The Grand Ole Opry has announced a new artist development initiative, Opry NextStage, that will support four up-and-coming country talents over the course of a full year. The artists to be featured are Mercury’s Travis Denning, Big Machine’s Riley Green, Sony signing Tenille Townes and Warner Music’s Tegan Marie. You can watch an introductory clip about the venture here:
Opry NextStage comes on the heels of the popular My Opry Debut series, and kicks off with performances by each of the four singers on the Opry during December. The famous show, still broadcast weekly on WSM as America’s longest-running radio programme, will relocate temporarily next month to make way for the Opry House’s annual Christmas pageant. During this time, the show will come from the Ryman Auditorium, which was its home from 1943 to 1974.
Canadian artist Townes, whose current release is ‘Somebody’s Daughter,’ performs on 7 December, ahead of her January 2019 spot on Dierks Bentley’s Burning Man Tour. Fifteen-year-old Marie, who was recently in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and whose ‘I Know How To Make A Boy Cry’ came out on 1 November, will be there on 8 December.
Green makes his Grand Ole Opry debut on 11 December, with his four-track In A Truck Right Now EP now on release. Denning, whose ‘Red, White & Blue’ track came out in October on Mercury Nashville, follows on the 15th. He scored a top 40 country airplay hit with ‘David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs.’
Opry NextStage will chart the progress of all four artists throughout 2019, offering them live performance opportunities not only at the Opry House but related venues such as Nashville’s Ole Red. There will also be a documentary-style video series on the young talent, online coverage, radio broadcasts and other features. A launch party will take place at Ole Red on 8 January, for which tickets are now on sale.