Muscle Shoals-native Rachel Wammack wanted to get to know her “neighbors” in her new hometown of Nashville better; so this summer, she decided to take her music directly to fans, performing a string of free “Sunset Sessions” on residential rooftops across Music City. With a bit of organic promotion, complimentary drinks and killer views, these “Sunset Sessions” allowed Wammack—armed with only a keyboard and a mic—to share both new music and covers with smaller groups of fans in popular high-rises dotting Nashville’s evolving skyline.
“It’s awesome being able to just come to where people are in their homes. In my hometown, I would do a lot of house shows, and this is kind of like that for me. It’s very informal, and people can even request if they want,” shares Wammack. “I’m a very informal, down-to-earth person, I’d like to think, and I feel like this is a way for me to meet people on a level where I’m not on a huge stage. I’m not even on a real stage, actually. It’s fun.”
Aside from performing at the iconic Bluebird Cafe and select industry showcases around town—eventually landing her a record deal with RCA Records—Wammack hasn’t had the opportunity to play to her new hometown crowd, making the intimate “Sunset Sessions” a memorable experience.
Throughout June and July, five different residential developments hosted Wammack for an exclusive “Sunset Session,” including The Solis North Gulch, The Gossett, 12 South Apartments, Capitol View and The Cleo East Nashville.
All of these residential towers represent a growing trend in urban living for Music City, where an estimated 100 people are moving daily. Many young professionals are flocking to downtown apartments, which keep them close to hip retail and restaurant offerings; the late night neon of Broadway; concerts at key venues like Bridgestone Arena, Ascend Amphitheater and the Ryman Auditorium; and sporting events at Bridgestone, Nissan Stadium and First Tennessee Park. In addition, downtown high-rises offer luxury amenities, featuring everything from shared common spaces to resort-style pools and workout facilities.
For Wammack, who’s getting married Aug. 3, Nashville provides the perfect mix of small town hospitality and big city dreams.
“Muscle Shoals is very southern, obviously, and has a small town feel. And even though Nashville has a lot more people, it still has that small town vibe and that very southern vibe,” she says. “The people here are really warm and welcoming and creative, which is a great space for me to bloom in. It finally feels like my home away from home.”
During an eight-song set last week at the new residences at Capitol View, Wammack covered songs from a diverse range of well-known artists, including Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Sara Bareilles and Chris Stapleton. In addition, the singer, who began playing piano at age six and started writing songs in middle school, performed three originals: the nostalgic “Reminders,” the autobiographical “Damage” and her new radio single “Something People Say.”
After tying the knot with longtime boyfriend Noah Purcell, the 24-year-old will head overseas this fall joining the lineup for CMA’s “Introducing Nashville” series with shows scheduled across Europe and the U.K.