What better way to pay tribute to the late Merle Haggard than to attend Hagfest on the date of his birth and death? On Thursday April 6, the first ever Hagfest intends to do just that and more with multiple performances beginning at 7 p.m. at The Southgate House Revival.
In his more than 50 year career, Merle Haggard had 38-#1 country hits and an award in almost every category imaginable from the ACMs to AMAs, CMAs and more. Old favorites like “Mama Tried,” “Okie from Muskogee,” and “The Fightin’ Side of Me” are just some of the hits that became anthems for generations old and new who looked to Haggard for lyrical/musical inspiration. He gave outsiders a voice and stood his ground in a country music era that was ever-changing, and for that, he is and will always be known as one of the greatest country artists out there.
Similar events are being held near the one year anniversary of Haggard’s death. In Nashville, some of country’s biggest artists today (including Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, and more) as well as other greats like John Mellencamp and Loretta Lynn will be performing to honor his outstanding career.
Joe Macheret from The Tillers and Joe’s Truck Stop put Hagfest together. Joe’s Truck Stop has previously put together songs that mention Merle Haggard, including “I Don’t Need You Anymore” on their Free Showers EP album.
Other bands playing at Hagfest will include Josh Morningstar and the Pick Ups, Billie Gant, Tod Day Wait’s Pigpen, The Harold Kennedy Trio, Chris Acker and The Growing Boys, Pat Hu and the Kentucky Rive Ramblers, Thorn County, and Maria Carrelli.
The cost for Hagfest is $12-$15 per ticket. Proceeds from the event will go to The Appalachian Prison Book Project.