Category Archives: News

This week at the Ryman Oct. 1 – 7, 2012

We’ve got a busy week here at the Mother Church.  Make sure to follow us on Twitter (“@theryman”) for show updates, previews of Hatch Show Prints and more…

Tonight, catch The Shins on Conan O’Brien on TBS at 10:00 p.m. central. They are set to take our stage on Sunday, October 7.

Tuesday, October 2 David Byrne & St. Vincent come to the Ryman for a performance after the release of their newest album, “Love This Giant.” Recorded over two years largely at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ, the album is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word, with Byrne and St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) co-writing ten of the album’s twelve tracks, and each artist penning one song individually. The album centers around an explosive brass band and is propelled by John Congleton’s drum programming. Byrne and Clark met in 2009 at the ‘Dark Was the Night’ benefit at Radio City Music Hall and were approached shortly after by the Housing Works Bookstore to collaborate on a night of music. They began composing remotely, trading song ideas and structures online while Clark toured and it quickly became apparent that they had more than just one night of music in them. Byrne performed with Clark at her ‘American Songbook’ show at Lincoln Center in 2010, and Clark contributed vocals to Byrne’s ‘Here Lies Love’ album, released the same year. Tickets are on sale here and enter to win the Hatch Print here.



On Wednesday, October 3, Gotye makes his Ryman debut. Gotye’s most recent offering “Making Mirrors” has already sold nearly two million copies internationally. The album is described as “pop at its most precise, but also electronic music at its most emotional.” The breakout hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know,” featuring Kimbra, has been number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks. The song’s music video recently crossed the 200 million mark on YouTube, making it one of the most-viewed clips ever. You can still get tickets here and enter to win the Hatch Show Print here.



Emanating from the Ryman Auditorium during the spring and fall season, Opry Country Classics features performances of the country music the world knows best performed by legends of the genre as well as the rising stars the legends have influenced. Get your tickets to this Thursday’s show here.



This Friday, October 5,  Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose music has been described as “an unclassifiable hybrid of pop, folk and country,” will play on the Ryman stage. She has recorded 12 albums and has sold over 13 million records in her career. With hits like “Passionate Kisses” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards (with 15 nominations), two CMA awards and two Academy of Country Music awards for her vocals. Her songs speak to the most personal of life’s details and the most universal. Recently, Carpenter was honored with the Americana Association’s esteemed “Spirit of Americana Free Speech in Music Award,” which recognizes artists who have used their work to raise awareness and promote free speech. Carpenter’s newest album, “Ashes and Roses,” has already received high praise from critics and it’s been said this one holds “some of her most interesting and intimate work yet.”  Two days after her Ryman appearance, Carpenter will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in Nashville. Enter to win the exclusive Hatch Show Print  here.



Also on Friday, Oct. 5,  a third Amy Grant & Vince Gill Christmas at the Ryman show will go on sale. The show will be on Thursday, Dec. 18. This marks the sixth year the couple – who celebrated their twelfth anniversary this year – has performed the holiday special. “Christmas audiences are special,” Amy says. “They tend to involve the whole family, and their emotions are a wonderful mix of anticipation and reverence. It’s a thrilling experience for both of us.” The set will feature traditional holiday songs, as well as some of Amy and Vince’s biggest hits. For more information please visit their show page.



On Sunday, The Shins return to the Ryman for a performance. Formed in 1996 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, The Shins are an American indie-rock band originally created as a side project for lead vocalist, James Mercer. Songs from the critically-acclaimed first album, “Oh Inverted World,” were featured in movies such as “Garden State” and “A Guy Thing” and television series including “The OC” and “Gilmore Girls.” The band relocated to Portland, OR in 2001where they released their second album, “Chutes Too Narrow” and later released the third album “Wincing the Night Away” in 2006, which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. In 2012, The Shins announced their extended tour in North America where they will perform hits from their previous three albums and their newest track, “Simple Song.” You can get tickets here and enter for the chance to win the Shins Hatch Print here.





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Concert Announcement: Old Crow Medicine Show New Year’s Eve!


