Well I bet your jaw hit the floor when you clicked on the link headline there? To my knowledge no other website caught this portion of the Opry in December, where Mr. Jason Boland And The Stragglers made their Opry debut. They played the opening riffs from the song “Cowboys From Hell” which was on the 1990 blockbuster album of the same name, recorded by Pantera. That album was their fifth album overall, and their first album on a major label.

I mean, how many of us that are currently loving and proliferating these Country artists today grew up loving metal bands like Pantera and bands of their ilk? I can tell you from my own perspective I am one of them that does. I myself have a huge and deep love of Heavy Metal as well as many other genres of music. I have a vast  appetency to collect old metal shirts and vinyl LP’s, and I can tell you first hand people like Mr. Jason, Mr. Cody Jinks and many others share my love and respect for the genre.

This past year has been an absolute cynosure this year, and just about every website that features independent music has been featuring his new album called “The Light Saw Me”. Right now, I am not finished with all of my album features for the year and I am going to have more information on that album soon. I can and will tell you outright this album is truly one of his finest works to date, and I’ll tell you another reason I love it so much.

A few years back I covered a show at the City Winery that featured BOTH Mr. Jason Boland and the man that produced his new album, none other than my friend Mr. Shooter Jennings! HERE is where you can go to read more about that show. They got together and swapped songs acoustic style. From there I learned about their iconic friendship, and from there I also got to witness Shooter produce some BANGER albums in those next few years.

Now, for those of you that do not know or follow Heavy Metal and have never heard of Pantera, I’ll divulge some brief information about this band that steamrolled onto mainstream music in 1989. The reason this band is held in such high regard by Mr. Jason and others is they are from Texas as well. Brothers Mr. Vinnie Paul Abbott, Mr. Darrell Abbott ( AKA Dimebag ), Mr. Phillip Anselmo and Mr. Rex Brown were the iconic ( and final ) foursome that plowed through the Metal community like a mack truck!

They began in the early 80’s as a Glam Metal band, having a lead singer named Mr. Terry Glaze who originally was hired to be a second guitarist that kind of got placed into singing when original singer Mr. Donnie Holt left.  They recorded four independent albums as a Glam Metal band, however the three other members sought after a heavier sound, and hired Anselmo.

After they finally recorded their fifth album “Cowboys From Hell” they continued to record heavier albums drop after drop, pushing the envelope further every time they put out another one. Their stage shows soon became legendary and well known for their brutal and intense energy, and on the downside they became well known for their propensity for violence.

In 2003, the band had gone their separate ways, where the Abbott brothers formed a band called Damageplan and Anselmo and Mr. Rex Brown went on to form a band called Down. On December 8th, 2004 Dimebag was shot and killed during a performance by a fan that jumped onstage, and murdered him.

As of this point in time, it was reported that Heavy Metal in any form has never been performed on the Opry until now. And what better time to have it done than in December to commemorate Mr. Darrell’s death than now? So you can see the intense amount of respect and magnitude of relevance this little portion of his performance had. I think it speaks volumes of his integrity and his passion for entertaining his fans, and his love for the Opry.

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