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Icons and Legends Perform ‘All for the Hall’ in Los Angeles

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson and Vince Gill took to the Club Nokia stage September 23 for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s second All for fhe Hall Los Angeles fundraising concert. Each of the five singer-songwriters treated the sold-out crowd to three or four songs apiece, seated on stools lining the stage and often singing backup on each other’s sets.

“I’m in the middle between Kris Kristofferson singing his lyrics and Vince Gill playing along on his beautiful guitar,” Emmylou remarked. “It’s in stereo, and it’s fabulous.”

The set list varied from the well-known to the unreleased. While Kris played standards such as ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down,’ and ‘Help Me Make It Through the Night,’ Vince opted for three new tunes: ‘Red Words,’ ‘Bread and Water,’ and ‘If I Die.’ Lionel also leaned toward the past with ‘Three Times a Lady,’ and ‘Hello.’ Emmylou straddled the line with ‘If I Could Win Your Love,’ and her 2007 release ‘Prayer in Open D,’ while Taylor sang her hits including ‘Love Story,’ as well as her latest release, ‘Mine.’ Watch performance excerpts here.

Lionel, who on the surface may seem like the odd man in this pairing, addressed the issue of commingling formats. “When I started writing songs, I didn’t know there were categories,” he told the audience. “I just thought you go after Elvis Presley and Jackie Wilson and try to do something great like that.” In addition, the ‘Easy‘ singer is currently recording a duets album with various country singers and Nashville powerhouse producer Tony Brown.

At another point, Taylor recalled a conversation she recently had on the subject of what defines country music. “It’s when someone writes a song about their life from an authentic place,” she explained. Exemplifying that statement, Vince asked the 20-year-old songstress to perform her autobiographical ‘Fifteen.’

During the event, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum director Kyle Young announced that the facility’s next feature exhibit, opening in 2012, will revolve around West Coast country music. “The exhibit will draw on our massive, one-of-a-kind archives and the mountain of material we’ve collected over the years from California sources,” Young said. “Driven by the upcoming exhibit, we will turn our attention to greatly expanding our collection of West Coast artifacts so we can fully detail the richly layered narrative of this state’s musical past and present.”

Taylor later referred to the night as “magical” when she tweeted to her four million-plus followers. “Just played an acoustic show with Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill and Lionel Richie … one of those nights I just need to remember every detail of.”

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