When Joshua Hedley moved to Nashville from his native Naples, Florida, with his fiddle in hand, he dreamed of playing the Grand Ole Opry. Earlier this spring, Old Crow Medicine Show member Cory Younts, a longtime friend of Hedley’s, dropped by the WSM studios, the official Opry radio station, to tell Hedley he’d be making his Mother Church debut, an occasion that is chronicled in this new behind-the-scenes mini-documentary.
Hedley opens the video by discussing his love for the one-of-a-kind hiss of vinyl while playing an acoustic version of his song “I Never (Shed a Tear)” inside East Nashville’s Fond Object record shop. Since arriving in Music City, he’s made a name for himself as an old-soul songwriter who, as Younts puts it, channels the rhinestone glamor of Opry greats like Porter Wagoner. Fittingly for the occasion, Hedley hits the stage for the show with his own embroidered suit.
As the story unfolds over the course of seven minutes, Hedley can be seen wandering in awe through the Opry, jamming with Old Crow Medicine Show and contemplating the hallowed circle at the center of the stage, where he emotionally places a photo of his late father during the performance. “Just thinking about everybody who’s stood on those planks of wood, you know. They’re just planks of wood. I’m not a very superstitious person, but there’s definitely a vibe in this circle,” Hedley says. He then plays the title track from his debut LP Mr. Jukebox, released the same day as his Opry debut.
Hedley is currently touring overseas, with his next stop July 19th at Leadbelly in Newtown, New South Wales, Australia.