Last month, Grand Ole Opry members Little Big Town invited “Peter Pan” singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini to join the prestigious cast of America’s longest-running live radio show. On April 16th, with fellow Opry member Carrie Underwood doing the honors, Ballerini was officially welcomed into the Opry family. Moments later, Ballerini and Underwood shared lead vocals on an emotion-packed performance of “Walkaway Joe,” a hit for Trisha Yearwood in 1993.
Ballerini and Underwood’s impassioned delivery of the devastating tune about the doomed relationship between a naïve, love-struck 17-year-old girl and a nomadic criminal was both a sweet tribute to Yearwood’s original and a reminder of Underwood’s more gentle approach to singing — a side of the superstar performer’s range that has influenced Ballerini and her other contemporaries.
Prior to their duet performance, the pair had a special guest with them in the Opry dressing room as Keith Urban chimed in on harmony during their rehearsal, proving that special moments at the Opry happen both onstage and backstage. Ballerini’s Miss Me More Tour, with guest Brett Young, is currently underway with dates in Florida and Georgia this coming weekend.
This week’s Tuesday night Opry will feature Jimmie Allen, Erin Enderlin, Del McCoury Band, Ricky Skaggs and the Whites, among others.