ll see the full shape! The sound hole is a fire pit, the neck is a splash pad, and the headstock is a picnic table. Kasey worked for Gibson for eleven years so she wanted to honor that in a creative way while also giving Buffalo Soul its iconic shareable moment.”
Forgot to mention one more incredibly unique element in the house — the studio in the basement. While Buffalo Soul entertains all sorts of groups from weekend retreats to photo shoots or anyone who wants to be near Music Row or simply loves live music – the studio is reserved for those who are inspired to record.
“If Bruno Mars comes into town and wants to lay down some demos then he can rent out the house and have the privacy and exclusivity to do so — that can be his own Buffalo Soul experience,” says JT.
“The music industry has changed with technology. People are consuming music at a faster rate yet furthering that disconnect between the fans and the artists,” says Kasey. “Back then you’d know who they were, you’d study their album art while holding a tangible copy– there was an intelligence about who the artist was and an appreciation for that. Buffalo Soul is special in that we’ve created a place where the artist and consumer will make a very personal connection. Our hope is that intern that connection will facilitate or rekindle an appreciation and value for the art and the people that make it”
Follow Buffalo Soul Music Row on Instagram and watch their progress on their second location in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee!
Photos by Meghan Aileen
Photos by Paige Rumore Photography
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