10 Of My Favourite Musical Moments From Nashville

Monday, 13 August 2018

Fellow Nashies, this one's for you!


After six seasons, hundreds of songs and a whole lot of drama, last week saw the final episode of Nashville air in the UK.

When I first watched the pilot I fell in love with the characters, the town and most of all the music, so it only made sense for me to mark the final episode with a blog post. Whilst the show itself may have come to and end it will certainly live on through the numerous soundtracks that have been released over the years and as tempting as it was to try and create a list of my favourite songs from the show I knew it would be impossible for me to narrow it down. Instead I've decided to celebrate Nashville's music by showcasing ten of my favourite musical moments from the show's six-season run.

Before I get into the list itself I wanted to include a spoiler warning for anyone who isn't up to date as I've mentioned various plot points from the show's pilot right through to the finale.

Of course, with so many talented artists and amazing performances there are some really great moments that didn't make it onto the list but after months of deliberation, rewatching, note-taking and mind-changing (I really did think about this far too much!) I've finally manged to compile a list of ten of my favourites to share with you today. So, in no particular order, here are the ten Nashville musical moments that made the cut...

Nashville CMT Deacon Claybourne Charles Esten Opry

1. Deacon Plays The Opry (S5E21)
Simple As That, Without You & Good Rain Or Jesus performed by Charles Esten

As much as I loved seeing Rayna centre stage, one of my favourite moments from the show's fifth season - and the moment that inspired this post - is Deacon's first solo performance at the Opry. Deacon has always been one of my favourite characters on the show and at this point in the story he had been through so much but this was truly his moment to shine as an artist. I loved that they dedicated over five minutes of the episode to the performance, sharing not just one but parts of three different songs; Simple As That, Without You and, one of my absolute favourites, Good Rain Or Jesus.

2. Scarlett & Gunnar's First Duet (S1E1)
If I Didn't Know Better performed by Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio

There are so many amazing Scarlett and Gunnar duets over the course of the show I could honestly write a whole post on them alone, but this one has to make the list as it's the very first time we hear the pair sing together. Seeing these two cover the Civil Wars song If I Didn't Know Better, which on the show is one of Scarlett's poems put to music by Gunnar, in the iconic setting of the Bluebird Cafe was a magical moment and a great way to end the pilot episode.

3. The Last Highways (S6E2)
 Stop The World (And Let Me Off) performed by Chris Carmack, Sam Palladio & Jonathan Jackson

I adored ZAG and The Triple Exes, both of which had musical moments that made the longlist for this post, but in the end it was the show's latest supergroup that I couldn't resist. After Gunnar and Will play a show together, Avery finds himself feeling a little jealous of how much fun they're having up on stage. This leads to the pair kidnapping him on the basis that he needs to be "less mopey" and just like that a new band is born when they perform a cover of Stop The World And Let Me Off. After joining in episode five, Alannah's time in the group may have been short-lived, but I'm so glad that we got to hear Will, Avery and Gunnar play together in season six and most of all that this supergroup was the venture that found each of them their well-deserved success.
 
Nashville CMT Lennon Maisy Stella Kacey Musgraves

4. Juliette & Rayna Team Up (S1E7)
Wrong Song performed by Connie Britton & Hayden Panettiere

Whilst the initial premise of show was built around these two fierce female leads who definitely don't see eye to eye, it's not long before we get to see them team up for the first time. Although they really do struggle to work together at first, this performance at the Ryman Auditorium marks the beginning of a change in their relationship that we see develop throughout the following seasons.

5. Saving Highway 65 (S5E22)
Clockwork performed by Lennon Stella & Maisy Stella, Little Darlin' performed by Clare Bowen & Chris Carmack

If there's one thing I've loved to see on Nashville it's a bunch of talented people banding together to share some amazing music and the season five finale is a perfect example of this. With Rayna's record label Highway 65 in trouble, this episode sees everyone teaming up to save the label, performing collaborations including Scarlett and Will's Little Darlin'. There's even a guest appearance from country music star Kacey Musgraves who shows her support by joining in with Maddie and Daphne's Clockwork.

6. Layla Goes Acoustic (S3E9)
I Found A Way performed by Aubrey Peeples

Perhaps a more unexpected choice is the first time we really get to hear what Layla can do with her voice. Whilst the talent show runner-up, initially best-known for performing Juliette Barnes covers, may not have been one the most popular characters on the show, I adore Aubrey's voice and this performance at Nashville's Winterfest is one that definitely stood out to me as it marked a new, more true to herself, musical direction for the character.

7. Reputations (S4E3)
Bad Reputation performed by Hayden Panettiere & Will Chase

This musical moment, which takes place during an impromptu show Juliette decides to throw at a bar, makes the list as it's something a little different from the rest. At the time Juliette is going through some really difficult things behind closed doors but watching this energetic performance, you wouldn't know it at all. After asking her band to help out with a cover of Joan Jett's Bad Reputation Juliette manages to rope Luke into letting loose and singing with her. I really loved the few times these two collaborated on the show and it always makes me smile when this cover pops up on my iPod.

Nashville CMT Final Episode

8. Remembering Rayna (S5E10)
Sanctuary performed by Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella & Charles Esten

This is one of the toughest moments of the show to watch but I couldn't leave it out of this list because it's such a beautiful performance. After Juliette declares Maddie should be the one to pay tribute to her late mother by performing one of her hits at the CMT Awards we see Maddie understandably break down during the first chorus. Luckily her younger sister and father are there to help her finish the song in what is one of the most emotional, and most memorable, moments form the show.

9. Juliette At The Bluebird (S1E21)
Nothing In This World Will Ever Break My Heart Again performed by Hayden Panettiere

A similarly heartbreaking moment is when Juliette performs Nothing In This World Will Ever Break My Heart Again at the Bluebird Cafe after the death of her mother Jolene. Whilst they had a very rocky relationship from the start, in this episode Juliette receives a letter from Jolene explaining how she did what she did to protect her daughter leading to this stripped-back acoustic performance that contrasts a lot of Juliette's earlier more showy ones. As with most season finales its a high-drama episode with some really tough moments and I think this was a great musical moment to end the first season.

10. A Life That's Good (S6E16)
A Life That's Good performed by the cast and crew of Nashville

You saw this one coming, right? There have been several different performances of this particular song throughout the series and all of the cast members can be found performing it on tours since it has become a sort of symbol for Nashville as a show. Originally I had chosen the moment where we see Rayna, Deacon, Maddie and Daphne perform the song as family at Fort Campbell (S2E21) but after the finale aired in the US and this version was released I just had to make an edit. I had been not-so-secretly hoping a new rendition would be the last song we heard on the show and my wish came true with this version featuring a whole host of familiar faces (and voices!). I loved how the performance transitioned from a part of Deacon's tour to a celebration of the show featuring the cast, crew and of course the show's creator Callie Khouri. This moment was the perfect way to end the show and the perfect way to end this roundup too!

Images sourced from cmtpress.com

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