All Twangs Considered- Sing Me Back Home: A Tribute to Merle Haggard


I was blessed to be able to attend the sold out Sing Me Back Home: A Tribute to Merle Haggard a couple weeks ago. Featuring rock and country artists’ renditions of songs made famous, and mostly written by Merle. The event was emceed by W. Earl Brown (Deadwood). The performances were recorded, likely to be released in a special.

Set List

Ben Haggard and The Strangers – “What Am I Gonna Do (with the rest of my life)”
Ben Haggard and Aaron Lewis – “Heaven Was a Drink of Wine”
Tanya Tucker – “The Farmer’s Daughter”
Bobby Bare – “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” 
Connie Smith – “That’s The Way Love Goes”
John Anderson – “Big City”
Toby Keith – “Carolyn”
Jake Owen and Chris Janson – “Footlights”

Don Was All-Stars (featuring Mccrary Sisters, Buddy Miller, Jamey Johnson, and more) – “Lord Don’t Give Up On Me”
Miranda Lambert – “Misery and Gin”
Rodney Crowell – “You Don’t Have Very Far to Go” (Mickey Raphael harm)
Jamey Johnson – “Kern River”

Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss – “If I Could Only Fly” (written by Blaze Foley; Merle had played it for years before recording it.)
Cox family and Alison Krauss – “Sing a Sad Song”

Alabama – Silver Wings
Hank Willams Jr. – “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink”
Loretta Lynn, accompanied by Jamey Johnson – “Today I Started Loving You Again”
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Honky Tonk Nighttime Man”
Avett Brothers – “Mama Tried”
John Mellencamp – “White Line Fever”

Kasey Musgraves – “Rainbow Stew”
Ronnie Dunn – “It’s All In The Movies”

Lucinda Williams – “Going Where The Lonely Go”
Billy Gibbons – “The Bottle Let Me Down”
Billy Gibbons and Warren Haynes – “Workin’ Man Blues”
Dierks Bentley – “If We Make it Through December” 
Sheryl Crow – “Natural High”
Keith Richards – “Sing Me Back Home”
Willie Nelson and Keith Richards – Reasons to Quit
Willie Nelson and Kenny Chesney – Pancho & Lefty
Toby Keith and Willie Nelson – “Ramblin’ Fever”

All Performers – “Okie from Muskogee”

Merle on death,

“Sometimes I fear it, and other times it calls to me like a forgotten dream or an old song. I’m not saying I welcome it, but I recognize it as part of a holy process. Born of nature, return to nature.”

It’s not often a conversation about the man arises, and the future of country music doesn’t come into question. Nobody can fill Merle’s shoes, but I’m thankful to find other artists standing on their own. In the spirit of this, I will be doing a weekly article every Sunday, spotlighting artists that lean toward the fightin’ side of country music.  

Author: Holly Horn

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