We spent the day with country music artist and Jackson, Tennessee native Brandon Lay checking out some of his favorite spots in rural Middle Tennessee. Brandon got his musical start in the college scene. After years of performing across the state, Brandon’s career is on the rise; he just released his debut single, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers,” as well as three additional original tracks, and he is touring the U.S. this summer with country icon Kenny Chesney.
Brandon’s music is a celebration of his small-town roots, telling stories about what it’s like to grow up in a town like Jackson, Tennessee. Today Brandon lives in Brentwood, Tennessee, a charming town just outside Nashville that is known for its southern hospitality, pristine parks and natural beauty. Here, Brandon can escape the hustle of the city while still being close to the action. Check out the three places that always make him feel at home:
The first stop included a good ol’ fashioned southern breakfast at a legendary spot, Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant. This Middle Tennessee icon is part restaurant, part general store and part live music venue, making it a go-to for in-the-know locals. The Puckett family opened the restaurant in 1953 and it’s been serving up delicious food in a no-frills, laid-back atmosphere ever since. Brandon fueled up on the classics with a plate piled high with biscuits and gravy, mac and cheese, and bacon. “This is what a southern breakfast looks like,” Brandon said. “Reminds me of back home in Jackson, kind of like what my mom would cook.” Puckett’s serves southern classics for lunch and dinner as well, including award-winning barbecue and burgers with to-die-for sides. Check out open mic night on Thursdays to see some of the area's best singers and songwriters perform.
Next up was the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. The bridge is located on one of the most picturesque and historic spots in Tennessee. The Parkway was built during the Great Depression and was based on a Native American trail that had been used for centuries. The bridge itself is an architectural wonder, being one of only two bridges in the world with a concrete arch structure. It spans more than 1,500 feet long and visitors can see miles of beautiful rolling hills and densely wooded forests from its vantage point. An avid motorcycle rider, Brandon loves this bridge for the expansive views. Surrounded by natural beauty, this bridge is definitely a can’t-miss photo op when travelling through Middle Tennessee. As this is a highly trafficked bridge, please make sure to be safe and only take photos from the designated viewing areas.
The last stop was Murff’s, one of Brandon’s favorite burger joints in Brentwood. “This is my favorite place to come when I’m off the road to get a burger, watch a game,” he said. “They’ve even got corn hole.” In addition to delicious burgers with tons of topping options, Murff’s has 20 beers on tap, most of which are local craft brews. The burgers and fries pair perfectly with tasty appetizers and premium southern hospitality; Murff’s relaxed, neighborhood atmosphere attracts locals and visitors alike.
Based on these three spots, it’s easy to see why Brandon’s proud to call Middle Tennessee home. You can catch Brandon live in concert this summer with Kenny Chesney on Aug. 11, 2018 in Nashville. Explore even more of what Brentwood has to offer here.