Callicutt enjoys grand opportunity

Asheboro native fulfills dream of playing at Grand Ole Opry

ASHEBORO — It was a round-about way, but the destination was what mattered for Trent Callicutt.

He performed at the Grand Ole Opry.

For a musician, Saturday night’s opportunity became a lifetime achievement in Nashville, Tenn.

Trent Callicutt performs on the Grand Ole Opry stage with Dailey & Vincent on August 21, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (Courtesy Photo)

“It was everything I hoped for and more,” Callicutt said. “The Grand Ole Opry is the pinnacle. I was looking around and trying to take it all in.”

The Asheboro native and Southwestern Randolph High School graduate played the banjo for Dailey & Vincent, an American bluegrass music group.

Timing was on Callicutt’s side.

He had connected with Dailey & Vincent, which has released nine albums, about possibly joining that group occasionally. The renowned group has been in need of a banjo player.

Several times Dailey & Vincent and Callicutt tried to connect to strike tunes together, but the schedules didn’t mesh. Those conflicts kept arising, and even a recently-planned gig in Liberty fell through.

Then last week Darrin Vincent reached out about 60 hours before the group was scheduled to take the stage in Nashville. From there, it all worked out.

“I was just floored,” Callicutt said. “I went to never playing with them and then struck the first note for them at the Grand Ole Opry.”

Callicutt praised Vincent, Jamie Dailey and the group’s other musicians for making it a memorable experience.

One of Callicutt’s inspirations in music was developed through his grandfather, A.J. Kendrick, who was a pastor. He has since passed away, but thoughts of him were prominent for Callicutt.

Asheboro’s Trent Callicutt outside the Grand Ole Opry on August 21, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (Courtesy Photo

The younger musician had “a moment of reflection” while in the building in Nashville. “He always dreamed of doing that there,” he said of his grandfather.

Callicutt, 32, has been playing banjo since age 12. His training, in part, came through lessons from Asheboro’s Tim Moon.

Eventually, that led to opportunities to perform with traveling groups that went to Ireland and Canada.

But Nashville had always been on his wish list, hoping to make it to the Grand Ole Opry.

“It was a lifetime dream of mine to play professionally and maybe play the Grand Ole Opry,” he said.

Dailey & Vincent played a three-song slot. It wasn’t exactly what Callicutt had rehearsed as the group made revisions pretty much on the fly.

“Just kind of threw a curveball and we went with it,” he said.

Callicutt, who works at R&H Trucking, his family’s storage trailer rental and leasing business, went to college at Western Carolina. He wasn’t alone on his big night. His wife, Rachel, along with his parents, Everett and Cindy Callicutt, a brother and sister-in-law were among those present.

Afterward, Callicutt was able to provide about a 15-minute tour of the backstage area for his family.

“I was kind of learning (about it) as I went,” he said of the particulars of that area.

Callicutt remains active on the music scene, but his days of performing have become more sporadic than in the past. “I stay as busy as I want to be,” he said.

This latest opportunity is bound to rekindle some of his desire to see where music might take him.

“For me, it was my lifetime dream,” Callicutt said. “Hopefully, it won’t be my last time going. It was a lot of fun.”

 

By Bob Sutton

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