Keith Richards Honors ‘the Hag’ With ‘Sing Me Back Home’, ‘Reasons to Quit’ [WATCH]
Keith Richards traveled all the way from England to pay tribute to his good friend Merle Haggard at the Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard tribute concert in Nashville on Thursday night (April 6). During the special event, Richards sang two tracks in honor of the late country legend.
Readers can press play above to watch Richards’ cover of Haggard’s 1967 hit “Sing Me Back Home” and scroll down to see him team up with Willie Nelson for “Reasons to Quit,” from Nelson and Haggard’s collaborative Pancho & Lefty album. Originally written and recorded for Haggard’s 1967 album of the same name, “Sing Me Back Home” earned “the Hag” his third No. 1 single and touched on a theme that colored most of the country artist’s music: prison. Haggard spent three years in San Quentin State Prison in California for his role in a botched robbery, and “Sing Me Back Home” pulls from his friendship with a fellow inmate named “Rabbit,” who was executed after a failed escape attempt led to the death of a security guard.
“Reasons to Quit,” meanwhile, was the first single from Haggard and Nelson’s Pancho & Lefty album. The duet playfully mocks all of the reasons to quit your vices, before ultimately admitting “the reason for quitting are gettin’ bigger each day.” Nelson also shared the stage with Kenny Chesney during Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard to perform the title track from that album, “Pancho and Lefty.”
Other artists who took the stage to honor Haggard during Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard included Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Chris Janson, Sheryl Crow and Loretta Lynn. A portion of the proceeds from the event benefited the TJ Martell Foundation.
Watch Keith Richards + Willie Nelson Perform “Reasons to Quit”
10 Essential Merle Haggard Lyrics