The Ryman Auditorium received its yearly dose of Craig Wiseman’s eccentric personality yesterday evening (6/5) at the 8th Annual Stars For Second Harvest benefit concert.
Wiseman whisked across the stage wearing a trademark big and loud shirt with a sparkly serpent. After a prayer from his minister wife K.K. Wiseman and an introduction by figure skater Scott Hamilton, Wiseman was joined for a starter round with Vince Gill and Dallas Davidson.
The round included the songwriters’ hits “Summertime,” “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” and “Look at Us.” Wiseman clarified for the audience, “This is a songwriter round, if we sing it, we wrote it.”
After the opening round, the evening came to life. Songwriters seemed to be cast out to the stage in no particular order. The audience did not seem to mind, especially as Chris Tompkins joined Wiseman for the Chris Young hit “Voices.”
Tompkins branched off on his own to perform “Before He Cheats,” which Wiseman jokingly speculated allowed Tompkins to build a Carrie Underwood commemorative hot tub in his backyard. The audience excitedly sang along.
Rhett Akins then joined his Peach Pickers band mate Dallas Davidson, delivering a medley of Akins’ “Honey Bee” and “That Ain’t My Truck.”
Rodney Clawson partnered with Tompkins for his recent No. 1 “Drunk on You,” and “I Saw God Today.”
Wiseman invited Gill back out to perform his, “Bread and Water,” which he wrote with his brother in mind and dedicated to the evening’s mission. Wiseman then auctioned a few signed items to the crowd, with one signed concert poster bringing $1,000.
The audience gave a warm reception for newcomers Florida Georgia Line. The duo, comprised of Georgia’s Tyler Hubbard and Florida’s Brian Kelley, recently released a new EP, It’z Just What We Do on Big Loud Mountain, a partnership between Wiseman, Joey Moi, and Kevin “Chief” Zaruk. The band performed two songs from the release with “Cruise” and “Tip It Back.”
Jake Owen rounded-off the night fresh from his opening run on the Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney Brothers of the Sun arena tour. The “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” singer mentioned his parents and newlywed wife were watching from the wings as he sung “Journey of Your Life,” “Alone With You,” and “Heaven.”
Thanks to a sponsorship from O’Charley’s restaurants, 100% of tickets, auctioned items and merchandise went toward benefiting the food bank. According to Wiseman, each dollar raised could provide four meals to be served by Second Harvest.
We’re hoping nobody from the Ryman went to bed hungry, at least from a lack of good songwriting.
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