Nashville’s own Old Crow Medicine Show will once again play the historic Ryman Auditorium, this time to ring in 2013.  This is the third year that Old Crow has celebrated the New Year on the Ryman stage, in the past bringing the audience to their feet with such hits as “Wagon Wheel” and “Caroline.”  After the first hsow was over, fans immediately began asking to make it an annual event, and they’re finally back!  Singer and fiddle player, Ketch Secor, has said: “Playing the Ryman is like coming home.  Having the chance to play that historic stage is always a humbling and inspiring experience.” Old Crow released their newest album, “Carry Me Back,” on July 17th of this year.  Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three will open the show.

Tickets go on sale Friday, September 21 and are available here.

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This week at the Ryman: Sept. 10 – 14, 2012

This week starts the kick-off of the annual awards season at the Ryman with the Americana Honors and Awards on Wednesday, September 12. Performers and presenters this year include: Bonnie Raitt, Alabama Shakes, The Mavericks, Richard Thompson, Punch Brothers, The Civil Wars, Booker T. Jones, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Wallflowers and more…

The annual Americana Music festival brings more than 100 official performances throughout Music City and last year more than 12,000 fans enjoyed the festival’s musical events. In addition, the conference will offer daily seminars, panels and networking opportunities at venues around the city.  For more information, visit Americana Music’s website. Check your local listings, the event will also be carried live on AXS-TV.

Click here to enter to win a limited Hatch Show Print created especially for the event.

Other upcoming award shows this season include the Academy of Country Music Honors hosted by Dierks Bentley featuring Luke Bryan, Ashley Monroe, Kellie Pickler and Dailey & Vincent on September 24 (tickets here) and the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards on September 27 (more info here.)

We have two on sales happening this Friday, September 14 –  Chris Young (Nov. 15) and Ray LaMontagne (Nov. 29) both at 10:00 a.m.

November 15 will be Chris Young’s headlining debut at the Ryman.  Openers on the concert include Thomas Rhett and Joanna Smith.  Young made the announcement about the show to his fans via YouTube.

Entertainment Weekly precisely predicted the baritone-voiced Chris Young to have a “long, lucrative future ahead of him” and by all indications, the predictions are true! The ACM Male Vocalist nominee and Middle Tennessee native has scored five consecutive #1 singles, including recent chart-toppers “Tomorrow” and “You,” and all of these are certified Gold or Platinum by the RIAA. He won Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Single of the Year at the 2011 American Country Awards and has made nine national TV appearances since the release of his acclaimed third record, “NEON.”  Tickets and more information can be found here.

Also on sale Friday at 10:00 a.m. we have Ray LaMontagne (Nov. 29). LaMontagne is a folk rock-style American singer-songwriter who has been compared by critics to The Band, Van Morrison, Nick Drake, and Tim Buckley. He has cited Stephen Stills, Richard Manuel, and Rick Danko as his strongest musical influences since he began his career in 1999. LaMontagne has produced four successful albums, and his songs have been featured in many television shows and movies such as “Rescue Me,” “One Tree Hill,” “She’s The Man,” and “27 Dresses.” During his career, LaMontagne has won several awards, including a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album and a Pollstar Concert Industry Award for Best New Touring Artist.

Tickets for Ray LaMontagne are available here.  Also, don’t forget to enter to win a limited edition Hatch Show Print created especially for this concert here.

The evening of Friday, September 14 the Ryman welcomes Metric. The band is on tour as their fifth full-length studio album, “Synthetica,” was released in June 2012. Metric has been on the cutting-edge of rock and roll since the independent, worldwide release of “Fantasies” when, without the help of a label, the band managed to earn multiple radio hits throughout the world. The album sold over one million singles and 500,000 albums. Since then, Metric songs have been featured in two major films, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” and “Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” Their newest album is true to the band’s sound with sonically futuristic vibes; it’s a creative culmination of music made by Metric in the last ten years. The album reads like a biography of the bands musical history, with tracks ranging from suspenseful story-telling in “Artificial Noctune” and “Synthetica” to examining the fraying social state in “Youth Without Youth.”

