Country News

Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks treated people to a night of music live from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night (5/2); of course, they performed to an empty venue. The Opry members were the only ones on the bill as The Opry marked its 4922nd consecutive weekly performance – a run of more than 90 years.

After leading off with the George Jones-Tammy Wynette classic “Golden Ring,” they saluted more of their heroes – during the hour, Brooks sang songs by Merle Haggard (“Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down”), George Strait (“Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind”), Randy Travis (“I Told You So”) and Keith Whitley (“Ten Feet Away”), while Yearwood covered Emmylou Harris (“Two More Bottles of Wine”), Jeanne Pruett (“Satin Sheets”) and Patsy Cline (“Sweet Dreams”).

Brooks also sang Gene Watson’s “14 Carat Mind” and John Anderson’s “1959.” He drew from his own catalog for “The River,” “That Summer” and “Two of a Kind (Workin’ On a Full House)” and Yearwood performed her own “She’s In Love With the Boy” and “Walkaway Joe.”

Highlights also included Yearwood paying tribute to the late John Prine (who recently passed from coronavirus complications) with “Angel From Montgomery” their duet “Whiskey to Wine” (from Brooks’ Gunslinger album)” and Brooks’ cover of Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love.”

The couple ended the hour with a perfect pair – he sang “The Dance,” and she followed with an acapella version of Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams.”

Brooks said, “It’s funny, you know…sittin’ here playing in this empty house…all you gotta do is look up, though, and you see from all those times you played it before those faces. I know. Those smiles.” Trisha added, “We miss you. But you are here, which is cool.” Brooks then said, “You are here with us and we are together apart and apart together.”

Before and during the show, the couple reflected on The Opry’s resilience and enduring resonance in the world of music, recalling how a decade ago the venerable institution kept its unbroken decades-long run of weekly shows intact even as the Opry House itself was underwater when Nashville was impacted by historic flooding. “The Opry just keeps going on and on,” Yearwood noted, with Brooks adding, “And it always will.”