Nashville has an ego. Lights, signs and neons all big as that ego with history gone to it’s head. It’s been ‘Music City – USA’ since WSM AM radio cast out it’s shout over 38 states with weekly live shows and recordings. Broadcasts began in 1925, name was claimed 1950 set against rock and roll. ‘Birthplace of bluegrass’, ‘home of country music’, ‘songwriting capital of the world’; There’s plenty of others to pick from.

It’s the third in a clean three day stretch of 95+ degrees F here in Austin. Tomorrow’s looking like stretching to four. We’ve wore off sore heads, oozed out our insides and wrungout our ears with slabs of music and noise. Fuzzed 60s garage slams out of bars, so does country, old and new RnB, rockabilly, thrash and New Wave.

Cape Canaveral, Florida to Nashville, Tennessee; 740 odd miles in 90+ degrees F in a car with no AC, no fuel gauge, leaking break fluid and no radio. A cheap Bluetooth speaker spits out spike tin-whispers of anything with treble enough to push through the wind, windows full down, seats wet from heat. Sweat gathers neatly in all troughs of skin and that cheap tin of wasps keeps on humming.

It’s bigger here, faster. SUV bumpers ride up to my hips, steaks come in slabs as bloated as fists and talk runs at rates that I can’t penetrate. Wide open spaces with every bit packed up and built on and everyone got to get first. Southern Rock dominates each bar I find, bloated like those steaks but with half less to chew on.

Exit to Mexico Beach. Highway 98 so long, straight and one-laned a road that it’s easy to drift down its high-pine lined stretch. Got told it’s a shifted down, stripped down beach front, without the rude lights and the half builts and built up. Air smelt a little cleaner there.

From white sand that drops steep into warm green sea water I caught earshot of whoops and applause. I dried off to move to the source.