Tickets are still available here. Ticket buyers will receive a digital download of first single “Youth Without Youth” within a week of purchase. You can enter to win the exclusive Hatch Show Print here.

Quick preview of next week: Monday 09/17 Ben Folds Five, Tuesday 09/18 Grizzly Bear and 09/21 Umphrey’s McGee.  Check out a stream of the new Grizzly Bear album “Shields” on NPR.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter @theryman for all the latest info – concert announcements, giveaways and more!

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Concert Announcement: Chris Young Nov. 15, 2012

Middle Tennessee native and country music star Chris Young gave his fans a special treat yesterday when he announced via exclusive video that he will make his first Nashville headlining appearance from the Mother Church of Country Music, the historic Ryman Auditorium, on November 15, 2012. The premiere headlining appearance, which includes special guests Thomas Rhett and Joanna Smith, is the first stop on Chris’ upcoming Liquid Neon Tour and adds to an already stellar year of high profile TV performances, hit singles, and awards nominations for the baritone-voiced singer. Thomas Rhett will open the show. Rhett’s self-titled debut EP hit #1 on iTunes Country Albums Chart.



Tickets go on sale on Friday, September 14th at 10AM Central and are available via the Ryman box office,, Ticketmaster outlets,, or by calling 800-745-3000.

While Young has played the Ryman as part of the Grand Ole Opry, this historic show will mark his headlining debut on the celebrated stage. Born and raised in Murfreesboro, this momentous occasion holds a special place in the heart of this middle Tennessee native.


“The first time I set foot on the Ryman stage was an unbelievable experience,” says Young. “I am so grateful for the support of my hometown crowd all of these years and saying I can’t wait for this show is an obvious understatement.”

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Behind the Scenes With Ryman Audio Engineer Les Banks

I can’t wait to play the Ryman!”

“I have wanted to play the Ryman all my life!”

“I have dreamed about this day!”

“I have always wanted to do a gig here!”


Les at the board. Photo by Steve Lowry.

These are the comments I overhear all the time, from new up-and-coming artists to established veterans.  To the bands and their crews, performing at the Ryman is definitely on their bucket list.

One might wonder why it’s on their bucket list. First, it is the historical significance of the building. Built as a church in 1892 and most famous for being the former home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974, the Ryman is one of the most unique venues a band will come across while on tour.  But truly it’s the vibe of the place — it’s the magic when you walk in and see over a hundred-year-old wooden church pews waiting for folks to file in, sit down to see your show.

Then, of course, there is the sound.

I remember The Rolling Stones guitar player Keith Richards commenting to a fellow band mate: “This place sounds awesome!”  As the Ryman soundman for fifteen years I can definitely say this place does sound awesome. The acoustics of the room provide a great sounding performance, but it is not an easy room to mix. The first thing I always tell bands and sound engineers is to turn down the volume.  They, in turn, will usually ask our dB limit.  “Common sense,” I tell them.  The key to tuning the Ryman is to take a deep breath and be sensitive to the room.  And while they’re upstairs at the soundboard, I’ll take the wireless Dolby Lake tablet and walk downstairs. I’m their assistant for the day, so they don’t have to run around. The best compliment at the end of a sixteen-hour day is for the band’s sound guy to say: “Thanks for making my day easy and enjoyable.”  


Les with Ryman General Manager Sally Williams. Photo by Steve Lowry.

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Concert Announcement: Alanis Morissette at the Ryman Oct. 26, 2012

Alanis Morissette is set to return to the Ryman stage for the first time in seven year.  Morissette will perform in concert on October 26, 2012. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 17 and can be purchased here. Also, don’t forget to enter to win a limited edition Hatch Show Print created especially for this event!

