Thursday, September 13 2018 19:34

From Nashville to Illinois: Barn Weddings and Rockin' the Road...

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This story is brought to you in collaboration with Mitsubishi Motors USA...

This summer, some Nashville flavor came to Illinois in a pretty unique way. No, I'm not talking about that "Nashville Hot" chicken (though that's picking up steam in the north as well), but my sister's country wedding. Though she grew up in Illinois as I did, Nashville has always been in her sights, and that's where she ended up. But for her wedding, she was back up north for a barn wedding in Hebron, Illinois. What was unusually cool is where some of the decor came from... not just from City of Nashville, but from the television series. After a six season run across ABC and CMT, Nashville came to an end this summer, which meant that the time had come for the production to wrap things up with a three-day "Set Decoration Public Sale." Actor Charles Esten even shared a video preview of the event some months back, and as luck would have it, decorations that may have dressed the set when Rayna Jaymes (Connie Brtitton) and Deacon Claybourne (Esten) tied the not wound up as part of the atmosphere for a real-life wedding.


The beautiful Bluestem Farm and Events served as the backdrop - the vintage, two-story Degraslanden dairy barn having been upgraded and transformed with modern amenities while retaining its early 1900s charm. My wife and I were both in the wedding party and The Rock Daughters™ made their third appearance as flower girls (they're practically professionals at this point). This shot came from the rehearsal...

The Rock Daughters - Wedding Rehearsal

For all the running around we had to do, from our house to the hotel where the the out-of-towners were staying and through the country out to the farm, our ride for the weekend was the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL S-AWC, provided on-loan from Mitsubishi Motors USA for a Rock Father™ Rides feature.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander

Having driven the Outlander through various forms over the years, I was excited to get behind the wheel of their best yet. They have a slogan that they've used in their marketing a few times that's pretty fitting: "We pack it with features, you pack it with memories." 

And we did.

The Rock Daughters and Friends - Playing weddingone

therockmother Tractor

Aside from cruising country roads in northern Illinois, I've been working with Product of Hate on getting their second album finished and packaged. The new record has been recorded, and this summer we released the first single, "Rapture." The rest of the album is being mixed and mastered right now with Chris Collier (Prong, Flotsam & Jetsam) on the boards, having just come off engineering for Korn. The Rockford Fosgate Premium Sound System was a fine place to check out some test mixes, with up to 710 watts passing through nine speakers-including a 10-inch dual-voice coil subwoofer with Punch Control. Thunderous and clean.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

When the wedding was over, there was clean-up to be done, and the Outlander went from transporting family to transporting stuff. A lot of water, actually.  Cases and cases of it, along with some LED candles and other adornments that also came up from Nashville. It's the perfect example of everything that a crossover should be - a great mix of style, function and performance.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander - Trunk Space

As of now, my sister and my new brother-in-law are back down in Nashville but I'm thinking road trip. Haven't driven down there yet, but life is always an open road...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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