Old Crow Medicine Show was formally inducted into the Grand Ole Opry this evening by Opry members Dierks Bentley and Marty Stuart. Among the award-winning group’s first performances in Nashville were on the sidewalks outside the Opry House in Summer 2000, playing for fans entering and exiting Opry performances. The band graduated to the Opry stage for its official Opry debut on Jan. 13, 2001, quickly became a fan favorite during dozens of Opry performances since, and was invited by Stuart to join the Opry on Aug. 16 in Cleveland, Ohio. Just before show time, the band reprised its Opry Plaza performances from more than a dozen years ago, walking outside the Opry House and playing tunes including “Brave Boys” and “Hesitation Blues” for surprised fans waiting outside for the evening’s Opry show. On stage later in the night, Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher and Opry members Dierks Bentley and Stuart took the stage alongside Old Crow Medicine Show, presenting the group with its Opry member award. “Congratulations, Old Crow, on being a part of the coolest club there is,” Bentley said. Addressing the band, Stuart added, “You offer a whole new energy and love for country music in the 21st century.” Speaking on behalf of the group, Ketch Secor related that years ago members of the band asked themselves if they’d ever make it big in TV. Secor recalled having said, “I don’t know about TV, but we might make something of ourselves on radio.” Fast forwarding to tonight’s show, Secor concluded, “We’re standing out here on the most beloved broadcast anywhere on earth. I think we made it big on radio! … We the Old Crows are just so proud to be entrusted to carry on the traditions of the Grand Ole Opry’s good-natured riot.” After tearing into the band’s signature “Wagon Wheel,” the group invited fellow Opry members Bentley, Stuart, Connie Smith, and the Del McCoury Band to join them on the standards “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I Saw The Light.” “Old Crow has over the years become a favorite of Opry audiences and everyone backstage, as well,” said Fisher. “It’s fun for so many of us that in many ways Old Crow looks and sounds a lot like some of the great early Opry bands like Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys—bands which helped propel the Opry to national prominence. Tonight represents a great full circle, and as the great Jimmy Dickens says, ‘The circle can’t be broken.’” After the induction, the group added a plaque bearing its name to the Opry Member Gallery backstage at the Opry House. Old Crow Medicine Show is scheduled to perform concerts on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 at the Ryman Auditorium. Tickets will go on sale Sept. 27 at 10:00 a.m.
Old Crow Medicine Show, Spring Creek , and Julianne Hough round out my list of artists to keep an eye on in 2009! Old Crow Medicine Show may be old news to the internet savvy and independantly aware, but mainstream country music is going to get a wake up call by these guys in 2009. With a stream of late-night network televesion appearances and name-dropping country music star recommendations, Old Crow can certainly count on Tennesse Pusher pushing them to the headlines of country music news in the next year. You can catch OCMS on Conan O’BrienTuesday Dec 23rd, or on 3 special appearances in the Dave Matthews Band tour this coming spring. Spring Creek is currently in a Denver studio recording their third album, to be released on Rebel Records in spring of 2009. Their obvious bluegrass roots combined with their highly energetic contemporary sound gives them a sharp edge that helps them stand out against a crowd. While it’s questionable whether this is enough to pull them into mainstream news ahead of acts like Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney, it certainly adds a fresh touch of true country bluegrass sound that has been missing from radio for far too long. Julianne Hough was already turning heads as a leading personality on Dancing With The Stars, but the next year will have Julianne fans turning up thevolume as she prepares her follow-up to “That Song In My Head”. Julianne Hough will also spend much of the year on the road appearing in concerts and festivals such as January’s Sound & Speed as well as opening on George Strait’s concert tour over summer.Country Music Photo Gallery