Now that we’ve been in this band for awhile and digging in to learn as many of Merle’s tunes as we possibly can, we’ve been feeling pretty up close and personal with these songs. We have our favorites individually, and those we love to play as a band, and we all have two or three or six that we want to add into the set list as soon as possible. When you’ve got a catalog of music as deep as The Hag’s, it’s like a never ending treasure hunt, with new shiny objects under every rock.
So when we heard that Merle and The Strangers were coming back to Portland this summer, we were super excited. It’s always so fun to see these songs played live, hearing Merle sing them and watching those Strangers hold it down. We had seen him back in March — half of the band went to Tacoma and the other half went to see him in Salem — but for this show we all got to be together, so it had that extra special zing to it. Plus, it was outdoors and it just turned into the most beautiful night.
We’ve all love Merle’s music, but especially love how much he’s brought of himself to the stage for so many years. It’s very touching, that moment when he walks out on stage . . . it’s kinda hard to believe he’s right there. We were laughing after the show because we all said we kinda choked up when we first saw him! Maybe it’s middle-aged female emotion, who knows.
The show was super fun — and afterwards we were hanging out, gathering our little group up and just happened to see Merle’s keyboardist, Floyd Domino coming out of the backstage area. Tave and Jennifer had introduced themselves to him after the Salem show, and Tave didn’t hesitate to jump right out there again and say a big how do. He was such a gentleman, he remembered about our little band and even asked how our show went the previous night, which was lovely. It was a great end to the evening!
So, thank you to all The Strangers for putting on such a great show, and a special thanks and blessings to Merle Haggard! Have a great rest of the tour and we look forward to seeing you again soon!