CanJoe*John's debut on the Grand Ole Opry

November 4, 2006 as guest of Mike Snider

(The video of CanJoe*John's debut on the Opry has been moved to )

     On November 4, 2006 on the world famous stage of  "the mother church of country music", the Ryman auditorium in Nashville, TN,  John L. VanArsdall, (aka CanJoe*John) of Blountville, TN made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry to a packed sold out crowd. Mike Snider, star of the now syndicated television classic "HeeHaw" and of the Grand Ole Opry, hosted the 30 minute segment sponsored by Cracker Barrel which was aired live on Nashville's WSM 650 AM radio as well as on the world wide web to listeners all around the world. CanJoe*John, the "world's most unique musician" who plays a canjoe, a one stringed instrument made from a slender fretted finger board with a twelve ounce common beverage can as its resonator, was a special guest of Mike. Brought onto the Ryman stage at 8:25 pm CST, CanJoe*John along with Mike and his band ended the Cracker Barrel segment by wowing the stunned and astonished audience with a very uptempo version of the old time tune, Redwing. Just prior to the performance, Mike set up the audience while introducing John by using his illustrious trademark wit and humor. The audience having never seen a canjoe apparently thought that Mike was attempting to spring a joke as he was making his introduction. Mike explained that the canjoe only had one string and "made from a can with a stick on it"  as he continued the introduction telling the audience that John was "from Bristol, TN, but was previously from Blountville, TN until he got annexed". After the audience laughter settled, he then introduced his band members and "the man on the John". Again the audience responded with laughter and Mike turned to John saying,   " I don't think they's taking you very serious, I can tell you right now",  followed thus again by more thunderous audience laughter and applause. Mike finally told the audience, "ya'll listen real close 'cause you probably 'aint never heard anything like this before...let's kick her off John", and as CanJoe*John strummed four "potatoes" as a brief solo lead in on his canjoe, Mike and his band in perfect timing, jumped in backing him with the mandolin, guitar, fiddle and stand up bass. The audience enthusiastically responded with three high energy applauses at the beginning, in the middle of, and at the end of CanJoe*John's performance as never before in the long history of the Grand Ole Opry had  anyone ever heard or witnessed on that historic stage how one man with one stick, one can, along with one band, and on just one string did so perfectly and passionately render that old time favorite tune. After his stellar innaugral Grand Ole Opry performance, John left the back stage area, mixed in with the exiting crowd and the unanimous appreciation for what they all had witnessed was obvious as the cameras flashed and many new CanJoe*John fans surrounded him for photo opportunities, autographs, and the chance to shake his hand. (story and photos by  Phil Allen) (c) 2006


CanJoe*John is available for interviews and performance opportunities, contact him by phone 423-323-0174.

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Notice: This sound bit was taken from the airwaves of the live radio broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry performance aired on WSM 650 AM. The same sound bit can be heard from the WSM radio web site, and clicking the link provided on the "archives" tab.