On her new album Havoc and Bright Lights, Alanis Morissette distills her entire body of work into its closing track “Edge of Evolution.” “…we’re ready to push envelopes into full-blown consciousness,” she declares in the final verse. “The evolution of our consciousness can be such a lofty, overly heady, and, frankly, confusing conversation for people,” Morissette says. “So the song is an invitation to clarify and support what growth, healing, connection and self-expression really means for each person. ultimately, supporting people’s next courageous step is all I really care about. I think that’s what my contribution is — to engage musically, lyrically and publicly in the conversation about my and our humanity….this movement toward wholeness, rather than perfection or goodness, and deepening intimacy, connection and authenticity is such a big part of what I’m here to contribute.”

Over the course of her two decades in the music industry, Morissette has never shrunk from that goal. In the process, she has become known as many things: an introspective confessionalist, a relentless seeker, and a hardcore truth-teller among them. She continues her quest for authenticity and emotional connection and healing on Havoc and Bright Lights. Set against a musical backdrop of bright, bold melodies, adrenalized guitars, and lush sonic textures, the album lays out Morissette’s mission in her swooping confident voice, while the urgent rock rhythms drive home her themes: misogyny and the gender wars (“Woman Down”), the price of fame (“Celebrity”), the shame that comes from self-defeating thoughts (“Spiral”), the consequences of several addictions (“Havoc”), and the deep divisions created by people’s differing religious and political beliefs (“Lens”). “A song starts with the seed, or the essence of an idea,” she says, and is written in under an hour.”  “I far prefer writing about the personal and the micro in a concise way. That’s what interests me. Rather than paint overly broad strokes, I’d rather write about the one-on-one of personal interactions. And then allow it to be a commentary on the more macro effects we see in the world, from there.”

As always, Morissette plays with a duality in her songwriting — a hard-won equanimity that has come from having achieved a balance in her personal and professional life since the 2008 release of her epic break-up record Flavors of Entanglement. Since then, Morissette married rapper Souleye (born Mario Treadway) and gave birth to their son Ever. Naturally, these transformative events are reflected on her new album, providing a softness and vulnerability that has always been present in her work, but filled with even more conviction. The album’s first single “Guardian” is about her relationship with herself as well as with her son. “It’s about the care I have to offer myself in a way I never have in the past in order to sustain wifehood and motherhood,” she says. “Til You” is an open-hearted love song for her husband, while “Empathy” thanks him and her closest loved ones for truly seeing her. “I really do think that empathy is the cornerstone of what will not only raise the consciousness of the planet, but will also provide profound healing. And perhaps these are one and the same.” she says.

Morissette began writing the songs on Havoc and Bright Lights shortly after giving birth to Ever. “Once my son was born, I immediately felt this surge of ‘I have to write this record,’” Morissette says. “Of course the timing couldn’t have been worse. Post-partum is not the time to be doing anything other than post-partum-ing. Because I’m an attachment parent, I wanted to be near him 24/7.” She turned the first floor of her home into a makeshift studio, inviting her Flavors of Entanglement collaborator Guy Sigsworth over from London where the pair would knock out a song a day. “It was this unusual but perfect blend of mom-hood and artist,” she says. “It was a challenge to do both at the same time, but I had no other option. I was called to show up 100 percent for both, so this was the only way to do it. i developed a deep affinity and gratitude for coffee and falling asleep sitting up, for the first time in my life”, she says with a laugh.

The results include the darkly swirling rock songs “Woman Down,” “Celebrity,” and “Numb,” which throb with Sigsworth’s adventurous synth textures and drum loops, and the softer-edged “Win and Win,” “Receive,” and “Guardian.” Together Morissette and Sigsworth, who has also worked work with Björk and Madonna, wrote between 25 and 30 songs. To warm up the electronic vibe, Morissette brought in producer Joe Chiccarelli (Jason Mraz, White Stripes, The Strokes), who gave the songs a grounded, organic feel. “Guy contributes this otherworldly, technologically savant-esque, limitless magic,” Morissette says, “and then we have Joe, who honors the narrative and creates this incredibly modern, kick-you-in-the-teeth rock sound. The blend of both of these producers was the perfect integration for me. I wanted the album to have the fantastical aspects of what technology can build, combined with a human earthiness, and I think that’s what we achieved.”

