Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit will return to the Ryman Auditorium for an eight-night residency in October as part of the Ryman’s 130th anniversary celebration. The upcoming slate of shows, which marks the group’s sixth Ryman residency, is set for Oct. 14-16, 18-19, and 21-23.
This year’s residency will feature openers Peter One, Grace Group Gospel Choir, Vagabon, Kevin Kaarl, Leyla McCalla, Isbell’s wife and the 400 Unit member Amanda Shires, Hermanos Gutierrez, and Cimafunk. During Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit’s 2021 Ryman residency, they featured several Black country and Americana artists, including Mickey Guyton, Allison Russell and Brittney Spencer.
The Ryman Auditorium’s first concert, featuring the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, was held May 4, 1892. Captain Thomas Ryman founded the Ryman Auditorium (then known as the Union Gospel Tabernacle) as a church in 1890 after hearing the preaching of Sam Jones during a tent revival in Nashville. After Ryman died in 1904, the building was renamed the Ryman Auditorium.
In 1943, the Grand Ole Opry moved from the War Memorial Auditorium to the Ryman Auditorium. The building served as the Opry’s official home for over 30 years, until the Opry outgrew the venue and relocated to the Grand Ole Opry House complex in 1974. The Ryman is also the birthplace of bluegrass music; in 1945, Earl Scruggs debuted with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, making for a lineup that would serve as the archetype of the bluegrass sound. The lineup included Monroe on mandolin, Scruggs on banjo, Lester Flatt on guitar, Chubby Wise on fiddle and Howard Watts on bass.
The Ryman Auditorium, which today can seat 2,362 people, hosted everyone from magician Harry Houdini, actor Charlie Chaplin, former president Theodore Roosevelt, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and an array of musicians including Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, and Harry Styles.
Tickets for the residency will go on sale Friday, June 24, at 10 a.m. CT at ryman.com.