A whole host of musicians came together last week to celebrate Merle Haggard on the first anniversary of his death and what would have been his 80th birthday. “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville featured several of Merle’s famous friends including Willie Nelson and Keith Richards, as well as artists like Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley and many, many more.
Merle’s son Ben Haggard opened the show with “No Time to Cry,” an Iris DeMent song Merle recorded. Other highlights included Miranda’s performance of “Misery and Gin,” Kacey’s take on “Rainbow Stew,”and Keith performing “Sing Me Back Home,” before being joined by Willie for “Reasons to Quit,” with Willie and Kenny performing “Pancho and Lefty.”
Other performances included Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick and Mac McAnally singing a medley of “Carolyn,” “Daddy Frank” and “Old Man From the Mountain,” Dierks performing “If We Make It Through December,” Chris Janson and Jake Owen performing “Footlights,” and Hank Williams, Jr. performing “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.” Check out some performances.