Mike’s Music Lists: Jason Isbell at the Ryman Auditorium


The wheels were set in motion back on June 11, 2013. The crowd for Jason Isbell’s Grimeys in-store appearance were told that our newest local Americana hero would be making his headlining Ryman debut on August 17. Little did we know back then that this would mark what looks to be an ever-expanding annual event.

Following that single show in 2013 at the tail end of his Southeastern tour, Jason and the 400 Unit returned in 2014 for a three-night run. The ante was then upped in 2015 to an incredible four nights! All of these shows sold out in a matter of minutes, and as expected, each night was different.

I will begin here documenting Jason’s Ryman shows with the hopeful anticipation that it will require an annual update. Despite his ever-rising star, Jason’s love for this venue may keep him playing multiple nights there as opposed to moving up in size to the Bridgestone Arena. However, this could prove unavoidable as his populatity continues to grow. OK, so on with the facts and figures.

First a recap of the dates and Jason’s hand-picked opening acts.

Opening Acts

Playing at the Ryman also usually means the selling of a special limited edition Hatch Show Print. Here are the prints for the Jason Ryman runs.




Next are the songs he played. The color coding sorts them into covers, Drive-By Truckers songs and those from the Southeastern and Something More Than Free records. In case you don’t notice, 2014 included an album night for Southeastern and 2015 had one for Something More Than Free.


Just to flush things out, Jason has also been on the Ryman stage at least seven other times: three at the Americana Music Awards (where he also took home trophies every night), twice joining his pal Ryan Adams and twice as a part of the Grand Ole Opry.

Several times a year, the Opry leaves its newer facility to return home to the Ryman where it once had its most historic tenure. Jason first backed up his wife Amanda in 2014 (which you can watch here). They then returned a year later, this time with each performing separate sets accompanied by the other. For Jason the night was historic since it marked his headlining debut at the Opry. (Note that the Opry runs two shows at each performance, and the individual artists’ sets are brief.)


Ryan Adams


Enjoy and see you next October!

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