“I feel like I had a better chance playing on Mars than for an Idaho boy to play at the Grand Ole Opry.”
Colby Acuff, Idaho ’19, was a star in his Grand Ole Opry debut on August 1, 2023. He stepped into the historic Opry circle for the first time on a night that featured Opry House mainstays like Jamey Johnson, Charlie McCoy and Riders in the Sky.
“I’m from northern Idaho so the Opry is not huge in the Northwest,” Acuff told blog and podcast Whiskey Riff, “but that being said, I grew up a huge country music fan my entire life and country music is huge in northern Idaho. So the Opry to me is like playing on a different planet. It’s so far from what I thought I could do or where I was going to go so it’s pretty unreal for me”.
In the country music world, the Grand Ole Opry is the place to perform. It was born from a live radio show broadcasted on WSM Radio in 1925, and soon the Opry House became a staple in country music. People travel from all over the world to visit, and play at, the Grand Ole Opry.
A fourth generation Idaho native, Acuff’s untamed brand stands apart from other artists in today’s country music industry. He proudly describes it as pure and untouched by modern gimmicks, drawing inspiration from the likes of Flatt & Scruggs, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and even modern-maverick Tyler Childers. Growing up, he learned piano at age 5, drums at 9 and guitar at 11, took the stage for the first time at 12 and was even writing songs by 15.
Brother Acuff recently signed with Sony Records Nashville with more new music on the horizon. Western White Pines, his fourth and most recent album, was fully released in June.