Merle Haggard is Kentucky bourbon. Straight. A little harsh, a little rough around the edges, yet rich, unforgettable. Suzy Bogguss is old Scotch. Smoky and refined. It goes down easy. So much so you’re begging for another round.
Bogguss channels the Hag on her most recent endeavor, “Lucky,” a tribute to her longtime muse. That same Kentucky bourbon with a splash of water. Her rendition of “Sliver Wings” is hauntingly eatherail compared to her mentor’s version. And her version of “I Started Loving You Again Today” no less meaningful.
Bogguss, an Illinois native, has spent her career trying to sound like she’s from Texas. She opens her current tour with “Outbound Plane,” written by the Lonestar state’s Nanci Griffith.
In taking Haggard’s music and making it her own, she is remaining true to what has been a repeat performance. Fans who missed her sold out concert at The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, Va., last summer are in for a treat. She’s returning on Friday, June 5, for an encore performance.
Her years of touring with Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion are obvious in the show she has put together to promote “Lucky,” which she funded using Kickstarter.
She is touring with a bass player and steel guitar player, who sprinkle bad jokes throughout the show that would be right at home in Branson or Las Vegas. But the act resonated with last year’s crowd, which whooped and hollered and sang along with all of her hits. Then Bogguss brought a tear to even the most hardened heart in the house with her unique take on the classic “Shenandoah.”
Don’t miss what promises to be a great time. I hate that I have to. Tickets are a bargain at $20 and can be found here.
IF YOU GO
Friday, June 5, 2015 – 7:30pm
Harvester Performance Center, 450 Franklin Street, Rocky Mount, VA