Ellendale’s is a restaurant set on a little hill in the vicinity of the Nashville Airport. It was recommended to me by the lady at the reception desk of Hampton Inn (also near the airport). I had flown to Nashville from my project assignment in Miami to see my nephew play some baseball. I arrived on Thursday evening, and asked about a restaurant close by that had live music. I wanted to have a good dinner, read my book, and listen to some decent music in the background. “Ellendale’s” she said. So to Ellendale’s I went.
The building is an historic farmhouse – I’ve tried to find the history that makes the farmhouse historic, but I have concluded that it is the Paris Hilton of farmhouses…it is historic for being historic. Nevertheless, the description, historic, is believable. It has the elegant beauty of a bygone era. When I walked up to the hostess station, she, the hostess, asked me if I’d like to sit in the music room, and why not? I can read anywhere, and if the music was good enough, I could pay closer attention.
My seat was a couple of tables from the tiny stage. The band was comprised of electronic piano (“keyboard” paints an aural picture that is not apt), and a trumpet. The keyboardist played guitar on some songs, if I remember correctly. Yes, an odd combination, and in a small room, but masterfully delivered and very enjoyable.
The food was very good, the waiter attentive, the venue small and cozy. I was transported.
After the first set, the two gentlemen musicians invited a lady to join them, and I laid eyes and ears on Miss Jaimee Paul for the first time.
She had red, curly hair – and I’m a sucker for red-heads – was wearing a slinky white gown, and as she sang, warm honey poured over my jaded, book-reading soul…and I stopped reading and paid attention. She sang old standards in a way I had never heard or imagined. I sat in thrall to her voice, her hair, the slinkiness of her gown and the timeless, classic feel of the moment. I was Humphrey Bogart in a guy-falls-in-love-with-the-lovely-lady-lounge-singer-in-a-slinky-gown movie.
I do not like, let me rephrase that, I REALLY dislike “Send in The Clowns” especially when Barbra Streisand sings it. As I recognized the opening strains of that awful song, I groaned inwardly. But as the music poured forth from Jaimee’s candy lips, I not only paid attention and enjoyed, I was moved! I cannot find her rendition anywhere on the web. It is on her album “Angel Like You” but I cannot find that album on the web either – which is a shame, because my favorites are on that album, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”, “Someone to Watch Over Me” and the title song. “At Last”, another of my favorites, is the title song of the album pictured above, and is available on line.
After her first set, she came over to my table, sat down and talked to me during her break…maybe I WAS Bogart! She told me a bit about her Nashville story (everybody has one). She had come initially to work for a Christian music production company, then had to leave that job in order to sing professionally. For the time she sat at my table, she told me by her eyes, her smile and her voice that I had her full attention – and I believed! I believed…after all, Bogart, you know.
I hear from Ellendale’s that she is currently touring with Wynonna Judd – and good for her, that voice demands a wider audience.
If you ever get a chance to buy “Angel Like You” do it! If you ever get a chance to watch her perform in a small venue like Ellendale’s, don’t pass up your opportunity to live a moment in a Bogart movie.