Keith Urban once again brought together the giants of country’s rich history with the format’s hottest current hitmakers at his 4th Annual We’re All for the Hall concert in Nashville Tuesday night. Current ACM Male Vocalist of the Year Jason Aldean helped represent the modern era, performing his hits “My Kinda Party” and “My Kinda Party” just before Country Music Hall of Famer Willie Nelson sang his country classic, “On the Road Again,” followed by his more recent offering, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”
Keith Urban and Vince Gill led the house band throughout the four-hour-plus show, which was staged to raise money for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This year’s We’re All for the Hall celebrated the Renegades & Rebels of country music, and Keith and Vince got the night started off with a rousing take on the Rolling Stones‘ “Tumbling Dice.” Keith also sang his hit “Without You” before Vince tore into a few Southern rock cover songs from The Marshall Tucker Band and The Allman Brothers.
Eric Church took the stage later in the night for a pair of cover songs — The Band‘s “Ophelia” and the more obscure “Big Mouth USA” by Jim Ford. Eric told the crowd, “I’ve played everywhere, and this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.”
Tim McGraw walked onstage unannounced to sing “How Bad Do You Want It” from his 2004 album, Live Like You Were Dying, followed by “Real Good Man.” Brantley Gilbert showed off his rebellious side, singing “Country Must Be Country Wide” and a cover of David Allan Coe‘s “Longhaired Redneck.”
Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow were on the bill singing their hit duet “Picture.” Sheryl took a solo turn singing her 1996 hit “If It Makes You Happy,” and Kid Rock performed “Born Free” before jumping into a sing-along on “All Summer Long.” Kris Kristofferson later offered a study in country songwritiing, singing his compositions “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Waylon Jennings‘ influence weighed heavily on the night as his widow, Jessi Colter, performed the first song she wrote after his death in 2002. Vince and Keith sang Waylon’s song “Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This” during the opening set, and Waylon’s friend Hank Williams, Jr. later paid tribute to Waylon by mimicking the late singer’s vocal delivery on “Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys).” Hank also mimicked Johnny Cash‘s voice on “I Walk the Line” after reminding the audience June Carter Cash was his godmother.
Of note, Hank dismissed the backing band for his set and simply played his own guitar while singing “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” and “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down.” He returned to lead the all-star cast of stars in a closing performance of “Family Tradition.
Montgomery Gentry were also on hand to sing “One in Every Crowd” and “Gone” before Trace Adkins delivered his hits “Just Fishin'” and “Ladies Love Country Boys.” Rosanne Cash performed the classic country ballad “Long Black Veil” before singing her own 1981 hit “Seven Year Ache,” and Billy Joe Shaver overcame car trouble to make the trip from Texas to Nashville to sing “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” and “Live Forever.”
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