Little Big Town Announce Six-Show 2017 Ryman Auditorium Residency
Little Big Town are taking up residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The country quartet, made up of Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook, announced at a press conference on Tuesday (Nov. 1) that they will begin their Little Big Town at the Mother Church residency in early 2017.
LBT’s six-show residency at the Ryman will kick off on Feb. 24, 2017, to coincide with the 2017 Country Radio Seminar. Additional shows are scheduled for Feb. 25, May 19, May 20, Sept. 15 and Sept. 16.
“We’ve been planning this for probably a year, I guess,” Fairchild shared with The Boot and other media members the press conference. “All the dreams of what these nights could be, reminiscing about our first play here in 2005 and what it felt like to be on the stage, and then moving ahead and wanting to share some of that inspiration with the world and knowing that we get to focus and be home and really reflect on the great songs that have been sung on this stage, paying homage to that, asking our friends to collaborate with us.
Adds Schlapman, “I remember the first time we were out on this stage, and how nervous and how exciting it was, because we heard about this place all of our lives. So it’s going to be incredibly special to be here … For generations, it’s been so special to people.”
During the press conference, Fairchild promised that she and her bandmates will be joined at each show by “a lot of special guests, from all genres” for collaborations. According to a press release, Little Big Town will be joined by Brent Cobb at their first Ryman show, and Ashley Monroe at their second.
“We’ll be inviting some people who have inspired us through our career to be special guests every night,” Fairchild promises. “And also, to introduce what we think are the future artists of country music, and also introduce you guys to maybe some new folks that we think are maybe going to change the course of country music.”
Continues Sweet, “This is wide open. We’ve always been a band of collaborations, so it’s like, who can we bring in? And I think the exciting thing is, it will be from all genres, friends we’ve made over the years. You never know who’s going to pop up here, but that’s definitely an exciting part about it, just being free to do whatever.”
Little Big Town are the first act to ever be booked for a residency at the Ryman Auditorium — an accomplishment that they cite as among their greatest.
“I got very emotional thinking about it just on the way in this morning,” Westbrook admits. “I think it’s such an honor. We feel so incredibly honored to be able to represent whatever that is. We hope to do right by all this reverence.”
Remarks Schlapman, “Probably the greatest thing that’s ever happened to this band is being members of the Grand Ole Opry, and this goes hand in hand with that honor, to do the first residency. Places like the Ryman and the Opry, it’s just a chance for us to be a part of American history.”
Continues Westbrook, “As musicians, there is no better feeling in the world than playing on the stage at the Ryman. To be given the opportunity to headline their first residency means so much to us as a band, and we promise to make each night as memorable for the fans as possible.”
Tickets for LBT’s six Ryman shows will go on sale on Friday (Nov. 4); all tickets will include a copy of the band’s upcoming new album, The Breaker, also announced at the press conference and set for release on Feb. 24. More information can be found at Ryman.com.