Bulger's Beat: Dedication keeps the music going in Music City - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: Dedication keeps the music going in Music City

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Anyone who has lived in Music City for awhile knows the story of the dreamer - the guy or girl who comes to town with country music stardom on the mind.

But it doesn't always go as planned.

Their venues aren't called night-clubs for nothing. At night is when Nashville's music scene is at its peak; when the bars are filled and the music is everywhere. Sundown is the time when country music stars shine.

But in Music City, not every singer has that schedule. The sunrise needs a melody too.

And on Lower Broadway long before noon, Dave Cox gets the stage.

"I've been playing mornings here for eight years," he said.

What he sees is a sore sight for fresh eyes. Often, he's the only one in the room.

"By God, it can get depressing when it's 2 o'clock and it looks like this," he said.

On a recent Thursday morning, no one's there to listen. It's too early for a party, yet the show must go on.

Dave's seen eight years of this, and for the most part, that's fine to him.

"Of course it's better when you have people to sing to," he said. "But if you can't have a good time singing a song by yourself at an awesome place and stage, then you shouldn't be doing this for a living."

By midday, customers start showing up. But that's still a long time before the tip jar starts filling up.

"When you're down here on Broadway playing for tips, it's tougher these days. But you can get by," he said.

Dave's a dad now with 4-year-old twins, so perspective and payment plans outweigh his platinum music dreams.

Although the scene might not be ideal for Dave, to put it in terms of a country music song - there's no tear in his beer.

"I came here to play Robert's Western World, and I really did feel like anything more than that was cake. Icing on the cake," he said. "I'll play here the rest of my life if I can. I love it."

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