In order to tell you about Dave Barnes, there are a few things I need to get out of the way first: He sells a lot of records. He fills a lot of venues. He has gained prominence not only from the evangelism of self-proclaimed fans like John Mayer and Amy Grant, but also by writing songs for and with Marc Broussard, Bethany Dillon, Bebo Norman, Josh Hoge, Ed Cash and Matt Wertz. Impressed yet? You should be. Those are astounding accomplishments for sure. But here's the thing about Dave that has always struck me as being so unique and intriguing: not only is he the single funniest guy I know, he somehow manages to be one of the wisest as well. While most funny people are known for steering clear of anything below surface level, Dave has a natural balance of wit and depth, and he always delivers both in such a way that I want to beg him to keep talking. That's why Dave's new album, Chasing Mississippi, strikes me as being so true to his person. Whenever I listen to it, Dave is suddenly there, telling me stories that make me smile and laugh and dance. He's telling me the story that we always wondered about—the one about meeting and falling in love with his new wife, and his tone is as diverse as his personality: a bold pattern woven with delicate thread. Although his first two albums (the Three, Then Four EP and Brother, Bring the Sun) made him an indie phenomenon, achievement hasn't changed the fabric of his character a bit. He's still the guy I call for solid advice, the guy who will spend a Saturday helping a friend move, and the guy who I fully expect to replace David Letterman someday. He's easy to be around and impossible to grow tired of, and that's why the entire company of his fans and friends rallies around his successes, happy to see his hard work coming to fruition. There was a night not long ago when all of this played out perfectly. It was the album release show for Chasing Mississippi, and Nashville's Exit/In had sold out of tickets weeks in advance. During the final song, Dave's friends and contemporaries joined him on his version of "Easy" by The Commodores. As Broussard, Hoge, and Wertz all took the stage, dancing and laughing, Dave traded his guitar for the drum set. The audience roared. It was a party. I am certain that this is where he is the most complete version of himself—surrounded by the deep roots of his friendships, celebrating. It is where both sides of his personality come together to create the kind of potent moments that build a legacy. -Tara Leigh Cobble
Want to make your night at the Ryman an iconic one? Snag a spot in our new and improved Ford Lounge. Hang out in our recently-expanded private space, grab some food and a top-shelf drink from the open bar, and take home a commemorative Hatch Show Print Poster.
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Ryman Auditorium, located at 116 Rep. John Lewis Way North, in Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the most celebrated venues in modern music. Built in 1892, the historic 2,362-seat live performance venue is the most famous former home of the Grand Ole Opry and is revered by artists and music fans for its world-class acoustics. A bucket list moment for both fans and artists alike, her iconic stage has hosted performers from across genres, such as Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Harry Styles, Wu-Tang Clan, Lizzo, and thousands more. While offering a diverse lineup and thriving concert schedule with over 200 shows per year, the venue is also open for daytime tours year-round. Along with best-in-class production technologies and livestream capabilities, the Ryman has been named Pollstar’s Theater of the Year for 13 years through 2021.
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