I shared a post yesterday on Facebook about my husband and son being invited to play on The Grand Ole Opry in several weeks. I have been asked several times how we came to know Carson Peters and how Ben and Eric came to be part of the band that was invited to play on stage in Nashville.So, here it goes.
Three years ago, this month, a nine year old fiddler walked around Felts Park in Galax Virginia searching for young musicians to form a band to compete in Youth Band competition. That fiddle playing nine year old was Carson Peters. Carson, Ben, and three other boys walked on stage less than 12 hours later and took 1st place. Carson couldn't stick around because he had somewhere to be, an interview with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show.
We didn't spend a great amount of time with Carson and his family that year but enough to know that he, his dad, Jamie, and mom, Robin were people that we liked. The next year, same time, same place, the same boys pulled off another first place win. Our families spent more time together, enjoyed each others' company, and bonded over the mutual love of music that our boys like to play. We live in North Carolina. Carson lives in Tennessee. Eric and Ben had their own band. Carson had his own band.There weren't many opportunities , but every once in a while, the boys would have an opportunity to play together.
Last year, for the third year in a row, Ben, Carson, and another boy from the original 5, Austin Tate, joined with two others and took home another first place win. While in town, Eric would join in at times and play banjo. The sound was good and almost effortless. They are all truly talented musicians. Since last summer, when there were times that two of Carson's band member's couldn't make it to a show, Eric, Ben, and Austin would fill in
Several weeks ago, Jamie asked Eric if he could possibly be free to play on August 12th. Coincidentally, August 12th is during the Galax Fiddler's Convention, when Eric and Ben spend many hours every second weekend in August every year. Not knowing any details, Eric happily said yes. It wasn't until days later that we knew the "gig" Jamie was talking about was the Opry. Carson first played on the Opry at age 10 so this isn't his first or even second time. For us, this is a BIG STINKIN DEAL !
Eric and Ben love to play music. It's their thing, it's just what they do. I know I am biased, but they are very good at what they do. I am sure that neither of them ever thought that this opportunity would present itself. Both of them have respected that Carson had his own band and they stay busy with theirs. Nonetheless, here we are. In less than 2 weeks, we are traveling to Nashville with a family that we have grown to love and my two boys get to perform on a stage where legends have stood. Excited doesn't begin to cover it. We are Opry bound !