Last summer, upstart bluegrass singer-guitarist Billy Strings received an enthusiastic standing ovation when he warmed up the audience for the Del McCoury Band at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The performance was part of the annual “Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman” series and Strings, along with his father, ended up returning to the stage with McCoury himself later in the night.
“That was a huge moment for [my dad], as well as me — a full circle thing,” Strings, who is working on the follow-up to his album Turmoil & Tinfoil, told Rolling Stone earlier this month. “He taught me about this music, and now I get to take him to the actual places where it was done.”
This year, the buzzed-about picker with the quirky nickname will get the honor of kicking off the Ryman’s annual bluegrass run. He joins the Asheville, North Carolina-based Steep Canyon Rangers on June 20th, the first of six bluegrass Thursday nights at the hallowed Nashville venue.
Running through August 1st, the series will also feature the Earls of Leicester supergroup, Grand Ole Opry members Dailey & Vincent, multi-tasker Vince Gill, and recent Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Prior to each show, an outdoors “Pickin’ on the Plaza” concert spotlights local musicians to be announced later.
Here’s the full lineup for the Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman 2019 Lineup:
June 20 – Billy Strings and Steep Canyon Rangers
June 27 – To Be Announced
July 11 – The Earls of Leicester
July 18 – Dailey & Vincent
July 25 – Vince Gill
August 1 – Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder