The Peach PickersPhoto Credits: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Georgia Music Foundation

Written by: Mariah Crom

The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN was full of Georgia’s best Tuesday night (6/26) for ’The 5th Annual Georgia On My Mind’. Presented by Gretsch, the benefit concert was hosted by The Peach Pickers, Ben Hayslip, Dallas Davidson, and Rhett Atkins with the always charismatic SiriusXM’s Storme Warren as emcee.


The night kicked off with an appearance by the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, and Georgia First Lady, Sandra Deal, with an exciting lineup of performances following.


Travis Denning had the audience smiling and fondly reminiscing about their young and wild days with his performance of ‘David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs’, a song that highlights the nerves and innocent excitement of using a fake ID while still underage. According to Denning, the lyrics are “99% a true story.”


Sugarland’s Kristian Bush had the entire crowd singing along with his version of ‘Baby Girl’, a touching song for a city full of dreamers, while John Berry celebrated his 30th Wedding Anniversary performing a duo side by side with wife, Robbin Berry, of ‘Your Love Amazes Me’.


Coming straight over from a show at the Grand Ole Opry, Chris Janson turned the room into a party with ‘Redneck Life’. Being a man of many talents, his high energy dancing and rocking harmonica skills were equally as entertaining as his singing (And that’s saying a lot!)

Other dynamic performances included Pat Alger, Tony Arata, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Trea Landon, Dustin Lynch, and Micheal Ray, who Storme Warren was sure to apologize for, stating “Girls, I’m sorry he’s that ugly. That must have been torture to look at!”.

Charles Kelley Dallas Davidson

The multitalented Peach Pickers also performed several of their songwriting hits including ‘Dirt On My Boots’ by John Pardi and ‘Play It Again’ by Luke Bryan.


Some exceptionally special moments of the evening were the presentations of the Georgia Music Foundation Flamekeeper Awards. The first awards were given to Pat Alger and Tony Arata, while the final posthumous award was presented by Governor Deal, the 2017 Flamekeeper Award Winner, to Daryl Singletary, who passed away on Feb. 12th, 2018 at age 46 in his Lebanon, TN home. The governor was joined onstage by Singletary’s wife, Holly Singletary, and their adorable twin seven-year-old sons, Mercer and Jonah, dressed in cowboy boots and hats, who accepted the award on his behalf.


Title sponsors for the evening, Fred, and Dinah Gretsch presented a check for $50,000 to the Georgia Music Foundation, to advance grants to cultural and music education programs in the state. The Foundation, which was established in 1994, has distributed more than $300,000 in funding to deserving music education, preservation, and outreach programs in the past four years from “Georgia On My Mind” proceeds.