Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Viva Music City

For a music nut like me, Nashville's one of the coolest places I've ever ventured into.  You can just drop me off at Broadway and I'll be a happy pappy.  If you've never been to Music City, Broadway's the main hub where you'll find scores of honky tonks, country bars, eateries and other live music hubs.  Seriously, you can't get away from music here.  They take even it to the streets, which is both good and perhaps not so much in the case of the homeless artists scratching for coin amongst a mass of competition.

Aesthetically, it's all so wonderful to the point many of the bars rid their windows and create open air shows where you can peek inside and watch.  Many of the bars have outside balconies and rooftop levels to soak up the city's ambience with roaring music surrounding you from all stations.  In proximity to this nirvana of tunes is the Johnny Cash Museum, which I was fortunate enough to visit, and you can even find a Man in Black impersonator strumming a block away from the museum.  Not a bad bit of cheap publicity for the museum.  If you're up for it, there's even a Pedal Bar to push yourself around town as a group while you collectively soak up the suds along with the songs.  What a cool town.

Photos (c) Ray Van Horn, Jr.

                      Listenin' to:  Elvis Presley - Elvis at Sun

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