‘Nashville’ Star Chip Esten Immersed in Music City Culture
Charles 'Chip' Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne on the ABC drama "Nashville," is totally immersed in the culture of Music City. Aside from playing the guitarist and songwriter on the TV series, the actor is constantly spotted at various music events around town, including the recent songwriters' showcase, Tin Pan South, and a guest appearance with '80s group Rubik's Groove. He also was a celebrity waiter for the "Waiting for Wishes" charity event co-hosted by former NFL player Kevin Carter and Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus. The actor explains that being a part of the various activities around town combines a little bit of work and a lot of fun.
"The city of Nashville has been very good to us," Chip tells The Boot. "And we [the 'Nashville' cast] want to be a part of everything we can do to show our support. As far as being a part of the show, we want it to be as true-to-life as possible, so the more we can attend events and see how the music business works, the better we can portray our characters."
A singer-songwriter outside the parameters of "Nashville," in college Chip was lead singer in a band called N'est Pas. He was also a vocalist on the improvisation show, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" in both the U.S. and the U.K., in addition to his numerous acting credits on film and TV. But he continues to hone his songwriting craft, collaborating with other Nashville tunesmiths.
"I've been writing with some great writers," he explains, naming Jeffrey Steele, Steve Mandile, Trevor Rosen and Matt Ramsey as a few of his songwriting partners. "So far, being a part of the series and being in Nashville has been more than anything I dreamed of."
Although he has yet to have one of his own songs featured on the show, his character, Deacon has moved on to a new role as lead guitarist for Hayden Panettiere's character, Juliette Barnes. In the last few weeks, however, a new girlfriend and a cute puppy are among the things seemingly causing his character to have second thoughts about constantly being on the road.
"Nashville" airs Wednesdays at 10:00 PM ET on ABC. The first-season finale airs May 22, and although the show regularly wins its time slot, the network has yet to announce that it has been renewed for a second season.