The Ryman Auditorium holds a special place in Drew Holcomb's heart: It's where he and his wife Ellie had their first date.

Holcomb and Ellie met at University of Tennessee -- Knoxville and were friends for "a long time" before they finally went out on a date. The two have been married for more than a decade now, but way back when, the Americana artist and his future bride spent their first night out together as more than friends at a Patty Griffin concert at the Ryman. They clicked pretty quickly, too: In the video above, Holcomb recalls how they joked on the way in, before taking their seats up in a corner of the balcony.

"She laughed, I laughed, and it was like, 'Okay, this is gonna be good,'" Holcomb remembers -- and the rest is history.

For Holcomb, who plays "earnest, unironic, unapologetic, emotional rock 'n' roll" with his band, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, the Ryman Auditorium "has a lot of magic." He still remembers, just a few years ago, dreaming of the opportunity to perform on the hallowed stage.

"I don't even know how to describe the Ryman," Holcomb, a Memphis, Tenn., native says. "It's the Ryman."

Holcomb and the Neighbors headlined their first Ryman shows in February of 2015; prior to that, Holcomb had been asked to perform.at the Ryman as a special guest during other artists' shows -- but he always turned it down. He says he wanted his first time performing there to be his band's own show.

In February of this year, shortly before releasing their newest album, Souvenir, Holcomb and the Neighbors returned to the Ryman for two back-to-back concerts. Souvenir was recorded in East Nashville and produced by Joe Pisapia and Ian Fitchuk, who also produced the group's 2015 album Medicine.

Souvenir is available for purchase via iTunes. Visit DrewHolcomb.com for more information on the band and upcoming tour dates.

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