Arty Hill has created his own honky tonk utopia in Baltimore. But to get there he had to go back in time and observe that sacred moment in country music, shortly after the big bang, when the planets fell into orbit and the prodigal son assumed his position at the center of the universe: a Saturday night in Nashville, 1951, with “Old Bones” Hank Williams presiding over his hillbilly acolytes at the mother church of country music, The Grand Ol’ Opry.
The experience must have left an impression on Hill, who works his own magic throughout this new live set. At heart, Hill has always been an alchemist; carefully refining golden melodies while looking for that timeless element Hank held so simply. “Church on Saturday Night” is his finest all-around recording. A handful of his best songs and one new one (“Edinburgh Cowboy”) are joyfully hammered out by an exemplary band that understands the laws of country and how to work with them. The half dozen other songs would raise the roof of the Ryman if he were being introduced by Red Foley.
1st Show at 7:30 p.m
2nd Show at 9:30 p.m.