PRESS & REVIEWS

"Photographer Bill Rouda spent nine years snapping pictures of lower Broadway, and in the process managed to capture the street as it transformed from seedy district to tourist attraction... Rouda wove himself into the very fabric of life on lower Broadway, became a fly on the wall in his quest to give us a glimpse of the street, warts and all, as it looked through the lens of his camera. "
- Todd Sterling, Country Review   Read more>>>


" "Nashville's Lower Broad: The Street That Music Made" tells the story of that part of Music City and the artists that performed there, from Hank Williams and Willie Nelson to BR549, Greg Garing and blues singer Celinda Pink."
- Phyllis Stark, Billboard Magazine

"Photographer Bill Rouda introduces readers to the street's haunts and habitues through the 90 black-and-white images in "Nashville's Lower Broad: The Street That Music Made"."
- Ron Berthel, Associated Press Writer   Read more>>>


"This volume presents b&w photographs of 1990s musical life on Lower Broad by documentary art photographer Rouda, along with an introductory essay by David Eason."
- Book News, Inc.   Read more>>>


"Country music played hide and seek with Bill Rouda... It ducked in and out of clubs like Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and Robert's Western World, and Rouda, Nikons and a Leica around his neck during the mid-1990s, went searching."
- Paul Clark, Asheville Citizen Times   Read more>>>


"Rouda's book brings to life the Lower Broadway community in a visually arresting manner. It contains more than 90 photos and isn't just focused on musicians, though several of them are featured. It also captures the faces and expressions of people roaming the street, drunks, audience members, foreign visitors and many others soaking up the ambience and enjoying the music."
- Ron Wynn, The Nashville City Paper   Read more>>>


"Nashville's Lower Broad, a book that captures Broadway in transition and documents the bands, songwriters and characters that were filling its bars in the meantime.
Rouda's photographs, many of which are shot with available light, have a gauzy, three-beer-buzz feel that's appropriate given the disheveled yet high-spirited nature of his subject matter. "
- Paul V. Griffith, The Nashville Scene   Read more>>>


*Starred Review*   "Until the Grand Ole Opry moved out of neighboring Ryman Auditorium, the 400 block of Broadway Avenue in downtown Nashville was the launching pad for country-music stars. When photographer Rouda became a denizen in the mid-1990s, the street had known hard times but was on the way back up. A revivified Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and the clothing-store-turned-honky-tonk Robert's Western World each had a smokin' house band. Across the street, the Turf and the Music City Lounge kept the faith with humbler talent. Rouda made friends with street regulars and bar staff and took a lot of pictures. Black-and-white and slightly, artfully soft-focused, they depict a gritty place, where whiskery "Blue-Eyed John" drains a pint in front of the Turf in broad daylight and bar proprietor Miss Pat posts etiquette instructions over the urinal that conclude, "Do not tear this sign off wall or I will kill you." Young band members and patrons are rawboned. Older folk are as weather-beaten as the buildings. Everyone looks working-class, which, according to a musician David Eason quotes in the sterling introduction, is essential to country music. In 1998 a tornado took out the Turf and the Music City. By then the hot bands had split or split up. Rouda recorded those developments, too, for this outstanding photo-essay and fine work of Americana. Ray Olson"
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