Ryman Auditorium

In its 130 years standing sentinel in downtown Nashville, the Ryman Auditorium has presented boxing matches, Trigger the horse, presidents and 30 pivotal years of the Grand Ole Opry. Even so, having researched pretty carefully, I can find no previous instance of a Ryman show with no live audience. Songwriter Sturgill Simpson figured out another way to storm into the history books by doing just that last Friday, even as he broke news about his latest passion and pursuit, bluegrass music.

Ed Rode

The first time Ketch Secor and Old Crow Medicine Show played at the Ryman Auditorium, it was early in the morning, a time when the room glows with a holy light and every step on the hardwood floor, every word, reverberates with uncanny clarity. It was the year 2000, and the band of twentysomethings was new to town and a bit dazzled at their own unfolding story.

Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium will usher in the next decade with a residency by acclaimed Americana songwriter Brandi Carlile in the opening weeks of 2020, the artist revealed this week. In a video announcement, Carlile previewed the Ryman run with excitement and reverence, calling it “My favorite venue in the country,” and “A dream come true of mine.”