For traditional music fans, it simply wouldn’t be summer without the Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman shows. For the past couple of decades, Nashville’s historic music showplace has hosted the bluegrass-themed summertime series, featuring the best the genre has to offer.
Certainly in that elite conversation is the duo of Dailey & Vincent, comprised of Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent. In their 10 years together, the vocalists and multi-instrumentalists have racked up 14 International Bluegrass Music Association awards and earned three Grammy nominations. Fans especially flock to the duo for its soaring harmonies that evoke strong and wistful memories of the Louvin Brothers and other bluegrass giants.
Dailey & Vincent will perform on the Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman stage, Thurs., July 13. For guitarist/vocalist Jamie Dailey, playing the legendary venue always marks a musical homecoming. “The Ryman is home to us, because that’s where we started as a duo,” he says. “Our first public performance was at the Ryman. Darrin and I love playing the Bluegrass Nights series. It’s just as it is billed, a true night of bluegrass. And I will also give a little shout-out to the Springer Mountain Farms company, which has done a wonderful job in presenting the shows. Anytime Darrin and I are asked to play the Bluegrass Nights, we immediately say yes without any hesitation.”
The Bluegrass Nights gig arrives in the midst of a banner year for the duo. In early March, Dailey & Vincent became the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry on the night of their 101st performance on the Opry’s venerable stage. That same month, they released their latest album “Patriots & Poets,” which has garnered stellar reviews.
“The Opry induction is one of the most emotional things I have ever been part of,” says Dailey with a noticeable catch in his voice. “I can recall every segment of it. I was jittery and felt an emotional tug in my heart. I remember thinking that I cannot believe this is happening.” Just as he began to feel that he had composed himself to some degree, Dailey remembers the water works coming back like an intermittent rainstorm.“I saw my mom and dad and got teared up again,” he says.
“I watched my dad break down in tears and I was overcome by that. My dad grew up listening to the Opry and he and my mom always supported me and my music. Then, Darrin and I go out on stage and Old Crow Medicine Show comes out and [Old Crow vocalist] Ketch Secor goes into this beautiful piece about us. I was standing next to Jeannie Seely, who introduced on our first night at the Opry. It was such a great honor.”
Dailey & Vincent will also be part of an upcoming multi-artist project called “Johnny Cash Forever Words: The Music.” The album takes the poems that Cash was fond of writing and puts them to music. Dailey & Vincent was given one of those poems and charged with composing the music for the words that The Man in Black eloquently wrote. Other artists involved with the collection include Jamey Johnson, Brad Paisley, and the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who completed his part before his tragic death in May.
“About a year ago, John Carter Cash, who is producing the album, asked us to come to his studio,” Dailey recalls. “He showed us these lyrics, or poems I guess you’d call them, that his dad had written through the years and he said that he would give us one of them. We would write the music to it, record it and film it. The one we have is a gospel piece that Johnny had written. It doesn’t get too much better than that,” Dailey adds with a pleased laugh.
Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman features Dailey & Vincent on July 13. Before each concert in the series, fans can enjoy the free Pickin’ on the Plaza show in front of the Ryman at 6 p.m., spotlighting top local and regional bluegrass acts. The series winds up July 27 with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. For more information, visit the official Ryman website.