Vince Gill plays bluegrass on the Opry

Vince Gill grasses up the Opry (5/17/24) – photo © Chris Hollo for the Grand Ole Opry

Vince Gill had a previously scheduled Opry set last Friday evening, and he decided to dedicate it in the memory of the late banjo great, Jim Mills, and pick some grass for the assembled crowd. True fans know that Vince got his start in bluegrass before crossing over to country, and still does bluegrass shows on occasion. When he did, he always called on Jim Mills to play the five.

For Friday’s set, Gill brought on Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Russ Carson on banjo, Jeff White and Jack Schneider on guitar, and Dennis Crouch on bass. Vince played mandolin.

Needless to say, they killed it, and Vince offered a lovely tribute at the beginning when he first came out.

“I had a real desire to play some bluegrass music (tonight). I started as a young bluegrass musician back in the early ’70s. Recently, I lost a really dear friend, banjo player extraordinaire, Jim Mills. I wanted to play some bluegrass music in memory of Jimmy.”

They started with a gospel number, All Prayed Up, followed by the Stanley classic, Think of What You’ve Done, and Bill Monroe’s Rose of Old Kentucky.

Many thanks to Laura Weber White, who shot this video, and Gill’s PR folks, especially Alison Auerbach, for getting it to us.

As always when there’s bluegrass at the Opry, the crowd went wild.

Well done Vince, et al! A wonderful tribute to a great musician and a fine man.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.