The 6th Annual Georgia On My Mind benefit concert in Nashville takes place on Wednesday, July 17, with the Peach Pickers — Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, and Ben Hayslip — calling on a group of musical friends to come together to raise money for the Georgia Music Foundation.
This year's lineup features the Peach Pickers along with Lindsay Ell, Jamey Johnson, John Berry, Craig Campbell, Brent Cobb, Travis Denning, Ray Fulcher, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, Michael Ray, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, as well as a few surprise special guests and a performance by the Otis Redding Foundation’s DREAM Choir.
"I'm so excited to be a part of this event," Ell told PopCulture.com. "The lineup is so incredible. Dallas has been a friend of mine for a while now in town, and just looking at the lineup — Jamey Johnson to Craig Campbell, to Brent Cobb, Michael Ray — it's going to be like all my friends are in one spot."
The event's focus on music education makes the night an even bigger draw for the "Criminal" singer, who began her own music education at a young age and credits it with inspiring her to pursue music as a career.
"Any time I can help kids I'm 100 percent in, but anytime I can help kids in music, I am even more so, and it just makes you feel good that all the money is going to grants for schools and after-school programs to encourage music education," Ell reflected.
"Music education was so important to me. I mean, I remember being in choir to learning recorder, and I, you know, in grade 3 and just those important moments that really made music something I leaned on," she continued. "It was just established that music was always something that I could depend on, and it can be an outlet whenever school got stressful or things with family and friends got stressful, so I always leaned on it for that reason. The fact that music education was crucial to my life and me choosing my career path, I love to be able to support it wherever I can."
The Canadian star is especially excited that the concert is being held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, one of the most famous venues in country music.
"The Ryman is arguably one of my favorite venues in the whole entire country, probably almost in the world," she revealed. "It has this feeling, this aura, when you step on stage and you walk into that circle, and it's the mother church of country music and the music city of Nashville, so anytime that I can play music in there, and the acoustics are so special, you can literally sit on the edge of the stage with a guitar and sing."
"It really reminds you that music is that universal language that does bring us all together, regardless of what age we are, where we're from, the language we speak," she added. "You can all get into a special room like the Ryman and feel something."
Tickets for the Georgia On My Mind concert are $54.50 and $44.50 and are available via Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, ryman.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
Photo Credit: Getty / Jeff Kravitz