From The Desk Of Eleni Mandell: Nashville, Ind.

After nine albums of sterling folk/pop/rock, Eleni Mandell had no need to alter her creative methodology. A chance stroll through the history of country music in the cradle of its development gave Mandell the blazingly clear vision to simplify her process on what would become the new Dark Lights Up. Mandell will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. What she will be writing about: “My kids are four-and-a-half years old (twins). We travel with my ex-boyfriend (not their father), who helps out as the ‘nanny.’ They have toured across the USA many times, but now they’re older and have opinions. The tour lasted five weeks, and we had a blast looking for fun things to do. Two places to avoid: Walmart and Cracker Barrel unless you want to listen to your kids hassle you to buy them stuff for hours on end!” Read our recent feature on Mandell.

9Nashville

Mandell: Nashville is about a 30-minute drive from Bloomington, where I had a show. We were staying on a farm/Airbnb that had a magazine with information about the artists in Nashville, so we decided to take a look. This is your classic, old-timey tourist town. We took a hilarious “tour,” which was in a shuttle dressed like a train (the kids love that) where the tour guide explained where you could buy different things, like socks, and how much different hotels cost. But what we really loved with the old-timey portrait studio. That’s pretty much all we needed … and ice cream.

Video after the jump: