Idaho Native Colby Acuff Gets A Surprise Visit From Jamey Johnson Ahead Of Grand Ole Opry Debut: “Go Out There And Make It Yours”

Colby Acuff country music
Whiskey Riff

It’s not every day you are in the audience at the Grand Ole Opry and crowd goes wild when the host asks, “Do we have anyone visiting from Idaho?”

Well Colby Acuff is THE Idaho boy – and when he finally stepped into the historic circle for his Opry debut last night, that’s exactly what happened.

If you don’t know much about Colby, the quick rundown is that he has been releasing music for years, recently just signed a record deal with Sony Music Nashville, and just released his latest album Western White Pines.

He is also a beloved artist in the Whiskey Riff community, so much that we had the honor of surprising him with his Opry debut invite on Whiskey Riff Raff podcast.

Sitting down with Colby moments before he stepped on stage, he shared the nerves he had at finally stepping into the circle:

“I feel extremely grateful. I’m very nervous and there’s also a feeling of ‘you don’t belong here’ a little bit. Not from them, but just from me. Do I deserve this? I don’t know but I feel extremely grateful.”

The Grand Ole Opry is a staple in Nashville, and in country music. But while people travel from all over to visit and play the Opry, it’s a long way – and a different world – from where Colby grew up in Idaho:

“I’m from northern Idaho so the Opry is not huge in the Northwest, 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”.

But part of what makes the Opry special is the family that you join when you step into the circle.

And while discussing his career, in mid sentence we got a knock on the door from a pretty special member of that family: None other than Jamey Johnson, who had some words of encouragement for Colby:

“Go out there and make it yours. You’re not a guest here.”

@whiskeyriff What a night for Colby Acuff. #grandoleopry #jameyjohnson #countrymusic #nashville ♬ original sound – Whiskey Riff

It took a minute to recover from the surprise, but then we got back into the music. While Colby just put out a full album June 9th, he broke the news that there is more music coming very soon.

@whiskeyriff We’re ready. #grandoleopry #countrymusic #colbyacuff #nashville ♬ original sound – Whiskey Riff

Then he took the stage to sing “If I Were The Devil” and “Western White Pines” which had the room silent in awe.

The question that Colby gets asked over and over again is “Are you related to Roy Acuff?” and while his normal answer has been no. When asked about it once more on the Opry stage, he had an answer no one was expecting:

@whiskeyriff Legends. #grandoleopry #colbyacuff #countrymusic #whiskeyriff ♬ original sound – Whiskey Riff

Turns out he has the Opry in his blood.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock