How did it come about that you ended up playing on the Grand Ole Opry this past Saturday?
Starting in January, I have been playing for and touring with a band called the Lovell Sisters, based in Calhoun, Ga. We found out about a month ago that the Opry would like to have us on. It’s been kind of a dream year, because we also got to play my first Merlefest, my first Bonnaroo, and we got to go up to Winnepeg, Canada, and have dinner with and open for Elvis Costello. I can cross all that off my Bucket List.
How long have you known about the Opry?
Wow. The honest answer to that is ever since I can remember knowing anything about anything.
Do you have any Opry idols?
Absolutely. I’m a huge fan of Little Jimmy Dickens. He was supposed to introduce us but he was sick that night and had to cancel. Dolly Parton. Minnie Pearl. Needless to say Johnny Cash. George Jones. Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss.
Did you get any sleep the night before?
Yes, because we did a televised Good Morning Tennessee in Nashville at 6:30 a.m. the day before.
Do the lights make you sweat?
I don’t remember. It all passed in a whirl. Usually I’m sweating because I play an eight-foot-tall instrument.
Did the crowd like any particular song?
We started with “Folsom Prison Blues,” as a tribute. The second song we did, “Time to Grow,” has a Celtic instrumental at the end—kind of a breakdown—and they really loved that.
Think you’ll ever be back as a solo artist?
I’m a bassist first, so that’s hard to say. But I hope I’ll get to go back, with the Lovell Sisters of course but also other groups I play with like Mountain Soul and Brendan James Wright and the Wrongs.