Down South

Goal #4 :: Record a Song

While the majority of the road trip was unplanned, Third Man Records is probably the only sight-seeing I had to do while in Nashville.  I’d heard about the fully restored Record Booth when it was first publicized on the website and now I’d have my chance to experience it in all of its glory.


Arriving at Third Man Records

Dan & I made our way over to the record shop shortly after abandoning our attempt to ride bikes around East Nashville (it was ghastly hot and we were clearly riding in the wrong places in an up-and-coming neighborhood).  We parked in an adjacent lot, greeted by the radio tower sign of Third Man.  As we approached, a drifter offered us a ‘steal’ at three golds for a one-y (3 Marlboros for a buck).  We politely declined, already armed with $4.50 packs and a greater mission.

Legos from Gondry's 'Fell in Love With a Girl' video.

Legos from Gondry’s ‘Fell in Love With a Girl’ video.

As we entered the shop, we were greated by Katty, the bubbly manager.  While we waited for our turn with the Record Booth she filled us in on the process – put in the tokens and when the red light flicks on, that’s your 10 second warning to record.  We explored the store’s rock nostalgia and vintage accoutrements.


Dan after his spoken word sesh

I practiced a half-written song, trying to decide how to fill the 150 seconds I’d have.  Dan went first.  He read a poem, had some extra time, and tried for two but was cut-off mid-verse.  When it was my turn, I put the tokens in and waited while practicing the intro lick.  After a couple minutes of waiting, Katty came over to restart the machine.

My turn with the Record Booth

My turn with the Record Booth

Poised for my two minutes of history, I noticed the microphone in the booth is rather high.  In hindsight, having a guitar strap would have solved the problem, but luckily the store’s junior sized acoustic was light enough to wedge under my strumming elbow.  Once the recording finished, the 45 plays back in the booth before it is picked from the platter by vacuum and dropped down the chute.

Katty presenting my first 45

Katty presenting my first 45

We took our freshly cut 45s to Katty at the front counter. She slipped Third Man dust jackets over the vinyl while we settled up. While we talked about the sweet digs in the shop, I couldn’t help but tell Katty about Rotobooth. If there were a perfect setting for my rotary-dial photobooth, Third Man (with a record booth, rotary telephone booth, and Mold-o-Rama) is that place. She loved the photo I showed her and insisted I send her an email that she could share with the rest of management. If you’re reading this, I’ll send that over shortly!

If you’re in Nashville any time soon, be sure to make it to Third Man Records.

Kelbertrack on Third Man Records

Kelbertrack on Third Man Records

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