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Ryman Auditorium Designated a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark
A multi-year partnership between the Ryman Auditorium and the Rock Hall was also announced, including a daytime tour exhibit.

on May 27, 2022 No comments
By Jessica Nicholson

Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, now in its 130th year, is one of country music’s most revered performance spaces. But on Thursday (May 26), the Ryman was honored for its impact on rock ‘n’ roll, when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame designated the Ryman as an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark.

Take Me To Church: The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, opened in May of 1892 as a religious tabernacle.

Since the first Ryman concert, featuring the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, was held on May 4, 1892, numerous entertainers, musicians and speakers have taken the stage at the Ryman, such as magician Harry Houdini, actor Charlie Chaplin, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and musicians including Johnny Cash (who also filmed his television series, The Johnny Cash Show, at the Ryman from 1969-71), Harry Styles, Wu-Tang Clan (who in 2019 became the first hip-hop group to headline a show at the Ryman), Elvis, B.B. King and more.

During a ceremony held at the Ryman, Mark Fioravanti (president of Ryman Hospitality Properties), Greg Harris (president/CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame), Nashville Mayor John Cooper and band Old Dominion gathered to unveil a historic marker to commemorate the milestone.

The Ryman joins 11 other rock ‘n’ roll landmarks throughout the country, including the Austin City Limits studio, King Records, Surf Ballroom, Whisky a Go Go and others.

“It’s spiritual, and it’s one of the reasons she’s called the Mother Church. Like any good mother, she commands respect and makes you feel at home. As Music City and Country Music continue to expand around her, she remains the center of the family,” Old Dominion singer Matthew Ramsey said in a statement. “She’s a beacon and a bucket list experience for us all, creators and fans alike.”

A multi-year partnership between the Ryman Auditorium and the Rock Hall was also announced, including a daytime tour exhibit slated to open at the Ryman later this year, highlighting the more than 100 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees who have performed at the Ryman over the decades.

“The Ryman is one of the most storied music venues in the world. With an unmatched role in popularizing country music — one of the pillars of rock & roll — its legendary stage has hosted performances by a staggering number of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees and continues to do so today,” added Harris via a statement. “We recognize the significance of Ryman Auditorium and are thrilled to designate this iconic venue as a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark.”

There are 351 members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and one of those members, Bonnie Raitt, performed at the Ryman on Thursday evening and paid tribute to the Ryman’s contributions to the history of rock ‘n’ roll music.

Bonnie Raitt - Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN  May 26, 2022
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Bonnie Raitt - Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN  May 26, 2022
Bonnie Raitt - Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN  May 26, 2022

“The Ryman has played an important role not only in the history of Nashville, but in country music and rock & roll as well,” Raitt said via a statement. “This 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. I’m honored to help pay tribute to of one of America’s great rock & roll venues.”

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Source: © Copyright Billboard
See also Ryman Auditorium – ONE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED VENUES IN MODERN MUSIC

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Celebrating Songwriters at the Ryman

on May 15, 2012 No comments

by Lydia Hutchinson

Bonnie Raitt is the Fairy Godmother of songwriters, turning dreams into reality one song at a time. And last Saturday night at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium—where a city of hopeful and accomplished tunesmiths filled the pews of the Mother Church—her magical powers were on full display.

A week into the tour for her flawless new release, Slipstream, Bonnie brought it home to the people she has championed for over 40 years and 19 albums—all the songwriters she claims changed her life. But any writer will tell you the other side of that equation: When Bonnie chooses one of their songs it’s an unequaled validation of their work, and the trajectory of their life is forever changed.

After strolling onto the stage with her Fender strat slung across her chest, Bonnie sprinkled her funky, bluesy, soulful fairy dust all over the new batch of songs, never failing to give a shout-out to the writer before the first note was played. She tore into Randall Bramblett’s “Used to Rule the World,” then sent the album’s single, “Right Down the Line” up to the late, great Gerry Rafferty.  Hit songwriter “Big Al” Anderson, a cult icon from his NRBQ days, weaves in and out of Slipstream with his guitar-playing and songs co-written with Gary Nicholson (“Split Decision”), Bonnie Bramlett (“Ain’t Gonna Let You Go”) and newcomer Bonnie Bishop, to whom Raitt gave a shout-out before delivering the gorgeous “Not ‘Cause I Wanted To.”

Bob Dylan got a nod with “Million Miles” and “Standing in the Doorway” (“…That Bobby Dylan. Yeah, I think he’s gonna make somethin’ of himself.”), as did her ex-husband, Michael O’Keefe, who co-wrote “Marriage Made in Hollywood” with the great Paul Brady. The album’s co-producer, Joe Henry, contributed the bluesy ballad “You Can’t Fail Me Now,” written with Loudon Wainwright III, as well as the breathtaking closing track “God Only Knows.” Nashville’s Gordon Kennedy and Wayne Kirkpatrick (of “Change the World” fame) along with Kelly Price contributed another album highlight, “Take My Love With You.”

Sharing the stage with her family of band mates (guitarist George Marinelli, bassist Hutch Hutchinson, drummer Ricky Fataar and keyboardist Mike Finnegan), Raitt kept it loose, huddling with the guys on several occasions to mess with the set list (“Just talk amongst yourselves” she laughed.) She congratulated Marinelli’s son, Sam, who graduated from Vanderbilt the previous night and then launched into “Down to You,” a song she co-wrote with Marinelli and Bramblett. Afterward she passed the spotlight to Mike Finnegan and his B3 for a lesson in how to serve up R&B with a side of holy hot sauce on his rousing version of Ray Charles’ “I’ve Got News for You.”

