Merle Haggard died last April, but his music definitely lives on. And doing their part keep it alive are Miranda Lambert, Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers.
The three troubadours found themselves on the bill together at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver recently and teamed up on an acoustic cover of “Sing Me Back Home,” The Haggard classic about a prison inmate about to be executed. “I met these guys when I was 17 and we were playing any shitty gig we could find to play together,” Miranda said while introducing her collaborators. “So it’s a really cool thing to get to celebrate this night together with y’all.”
Haggard’s inspiration for writing the song was reportedly a friendship he’d developed with a condemned inmate known as Rabbit, who was executed after a guard was killed during an escape attempt at California’s notorious San Quentin Prison. Haggard famously did time at the facility and drew on the experience heavily in his early songwriting.
“Sing Me Back Home”
“Sing Me back Home” is a favorite of both Keith Richards and Bob Dylan, among others. It was a mainstay in Haggard’s set, of course, though the music legend found it difficult to sing. “It requires you to go there in your mind, to get there – and to be part of what you’re singing about is somewhat painful,” he told GQ in 2012. “You’ve got to climb inside it all.”
We’re sure glad he did. And well done, Miranda and company.
Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.