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Kristofferson debuts at MerleFest

Thursday, April 26, 2018 – MerleFest kicked off its 31st annual homecoming today with a line-up that marked the debut of Kirs Kristofferson at the festival at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C.

Kristofferson was backed by The Strangers, Merle Haggard's original backing band and son Ben Haggard.

Also on the mainstage, Texas songwriter Robert Earl Keen, funky roots outfit Shinyribs, Wilkesboro, N.C.-based Kruger Brothers and The Mavericks played.

Kristofferson's setlist was:
Shipwrecked in the 80's
That's The Way Love Goes
Darby's Castle
Me and Bobby McGee
Here Comes That Rainbow
Help Me Make It Through The Night
Okie From Muskogee
Casey's Last Ride
Loving Her Was Easier
Just the Other Side of Nowhere
Sing Me Back Home
The Pilgrim
Jesus Was A Capricorn
Stay Here And Drink
Sunday Morning Coming Down
For The Good Times
A Moment of Forever
Why Me

Encore: Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends

Robert Earl Keen setlist:
Hot Corn
Shades
Feelin' Good Again
Twisted Laurel
Copenhagen
Bass
If I Were King
Man Behind Drums
I Gotta Go
The Road Goes on Forever

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The Cedar Creek Sessions CD review - The Cedar Creek Sessions
Picture Kris Kristofferson in your mind, and he's likely not a young man. There's probably a salt-and-pepper beard and a wizened look on a lined face that's seen its share of tavern punches. But it's hard to wrap one's head around the concept of the actor/songwriter today at 80. Slowing down has never been in the Texas troubadour's blood, though. And so we come to this 2016 double-album recording of a frantic, mostly-live recording session in Austin from 20214. »»»
Feeling Mortal CD review - Feeling Mortal
Even in his youngest days when he was starting out, Kris Kristofferson always managed to sound older than his age. His gruff vocals and his tattered tales, told from the perspective of world-weary souls travelling desolate roads in search of redemption, made songs such as The Pilgrim, Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down, Help Me Make It Through The Night and, yes, Me and Bobby McGee testament to those all the worse for the wear. It's not surprising then, at the ripe old age of 76, »»»
Closer To The Bone CD review - Closer To The Bone
There's a certain something in "Closer to the Bone" that just might make your eyes well up or put a knot in your stomach. It is in the subtlety beautiful guitar work of the late Stephen Bruton, the longtime Kristofferson band member to whom the album is dedicated. And it's also, of course, in the sad, reflective words the celebrated songwriter has penned, but it's the 73-year-old's unmistakable voice, which has aged well and become old-country-singer-enhanced through »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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