The Songs Of Nashville, Episode 4: More Music, Less Shoplifting!

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The Music Of Nashville

This week on Nashville, the focus was less on the music and more on the love triangles and campy drama. Which was too bad, because this show excels at the music more than the camp. If I want to see a story about a young, immature starlet with mommy issues who likes to shoplift, I’ll peruse TMZ, thanksverymuch. But I still have a few highlights and things to discuss about episode 4, entitled “We Live In Two Different Worlds.” The first thing is this detailed, awesome interview with show creator Callie Khouri. The interview, posted this week over on Vulture, gets way in-depth about Khouri’s inspiration for the show.

This whole time, we’ve been thinking the Rayna-Juliette dynamic has been like a Faith Hill-Taylor Swift parallel (purely in generational terms, not as rivals) but in fact it goes back even further than that. Though she doesn’t make any outright claims or comparisons, Khouri explains “When I lived in Nashville, Tanya Tucker and people like that were coming up, and I’m sure that Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette were going, ‘What’s that noise? That’s not country.’ It’s always been this battle where whoever comes up behind the reigning stars isn’t country enough.”

Khouri, whose husband is executive music director T-Bone Burnett, also says that the music you hear on the show is not written specifically for the show, rather, it’s sourced first and then worked into the story later. “It’s just too hard to say, ‘Write a song that does and says this. And we need it in a week. And make sure it’s not too on the nose. And make sure it’s set at exactly this tempo.’ It’s easier to find them and write to them,” she says. (She then explains how The Civil Wars, whose music was prominent in the first two episodes, became involved in the show in this amazing story: “I got an e-mail from [The Civil Wars'] Joy Williams,” she says, “and it said, ‘T-Bone asked me to send you a bunch of songs, so here are some. Hope they help.’ We listened, and it was like, What the f— is happening here? Did somebody rub a magic lamp?”)

On to this week’s music. The only live, performance we got this week was a Rayna song performed with Deacon called “Changing Ground,” and though it was great fun to watch for the tension it created with Deacon and Rayna’s husband, Teddy, the song wasn’t on par with, say, “No One Will Ever Love You,” which was pure chemical magic. Take a listen to the song below — it’s not even the Nashville people’s favorite, because it’s not even offered on the show’s official soundtrack, but after three episodes of solid product, we’ll let this one slide.

[Photo: ABC]

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