Show Reviews



Tuesday October 19, 2021

Opry Goes Pink Pre-Show Plaza Party @ Grand Ole Opry Plaza in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

It’s no secret that every pocket of Nashville is full of great music. Whether it’s a songwriter round on a random Tuesday night, a band trying out their new originals during a set in the Music Valley area of town, or an act pulling in the weekend tourists on Lower Broadway with a set of up-tempo covers that they can sing along with, Music City more than earns its nickname day in and day out.

But when you combine one of these stellar acts with the show that made country music famous, then you have what is often referred to as an only in Nashville moment.

The Grand Ole Opry is in the middle of a big month this October (2021). The hallowed circle of the Opry stage has given us plenty of country music moments and memories throughout their 96 years, but this month will mark their 5,000 show! And their month-long celebration with pre-show plaza parties have featured some of the best emerging talent that Nashville has to offer, including Hudson Valley – the group who played the pre-show party ahead of the Opry Goes Pink! night for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The group, led by their dynamic female frontwoman Sarah Owens and rounded out with Richie Owens on drums, Andrew Kosek on bass, and Matt Farinelli on guitar, has made some of Nashville’s most sought-after stages their home since arriving in town in 2018, including with their current weekend slot at Ole Red on Lower Broadway.

In the shadow of the Grand Ole Opry House, the group took over the plaza stage and enticed the party crowd who was getting ready to head through the hallowed doors of the Opry but were stopped in their tracks the moment that Owens incredible voice echoed through the mid-October nighttime sky.

When the group rolled into their covers, they were very smart with their choices and pulled the steadily gathering crowd further into their set. Whereas songs like John Michael Montgomery’s “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” had them dancing on the plaza, their covers of Little Big Town’s “Little White Church” and Lady A’s “Downtown,” both which are Opry members, had everyone singing along with every word and swaying along with the ultra-familiar grooves.

However, as with any set in Nashville, an act is best defined by their original songs, which Hudson Valley perfectly slid into their set at the right moments and used them to showcase the different layers as to who they are as a group; whether it was with the slower paced “Drunk Driving,” or with their set closer “Right Place Now” - the latter which recently earned them their first Top 40 at country radio.

Living in Nashville gives us the awesome opportunity to experience great new music all the time, but with such an oversaturated music scene it takes very specific things for an emerging act to sustain our attention; catchy up-tempo songs that balance against softer paced ones with heartfelt lyrics, a great stage presence that makes the crowd participate and get involved with their show, etc.

Hudson Valley nailed all those specific things that make an artist rise above the pack with their quick 1-hour performance, and most importantly, they left us (and the crowd) clamoring for more! This amazing achievement, amongst all the other traits that they carry with them into their live shows and original music, slide together to make them one of our artists to watch!



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