April 10, 2012
Keith Urban kicked off his annual Nashville benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum by saying, "Third time's a charm, right?" More than three hours later, after a stunning parade of performers-ranging from Hall of Fame members to contemporary stars to hot newcomers-a rowdy sold-out crowd enthusiastically agreed.
The concert, an annual event known as We're All for the Hall and hosted once again by Urban, features an all-star lineup of country music artists who donate time to benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
This year, Urban and his We're All for the Hall colleague, Vince Gill, came up with a distinct theme. "We wanted to celebrate all the great bands country music has had over the last thirty, forty years," said Gill, president of the museum's Board of Officers and Trustees. Gill came up with the idea of artists donating a concert a year to benefit the museum.
Gill performed "Amie," a hit for country rockers Pure Prairie League, a band that included Gill as a guitarist and singer before he became a solo star in Nashville. He also toasted the museum's new exhibit, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and California Country, by covering Owens's classic ballad "Together Again."
Echoing Gill's sentiments, Urban added, "Because of the emergence of so many good duos and groups in recent years, we felt it was a good time to honor that."
The concert included acts ranging across several decades, including the Oak Ridge Boys, whose roots go back to the early days of country music as a popular gospel quartet, to Hall of Fame members Alabama, to '90s hitmakers Diamond Rio, to such contemporary stars as Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Pistol Annies (with Miranda Lambert), the Band Perry, Thompson Square, and a new trio of veterans, Blue Sky Riders, who have yet to release an album but feature pop singer Kenny Loggins and country songwriters Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman.
The night included several surprises. Walk-on, unannounced guests included two Country Music Hall of Famers-Don Williams and Merle Haggard-both of whom received loud welcomes. Urban also was surprised with an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which he accepted with open-hearted emotion.
The evening ended with everyone joining Gill, Haggard, and Urban onstage to perform a rousing version of the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There."
By night's end, fitting for a Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum event, the long list of artists had honored the music's past while proving that the future is in talented hands.
"You Gonna Fly"
"I Got You"
"Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not"
BLUE SKY RIDERS
"I'm a Rider (Finally Home)"
"Hell on Heels"
"Meet Me in the Middle"
LITTLE BIG TOWN
OAK RIDGE BOYS
"Own the Night"
"Lady Down on Love"Your Link
"Feels So Right"
THE BAND PERRY
"Postcards from Paris"
"Life Is a Highway"
"I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink"
"Today I Started Loving You Again"
"Workin' Man Blues"
"I Saw Her Standing There"
Click here to order the limited edition Hatch Show Print poster from this year's show.