Imagine for a moment ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and longtime guitarist for The Allman Brothers Warren Haynes reworking Merle Haggard's "Workin' Man Blues" into a truly bonafide blues tune in front of 18,000 Haggard fans and more than 20 of Haggard's closest musical compatriots.
If you can you've got a very basic idea of what it was like last night (4/6) at Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard tribute concert at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
One year to the day past Haggard's death on what would have been his 80th birthday, a long list of artists including Miranda Lambert, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Connie Smith, Jamey Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Bobby Bare, The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, Dierks Bentley, John Mellencamp, Jake Owen, Hank Williams, Jr., Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson and John Anderson, not to mention Haggard's youngest son Ben, paid tribute to the music icon for more than three hours.
"This has been a monumental moment," Haggard's widow Theresa said at the close of the evening/ to a standing ovation, according to The Tennessean. "I know Haggard's here right now."
Here's a partial list of selections played:
"What Am I Gonna Do (With The Rest of My Life)," Ben Haggard
"I'm A Lonesome Fugitive," Bobby Bare
"That's The Way Love Goes," Connie Smith
"Big City," John Anderson
"Misery And Gin," Miranda Lambert
"Daddy Frank The Guitar Man," Toby Keith
"The Farmer's Daughter," Tanya Tucker
"If I Could Only Fly," Jamey Johnson & Alison Krauss
"Sing Me Back Home," Keith Richards with the McCrary Sisters
"Reasons To Quit," Keith Richards & Willie Nelson
"Pancho & Lefty," Willie Nelson & Kenny Chesney
"Okie From Muskogee," Willie Nelson & Kenny Chesney
Let's hope that there's some sort of DVD or digital downloads for these covers in the future.
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Russ Penuell lives in Nashville with his girlfriend, three dogs and a lot of music.