Even the title is a reference to the album’s overall balance, though Morissette admits it was a challenge to come up with something that reflected the variety of subject matter. “‘Havoc’ refers to the song with that title and the challenges and consequences of taking responsibility and recovering from different addictions,” she explains. “‘Bright Lights’ speaks to both the spirituality that pervades all the songs, with us all being ‘light’ at our core, and the hot heat (or bright lights) of being famous and in the public eye, as in the song ‘Celebrity.’”

Morissette, of course, knows a thing or two about that. The Ottawa, Canada, native first rose to international fame in 1995 with her four-time Grammy Award-winning album Jagged Little Pill, which at 16x-platinum remains the best-selling debut release by a female artist in the U.S. and the highest-selling debut album worldwide in music history. She has scored a series of memorable singles off her subsequent studio albums 1998’s Supposed Former Infatuation (which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart and featured the international, Grammy-nominated smash single “Thank U”), 2002’s Under Rug Swept (which also debuted at No. 1), 2004’s So-Called Chaos (featuring the Adult Top 40 mainstay “Everything”), and 2008’s Top 10 Flavors of Entanglement. She has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, seven Grammy Awards (and received an additional 14 Grammy nominations), and won 12 Juno Awards.

Yet despite the accolades, the one thing Morissette has always craved most is connection. “In my teen years, I thought fame would afford me more connection but the opposite wound up being true,” she says. “Instead I became a screen upon which people could project their ideas, and it actually pushed them further away from me, which was devastating. The reason this new album represents such a celebration for me is that I can still exist in the context of popular culture, but I’m also experiencing connection because the climate now allows for it. Whether it’s through social media, Tweeting, or blogging, it’s enabled me to achieve the intimacy with my fans and peers that I’ve always wanted.”

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Concert Announcement: Mary Chapin Carpenter Oct. 5, 2012


Mary Chapin Carpenter’s new album, Ashes and Roses, is out now to widespread critical acclaim (Zoë/Rounder Records). Of the release, USA Todayproclaims, “…exquisite…,” while Parade Magazine asserts, “…showcases some of her most interesting and intimate work yet—nuanced reflections on marriage, memory, and mortality.” In celebration of the release, Carpenter will embark on a North American headlining tour this summer and fall, including dates at Wolf Trap, Ravinia and Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on October 5 with tickets going on sale Friday, August 15 at 10:00 a.m. and available here.  You can also to win a limited edition Hatch Show Print by entering here.

On August 1, the first in a series of fan-generated music videos for Carpenter’s new song, “Soul Companion,” premiered YouTube. Featuring a duet with James Taylor, “Soul Companion” is the first single from the new record. For the making of the video, Carpenter turned to her fans, asking them to submit a photo of themselves and their “soul companion” (human, animal, object, etc). Due to the overwhelming response (over 800 photos were submitted via Instagram and email), Carpenter decided to make a series of “Soul Companion” videos featuring all of the photos received. The remaining videos will premiere throughout the next few weeks.

Recorded in Nashville, the new 13-track album was produced by Carpenter and long-time collaborator Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Keith Urban) and recorded and mixed by Chuck Ainlay (Mark Knopfler, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson). Carpenter was backed by a band that included Rollings (piano, B-3 organ), Russ Kunkel (drums), Duke Levine (electric and acoustic guitar) and Glenn Worf (bass). Of making the record, Carpenter notes, “I was so fortunate to work again with these seminal musicians. Our history of making records together serves us in the most wonderful ways. Getting back into the studio this time felt as exciting as the very first opportunity we had to gather together.”

Mary Chapin Carpenter has recorded 12 albums and has sold over 13 million records. With hits like “Passionate Kisses” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards (with 15 nominations), two CMA awards and two Academy of Country Music awards for her vocals. Her songs speak to the most personal of life’s details and the most universal. Recently, Carpenter was honored with the Americana Association’s esteemed “Spirit of Americana Free Speech in Music Award,” which recognizes artists who have used their work to raise awareness and promote free speech. Past recipients of the award include Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Steve Earle.

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