Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium may be the crown jewel of Tennessee music venues, but no live-music space goes as deep as the Caverns in Pelham, just southeast of town. Literally an underground performance venue, the natural cave will host the 13th season of The Caverns Sessions, a live-music PBS series, next year.
The 2024 lineup includes subterranean sets by rootsy soul singer Yola, hardscrabble country band 49 Winchester, and the multilayered Elizabeth Cook. Bluegrass ace Dan Tyminski and his band are also on the bill, along with fellow bluegrasser Lindsay Lou, and the Red Dirt outfit Shane Smith & the Saints. Ozomatli, Big Richard, Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory, Evan Honer, Clay Street Unit, and the Texas Gentleman round out the new season.
All of the performances will be recorded from March 22 through 24 at the Caverns, creating a mini-festival of sorts. Todd Mayo, the Caverns owner and operator, says the new season “presents a dozen amazing artists who we can’t wait to shine a light on inside the darkness of the Caverns.”
In 2021, RS profiled Mayo as one of music’s Future 25 for the way he pivoted during the pandemic to find a new, safer way to host concerts. (He built an above-ground amphitheater and roped off socially distanced sections.)
“You know, the Taj Mahal, Madison Square Garden, and Carnegie Hall, they’ll all be dust. But if there’s human beings on this Earth, they’ll be coming to see music in the Caverns 10,000 years from now,” Mayo said. “It’s not going anywhere.”
Originally known as Bluegrass Underground, The Caverns Sessions is set to premiere next fall on PBS. Tickets for the tapings go on sale Nov. 10 at 10 a.m./CT at the venue’s website.