Bowman, Droze coming to Hall of Fame

Carly Smith, marketing director of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Last month, when the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum and Jagoe Homes debuted "The Nashville Songwriter series" in the lobby of the Hall of Fame, 125 people turned out to hear the music.

"It was near capacity," Carly Smith, marketing director for the Hall of Fame, said this week. "We were quite surprised."

The monthly series returns at 7:30 p.m. Thursday with singer-songwriters Ronnie Bowman and Billy Droze.

Tickets are $15 for tables near the stage and $5 for chair seating, and are available at bluegrasshall.org or by calling 270-926-7891.

Bowman and Droze have both had successful careers as songwriters.

And Bowman has been named male vocalist of the year three times by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

He began his musical journey in a family band that played at churches across North Carolina and Virginia.

In 1988, Bowman joined The Lost & Found, a major bluegrass band at the time.

After two years there, he moved to The Lonesome River Band and remained with the group for 11 years.

Two of the songs Bowman wrote -- "Three Rusty Nails" and "Cold Virginia Night" -- were named song of the year by the IBMA.

He's also written hits for Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney.

And Bowman wrote three songs on Chris Stapleton's multiplatinum album, "Traveller."

The single, "Nobody To Blame," was voted song of the year by the Academy of Country Music.

Droze grew up in Alabama, performing with his father, Bob Droze, from the time he was 4 years old.

After moving to Nashville, he joined Shenandoah, singing lead under the name Billy Ryan.

As a songwriter, Droze has written songs for Darryl Worley, Shenandoah, Billy Yates, Randy Kohrs, Marty Raybon, Junior Sisk, Flatt Lonesome, Jamie O'Neil and The Grascals.

His debut bluegrass album, "To Whom It May Concern," in 2017 included the single "Kentucky Blue," which shot up the charts to No. 1 on the Bluegrass Today charts.

Chris Joslin, executive director of the Hall of Fame, said the songwriter series is part of the Hall's "music with a mission."

"Creating a songwriter series featuring Nashville-based writers in an intimate setting feels very authentic," he said. "One of our objectives is to create unique experiences around the music, so we are transforming our lobby into a café for this series each month enabling people to experience the music up close and personal."

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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