Here is the Grand Ole Opry line-up for this weekend, April 17th and 18th.
Friday April 17:
7:00: Mike Snider(host); Jeannie Seely; Dean Brody
7:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Darius Rucker
8:00: Riders In The Sky(host); Jessie McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Sons Of The Pioneers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs(host); Jimmy C. Newman; The Whites
Looks like an ok line-up. You have the legends, several groups featuring western music; some bluegrass; and new talent. Darius Rucker is starting out strong with his solo career in country music and he has appeared on the Opry several times. Also, I have heard that Jesse McReynolds is working on a new CD featuring music by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. That should be interesting. And, its nice to see the Sons Of The Pioneers making a visit to the Opry.
Saturday April 18:
7:00: Jimmy Dickens; Connie Smith
7:30: Mike Snider; Jeannie Seely
8:00: Ricky Skaggs(host); Jimmy C. Newman; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Steve Warnier; Rascal Flatts
9:30: Jimmy Dickens; Connie Smith
10:00: Mike Snider; Jack Greene
10:30: Ricky Skaggs(host); Jan Howard; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Steve Warnier; Rascal Flatts
After I received the email with the line-up on Tuesday evening, I kept checking and waiting for an email updating the line-up, as the Opry has recently become famous for putting out a line-up early in the week and then adding to it. Apparently, this is it. 9 artists for each show. I cannot believe that they could not fine more talent, either with Opry members or guests, to fill out and make this a traditional line-up. I would guess, except for the segment with Ricky Skaggs, that they are going to follow the Tuesday night format and give each artist 15 minutes. They did this on the Saturday night 2nd show over Valentine's Day weekend, so I don't know if they are experimenting with this or if they are thinking about going to this format. Regarding the shows on Saturday night, Rascal Flatts is definitely the headliner and should draw some fans into the house. Nice to see Steve Warnier making an appearance. He is working on a new album featuring Chet Atkins music. One final thought: this is the chance that you take when you buy a ticket to the Opry. Last weekend, they had Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Martina McBride, Rhonda Vincent, Jo Dee Messina, among others, with 15 artists per show. This weekend, a much smaller line-up, and while it does have star power, not nearly as much as last week. That is one of the gambles that you take when you buy an advance ticket to the Opry. The one good thing with the 2 artists per segment format is that you get more music from each performer.