The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall presents country music legacy, Ben Haggard, son of country music great Merle Haggard, in an acoustic performance. For fans of his late, legendary father and country music great Merle Haggard, his youngest son Ben is no stranger. In fact, he’s been the lead guitarist in Hag’s longtime band of the same name for the past eight years, since he was 15 years old, fitting in easily with veterans like musical director Norm Hamlet and Scott Joss.
Ben was a regular on Merle’s recordings, took the stage with him and the Highwaymen (Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson) as well as Blake Shelton, for a memorable performance at the 2014 Grammys and for the 2012 “All for the Hall” show beside two of his idols, Vince Gill and Keith Urban. Earlier this year, Ben was featured with the Strangers backing Toby Keith for a Merle tribute on the nationally televised American Country Countdown Awards. He also contributed versions of “Mama Tried” and “Sing Me Back Home” to 2014’s “Working Man’s Poet: Tribute to Merle Haggard” album which also featured Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, and Dierks Bentley.
Since his father’s death in April 2016, Ben hasn’t missed a beat, passing on the legacy of his dad’s music with brother Noel and the Strangers. For anyone who’s heard young Haggard play guitar with his father, that talent is undeniable, but he’s only recently rediscovered a singing voice that, while borrowing genetically from dad’s well-worn gravitas, adds its’ own fresh take on songs like “Sing Me Back Home”, “Heaven Was a Drink of Wine”, “Workin’ Man Blues”, and “What Am I Gonna Do With the Rest of My Life?”, all of them taking on new meanings in the wake of Hag’s passing.
Ben has proven as natural a performer as you’d expect from someone with his DNA. His next challenge is to carve out his own musical career, lest he be accused, as he says in his own self-effacing way, “of riding someone else’s coattails”. For now, Ben’s content with burnishing his father’s legacy, playing his songs and pleasing Merle’s many fans, doing his part as the good son.
Doors 7:00pm / Show 8:00pm
Visit the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall website for additional information and to purchase tickets. Tickets can also be purchased at their box office and at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre box office.