Though it was certainly not planned, it seems somewhat circular and appropriate that Old Crow Medicine Show would be headlining the Grand Ole Opry lineup on opening day of the Bonnaroo festival a week after the man who gave the event its name died.
Festival organizers took the name from the album "Desitively Bonnaroo" by by Dr. John, the legendary New Orleans- based musician who died of a heart attack last week. It's a Cajun word that essentially means "a really good time."
Old Crow was the first band to perform at the first Bonnaroo, giving it a special place in the heart and soul of frontman Ketch Secor.
"It sure does," he said in an interview for The What Podcast. Hear it at www.thewhatpodcast.com.
"Everybody was stuck in traffic so there wasn't much of a crowd, but we walked out on stage knowing we were sort of outsiders to the jam band crowd."
Secor and Old Crow will host the Grand Ole Opry performance on Thursday afternoon, June 13. It will also feature Ricky Skaggs and Riders In The Sky as well as special guests Steve Earle and The Dukes, Morgan Evans, Ashley Monroe, Molly Tuttle and Wendy Moten.
Secor says bringing the Opry to Bonnaroo for the second year in a row is the perfect way to introduce country music and its stories of the human struggle to the "the angel-haired hipsters of the world."
"Last year was the first year the Grand Ole Opry broadcast remotely since, I want to guess, about 1945, when the Grand Ole Opry went to Carnegie Hall. It's been 75 years since the show left Nashville. That in itself is crazy.
"So, for it to travel 75 miles south down I-24 to go to Bonnaroo is not as much of a geographical leap, but the leap in this case is not the Opry moving uptown to the city, but the Opry moving to the festival and the jam campground and the angel-haired hipsters and the millennial generation and all of the folks for whom Bonnaroo is the ultimate slip-slide."
The festival continues through Sunday around Midnight with Phish headlining. They will do one show on Friday and two on Sunday. Also performing will be Childish Gambino, Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, The Avett Brothers, Griz, Post Malone, The Lonely Island and nearly 80 other acts.
Officials with the festival said while some of the $349 tickets do remain, sales are nearing the 80,000 sold-out mark.
Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.