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Bonnie Raitt – Right Down The Line (Official Music Video)

In addition to the new tunes, Bonnie delivered favorites like Bonnie Hayes’ “Have a Heart,” “Something to Talk About” (“I had a cassette of Shirley Eikhard’s in a box for a long time waiting to record this song.”), and “Angel From Montgomery” which she dedicated to John Prine and his long-time manager Al Bunetta, as well as to her late mother and grandmother in honor of Mother’s Day (“I can’t talk too much about them because I’ll get choked up”). Her delivery on that classic was absolutely stunning and earned her first of several standing ovations of the night.

The evening’s highlight came with her first encore: the Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin-penned “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Citing it as—along with “Angel From Montgomery”—the biggest gift of her career, she dedicated it to Reid who was in the audience with his son. It was a perfect few minutes, with Bonnie sitting on a stool bathed in lavender light, pitch perfect and hitting all the right notes. The audience was rapt and silent until she drew out the high notes on “and I will give up this fight,” making it all but impossible not to cheer her and this timeless song across the finish line.

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Bonnie Raitt – I Can’t Make You Love Me – 34th Grammy Awards 1992

The night ended with a couple of blazing 12-bar blues shuffles after she called on old friend Rick Vito who hoisted himself onstage to grab a guitar and join her, followed by an impromptu Steve Winwood-penned “Can’t Find My Way Home” —the perfect choice for someone who had so clearly found her way home to the Nashville songwriting community and given it the gift of an unforgettable evening.

After the show Bonnie’s friends gathered upstairs for a quick visit and a few hugs. She happily greeted Songwriting Hall of Fame member Matraca Berg and her husband Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Irish vocalist Maura O’Connell, Pat McLaughlin, Gary Nicholson and Al Bunetta. Mike Reid, after talking about what a moment it was when Bonnie sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” stood with his arm around her and told her it was something he would never, ever get tired of.

Then Raitt saw newcomer Bonnie Bishop hanging back behind everyone else. With a big smile she walked over and hugged her as Bishop told her how much the evening meant, and that she cried throughout the performance of her song. The look on her face was the same one seen on every songwriter’s whose work has been validated by Raitt. Then she introduced Bishop to everyone around, making sure we knew her name—just as she had made sure we knew the names of Maia Sharpe, Liz Rose, Chris Smither, Stephen Bruton, Larry Jon McNally, Paul Brady, Richard Thompson and scores of other songwriters whose songs Raitt has given voice to over the years.

And just like that, Bonnie Raitt sprinkled a little more of her magic onto the life of another songwriter.


Source: © Copyright Performing Songwriter But wait, there's more!

Bonnie Raitt – Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN)
Live Review

on December 8, 2005 No comments
No_Depression-logo
by Barry Mazor

It’s about time.

I mean, sure, it was good to see Bonnie Raitt and her band in town and on this stage, which she referred to as “hallowed ground,” on the face of it. But what I’m reporting is that Raitt’s show itself is now truly about time — and all things passing.

Like Rosanne Cash, a performer more often seen in this setting, Raitt has been grappling with the recent loss of both a famed father named John (musical theater legend John Raitt), as duly noted by the general press, and also, with less public to-do, of a mother dear to her.

New songs selected from her recent R&B (as opposed to blues) oriented Souls Alike album, and songs plucked from a multi-decade catalogue for this tour and this night, clearly had that context in mind. The titles tell the story: “I Don’t Want Anything to Change”, “I Will Not Be Broken”, and the older hit “Nick Of Time”, with its now more poignant talk of parents getting old and seeing you’ve aged too. (She dedicated it to them both.)

Raitt has never seemed more comfortable and free than she is now to take on varied song stylings — from pop balladry, to unmitigated blues and rock, to that new soul sound, and even surprise smatterings of fairly sophisticated jazz singing. Like a few adventures into contemporary hip-hop-influenced funk, the jagged jazz was an admirable challenge to a well-heeled, often settled audience that responded most to her smooth pop hits. It showed up especially in complex numbers written by her sax-playing band member, the singing songwriter Maia Sharp, such as “The Bed I Made”. In Raitt’s hands, this sort of number showed full well the “silver lining” that comes with those passing years.

“This is a song about getting it in middle age!” she noted in introducing the raunchy “Gnawin’ It”, which she wrote herself with bluesman Roy Rogers. “You know what I mean?” And “Women Be Wise”, the comic 1920s Sippie Wallace number Raitt has been singing for decades, was funny and wise-ass as ever — only now, it was slightly shocking to realize, Bonnie has grown into the part, becoming entirely more credible as the teasing voice of womanly experience.

The freedom time has brought her was nowhere evidenced as much in this show — not when she worked keyboards, not in the give-and-take with a polished band, not even in the varied but occasionally by-the-book singing — as when she picked up the blues guitar again, a wealth of experience laying behind the free-flying leads, runs cascading like water.

This show was also intended, in part, as a salute to the musicians and civilians of New Orleans, and there were some numbers and stories skewed in that direction, including a duet with opener Marc Broussard. In his own set, Broussard seemed to go over with the crowd, but he struck me as a rather limited, repetitive shouter.

As happens in Nashville — at least, for certain performers — the audience was loaded with songwriters whose tunes Raitt has interpreted over the years , and who got fond shout-outs from her all through the show. One of these, John Hiatt, joined her onstage for an unrehearsed duo turn on his “Thing Called Love”, which rolled out pretty well, even though Hiatt had to head toward adenoidal, upper Jerry Lewis “Hey, lady!” voice territory to sing in the key Raitt used.

The Ryman was decked out for this occasion in layers of curtains and towers of light-bending mylar, effectively turning the stage into one big lounge. With the accumulated experience, variety and ease Raitt brought to this show, that was just about the way it should be.


Source: © Copyright No Depression

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