Billy Bob’s Fourth of Jul Picnic Was Stacked, Even Without Willie Nelson

July 8, 2015 - Picnic Time

Merle Haggard led a approach for Billy Bob's in a arise of Willie Nelson's departure

Billy Bob’s Fourth of Jul Picnic
With Merle Haggard, Ryan Bingham, Chris Stapleton and more
Billy Bob’s Texas, Fort Worth
Friday and Saturday, Jul 3 and 4, 2015

At first, a news that Willie Nelson would be relocating his annual Fourth of Jul cruise to Austin seemed tragic. Every year, thousands of people poured into Billy Bob’s to see Nelson and a horde of other good nation acts, yet a venue betrothed to keep a tradition alive. Nelson went on to horde his possess festival in Austin, with an implausible lineup that enclosed Sturgill Simpson and Kacey Musgraves, yet Billy Bob’s did a ruin of a pursuit engagement their possess in his absence.

With a detriment of Nelson came a bigger festival in Fort Worth. The now two-day event, hold this past Friday and Saturday, was built with Texas nation favorites, outlaws and legends. During a day, up-and-comers like Grady Smith and a Work, Whitey Morgan and American Aquarium played to a packaged residence that changed uniformly to and from a outside and indoor stages. It was Friday night’s line-up, though, that was truly impressive.

At 6:45, Chris Stapleton, a registered songwriter who usually expelled an exquisite debut, took to a indoor theatre for soundcheck. A tiny throng had already gathered, ditching a finish of Green River Ordinance’s set to listen to Stapleton’s rope fiddle with a sound and balance their instruments. About median through, Stapleton himself came out to check his mic, giving a ever-growing throng a discerning ambience of his booming, bluesy voice. As a records rang out opposite a bar, a throng poured in some-more furiously.

Stapleton’s set began soon during 7:00 and from a initial records it was transparent that this was going to be one ruin of a show. Kicking off with “Nobody to Blame,” a classical dissection track, Stapleton showed off his evil snarl and nation bonafides. The primary critique of many of bro nation is that it lacks authenticity, yet for whatever reason, it’s many easier to trust that a man with a scabby brave finished adult with his “fishin’ rods pennyless in half” and his “guns in hock” than Luke Bryan. (Who, unfortunately, looks some-more expected to have undergone microdermabrasion than a tough dissection with a legit nation girl.)

Ryan Bingham helped get a throng prepared for a final widen on Friday

Another prominence of Stapleton’s set was a reimagined, deeply bluesy chronicle of George Jones’ “Tennessee Whiskey.” The strange is a arrange of tasteless adore ballad, yet Stapleton’s chronicle was unforgettable. Equally considerable here was his guitar playing, generally when dueling with his extravagantly gifted steel guitarist. In fact, a whole rope was flawless, down to Stapleton’s voluptuous and electric interplay with mother and backup thespian Morgane. If anything, this set could have used a small some-more abyss in content, yet was achieved flawlessly.

Next adult was alt-country dreamboat Ryan Bingham. Before Stapleton’s set was even over, a vast throng was jockeying for position in front of a outside stage. Really, though, there wasn’t a bad perspective in a house. Plenty of fans piled into a now-empty fountain and parked their grass chairs right adult front. The rest downed corn dogs and tallboys of Lone Star as they waited for Bingham to take a theatre during 8:15.

When he did, a appetite of a throng was many aloft than anticipated. Just about everybody there had been station in a feverishness and celebration given during slightest 1:00 p.m., so it was startling that many hadn’t petered out or gotten too dipsomaniac to stand. As Bingham launched into “A Dollar a Day,” a throng clapped and danced and whooped and hollered, all during a artist’s direction. If we were during Bingham’s uncover final year during South Side Ballroom, we substantially beheld that this set was many some-more energetic.

Working by marks from his many new manuscript and a predecessors, Bingham’s uncover could usually be described as “rollicking.” As he dueled with his fiddle actor and lead guitarist, a crowd’s appetite usually intensified. It didn’t harm that Merle Haggard was on a way, yet fans were equally as meddlesome in conference “Top Shelf Drug” and “Hallelujah,” and happy to wait patiently for The Hag’s unavoidable arrival.

Billy Bob’s Fourth of Jul Picnic Was Stacked, Even Without Willie Nelson

Though if we were there all day, Haggard holding a theatre during during 10:00 p.m. on a dot was an implausible relief. Haggard was usually during Billy Bob’s a few months ago, yet he positively seems to penchant a theatre during a world’s largest honky tonk. As with his final uncover during Billy Bob’s, Haggard’s son Noel non-stop a uncover with a Strangers, Merle’s long-time fill-in rope that also includes his youngest son Ben, who plays guitar. Many people weren’t vehement to see Noel play by his discerning small opening set, yet they were ignoring a unequivocally genuine fact that a son positively hereditary some of his father’s talent.

When Merle Haggard finally did take a stage, people were prepared to celebration again. As he played by his standards, including “Pancho Lefty” and a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” that unrestrained remained. This set did embody a few songs that Haggard didn’t play on his final outing by Fort Worth, many particularly 1969’s “Silver Wings,” arguably one of Haggard’s best distressing adore songs. As he wound down his set, creation certain to play “Mama Tried,” it was easy to comprehend that saying Haggard is always a pleasure, and we are propitious that he’s still out on a road, still creation song and still being a same crotchety outlaw he always was.

When we cruise a perfect volume of talent that graced a dual stages during Billy Bob’s over a Fourth of Jul weekend, it’s tough to disagree that they didn’t make a best of a set of resources that could have been really, unequivocally bad. If anything, it was most a preview of Willie’s possess cruise in Austin, where Stapleton and Haggard would go on to play. All that was blank was a Red Headed Stranger, and that detriment didn’t harm scarcely as bad as we’d creatively suspicion it would. 

Billy Bob’s Fourth of Jul Picnic Was Stacked, Even Without Willie Nelson

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