Less than two months removed from the release of his debut record Yellow Peril, Northern Kentucky-based country bluesman Nat Myers stepped into the famous circle to make his Grand Ole Opry debut on Friday night.
Taking the stage following performances from Dailey & Vincent and Lindsay Ell, Myers performed the title track from his new album, along with '75-71', from his Dan Auerbach produced project.
According to Myers, his nerves were spiked leading up to the show, but once he stepped out on stage and began singing, they quickly faded away.
“When I walked out, I was just telling myself that this is the biggest dive bar I’ve ever played in,” Myers tells Holler. “I love a lot of the musicians that have come through the Opry, but I never thought I’d be on their radar to play here too. It was a reassuring reminder that I belong here and am on the right track”.
For Myers, one of his biggest moments of the night didn’t even happen on stage, but rather in his dressing room. It was there that Vince Gill —who closed out Friday’s show one day removed from his 32nd anniversary as an Opry member — came to congratulate him on his debut pre-show. The undertaking was one that he reflected on from the Opry stage in a post-show interview with host Charlie Mattos, who mentioned how Gill was watching Myers’ two songs intently from the side stage.
Another sentimental moment came during a walk backstage, where he observed plaques and other displays commemorating past Opry performers who Myers admires; artists like Jontavious Willis, Amethyst Kiah and Allison Russell. Digesting that history and finding himself within it ultimately aided in Myers shaking his nerves, in turn delivering one of his most polished and profound performances to date.
“A lot of people look at the Opry as this house on a hill, but a lot of people also look at it like the fog of battle”, says Myers. “From my experience, everyone behind the scenes has been incredibly open and welcoming. It reminds me of Willi Carlisle’s song ‘Your Heart’s A Big Tent’. You’ve got to let everybody in, and they’re doing just that".
The appearance marked Myers last show of the month, the bluesman getting back on the road in September for shows in California and Nashville’s Americanafest before a run of shows with the aforementioned Watson in Australia and New Zealand.
Nat Myers - Setlist
Taken from his debut appearance at the Grand Ole Opry on Friday August 11, 2023
For more from the Grand Ole Opry, see below: