August 12

Miranda Lambert Covers Merle Haggard with Wade Bowen and Randy Roger

Miranda Lambert Covers Merle Haggard with Wade Bowen and Randy Roger 1
Screengrab via YouTube/tulipsandpearls

On their joint summer tour dates, Miranda Lambert and  Wade Bowen wrapped it up with two shows at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre last Tuesday and Wednesday (August 8 and 9).

Miranda Lambert brought out fellow country artist Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen to perform Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home.” To prepare for the song, the trio tuned up just a few hours before the show.

Lambert, Bowen and Rogers have known each other well before Lambert became a genuine country artist.

“I started playing music in Texas when I was 17, and I started playing with these two guys,” Lambert told the audience. “And they’re my pals.”

They sure made the cover a sound purty for such a quick rehearsal.

Written by Haggard and released in 1967, “Sing Me Back Home” pictures a prisoner whose death sentence is imminent, making one final request for a song that reminds him of life before the events that led him to jail. In the biography Merle Haggard: The Running Kind, critic David Cantwell points out that “Sing Me Back Home” “unfolds like a dream you somehow understand everyone else is having, too, like a folk song that seems always to have been there. No one teaches you the words. You fall in and sing along.”

Especially for Rogers, Merle Haggard has been a huge influence on the trio. He said in an interview earlier this year, “Misery & Gin” is one country song that holds the biggest part in his heart.

“Drowning out heartache, drink by drink is as country as it gets,” Rogers said. “The song is sad and real and poetic all at the same time – all the things Hag was a master at.”

The crowd cheered wildly as Bowen and Miranda Lambert split the first verse and Rogers solemnly strums his guitar. Then when the chorus came, the three voices join together. It’s a potent reminder of Lambert’s roots in the Texas songwriting community as well as a fond tribute to both Haggard and Glen Campbell, who played acoustic guitar on the original.

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