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Music City Musings - Eileen Bernstein

by Rich and Laura Lynch

According to the Baltimore Jewish Times, award winning singer-songwriter Eileen Bernstein takes you up and down the peaks and valleys of life with "songs [that] make you want to tap your toes, along with touching melodies that grip your heart with their expressive lyrics." With East coast roots she recently joined the ever-enlarging Music City music community and has jumped right in making meaningful progress in short order. Now, with a new EP in tow things are looking up for this talented performer who in a lyrical sense goes quite a bit deeper than your standard Broadway fare.

Music City Musings - Eileen Bernstein

MCN: In a town teeming with talent what makes you stand out in Music City?

EB: I have compassionate relatability and eclecticism. It's a Baltimore-tinged Americana fusion of Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Indigo Girls, Sara McLaughlin, and Stevie Nicks. My music is my way of reaching out to human beings from all different backgrounds who share many of the same thoughts and feelings: Let's help each other going up and down the peaks and valleys of life. I like writing octave jumps into my melodies to reflect those peaks and valleys.

MCN: What is the most significant musical experience you have been a part of - or witnessed - in Nashville, Tennessee?

EB: Becoming a regular at writers rounds at the Time Travelers Cafe and seeing my headshot on the wall there. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I'm in awe of the talent I am hearing at writers rounds all over town.

MCN: I recently heard Nashville described as a dreamer's town. Can you encapsulate the size and the scope of the dream you brought with you to Music City?

EB: It's a continuation of what I was aiming for and starting to achieve in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia). Build a multigenerational following of fans who will come out to increasingly larger venues because they have found meaning and compassion in my music. Also, collaborate with amazing songwriters and get songs cut that many people will hopefully want to listen to over and over again. In both those parts to my dream, people will feel that, "Eileen Bernstein's music shows that she really cares about me."

MCN: What are you currently promoting?

EB: I am currently promoting my "No Place But Up" EP. It's a culmination of the wide range of emotions and places I have experienced in the last decade of my life. "Startin' Somethin' Good" (co-written with Scott Miller from Washington DC) is a story of good deeds. "Choices" is a playful song looking at all the different paths we can take. The title track, "No Place But Up," reminds me every time I hear it or play it, that I'm slowly pulling myself up from the worst time in in my life. I hope people who hear it draw strength from it to pull themselves up too. "Endless Night" is about depression and love lost. Downloads and the physical album are available on my website.

MCN: Nashville is an amazing place. Many call the Tennessee capitol the "It" City while some say we're experiencing growing pains. Either way, it's a fun topic of conversation and the subject always elicits strong opinions. So we ask - what do you love and what do you loathe about the town known as Music City?

EB: Love: There are musicians everywhere!!!! There are music venues everywhere!!! People are really friendly and down to earth. Successful musicians I meet here genuinely seem to want to and enjoy mentoring others in their careers. They make themselves accessible and available. I love the nature centers and parks - beautiful hiking trails within a short drive. I love the hills surrounding the city.

Hate: It seems that history and the small town feel are being lost with random uncontrolled construction all over, and the destruction of old venues and other buildings. I'm for smart growth, not growth for growth's sake. Many of the public restrooms I have visited are disgustingly filthy. There is practically no recycling here, I've seen trash in the streets and in the waterways, and the air quality is awful.

MCN: When you find yourself in Nashville and the surrounding region and you are out looking for a bite to eat - what is your go to place to dine?

EB: My favorite restaurants are Another Broken Egg Cafe and The Loveless Cafe.


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