One of the most fulfilling musical experiences I’ve had was on stage at the Ryman Auditorium a few years back. It was the first half of Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God tour, which was performed “in the round” with a bunch of other artists. After we played our song, “Take This Slowly”, it was time to sit down on stage while the other musicians did their thing.
For me, the following 20-30 minutes were magic. Each artist would go up to the microphone and offer their song and craft—something labored over for so long -to an eager audience ready to listen. That audience included me, and I had the best seat in the house.
I remember being literally four feet away from Stuart Duncan (a hero of mine and amazing fiddle player for Goat Rodeo and others), Ron Block (legendary banjo player), and Sierra Hull (maybe the best female mandolinist alive) while they played as a trio, performing licks and runs on their instruments that I could never dream of pulling off.
Artist after artist would go up to the microphone and offer their song. In that short window of time, I felt a camaraderie I’ll never forget. The evening felt “right”. Somehow, at that moment, it wasn’t anybody’s show. It had become everybody’s show, the audience and artists together. That feeling is something I’ve always wanted more of.
Six months ago or so I thought, “What if we did our own tour and brought out our artist friends to play with us in the round like we did on that tour?” Maybe I could get back to that feeling. Maybe the audience could share it too. That’s where the Zion Caravan Tour was born.
I can’t wait for this tour. I want it to be special. It’s a grand experiment in a lot of ways and I hope it’s just the 1.0 of future Zion Caravan Tours to come. I’d love for you to come and be a part of the first one—and of course, our fellow artists, John Mark Pantana, Antoine Bradford, and LOVKN, who I can’t wait for you to hear!
You can purchase tickets here and use the code CARAVAN for $5 off an adult general admission ticket for a limited time! Check out the full tour dates below:
3/22 – Waco, TX
3/23 – Houston, TX
3/24 – San Antonio, TX
3/25 – Austin, TX
3/26 – Dallas, TX
3/29 – Columbus, OH
3/30 – Grand Rapids, MI
3/31 – Chicago, IL
4/1 – Minneapolis, MN
4/2 – Kansas City, MO
4/11 – Nashville, TN
4/12 – Knoxville, TN
4/13 – Atlanta, GA
4/12 – Knoxville, TN
4/14 – Raleigh, NC
Dave Radford is the lead singer of The Gray Havens, a narrative-pop-folk band. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Licia, and two boys, Simon and Noah.