Feb 16, 2023 - Things to Do

The Ryman celebrates rock history with series of shows

The Ryman

Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

A first-of-its-kind concert celebrating the Ryman Auditorium's place in rock 'n' roll history is less than two weeks away.

  • "Rock the Ryman" will explore the intersections of country and rock. Little Big Town was just announced as a performer for the March 1 show, which will also feature The War & Treaty, Gavin DeGraw, The Cadillac Three and Caitlyn Smith.

Why it matters: The event is part of a wide-ranging partnership between the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Ryman. Each act will perform covers of a Hall of Fame inductee who shaped their music.

Zoom out: The 130-year-old venue's place in country and bluegrass music history is obvious. But officials have launched a multiyear partnership that makes the case that the Music City gem has been a significant touchstone across genre boundaries.

  • The Ryman is one of a dozen locations nationwide named a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. (Other honorees include Austin City Limits and Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles.)
  • The venue opened an exhibit in November that shows how many artists played the Ryman as they grew into rock legends. The Tennessean reports that the exhibit includes one of James Brown's sparkling stage suits and a kimono that belonged to the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.

What they're saying: "More than 100 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees have performed on the Ryman's hallowed stage throughout its 130-year history," Greg Harris, Hall of Fame president and CEO, said in a statement.

  • "We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Ryman by bringing together artists and fans for one incredible night to experience the power of rock 'n' roll through some of Nashville’s great talent."

The intrigue: Hall-of-Famers Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, Blondie and Stevie Wonder have taken the Ryman stage.

  • Bonnie Raitt said the stage "holds a special place in my heart as I'm able to perform live with many of the incredible Nashville songwriters in the audience whose work has enriched my life and music."

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Nashville.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Nashville stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Nashville.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more