Watch Sam Hunt Cover Merle Haggard’s ‘The Way I Am’ at All for the Hall 2016
Say what you will about Sam Hunt's original music not being "country enough," but the guy can craft one heck of a country cover. Hunt has been known to bust out a little Waylon Jennings and a pretty epic medley of '90s country women, and on Tuesday night (April 12), the singer offered up a Merle Haggard cover at the All for the Hall benefit concert.
During his time onstage, Hunt performed his own song "House Party," but it was before his cover of Haggard's "The Way I Am" that the artist got candid with the crowd.
“[I was struggling] with some of the things that come along with having success as a country artist, and the obligations that come with it. The other night, I was in that kind of a mood, and missing being able to go home and go fishing, or go home and go turkey hunting, or go home and see my folks back in Georgia,” Hunt confessed. “I started playing some old country songs, back in the little bathroom in my house where I write. I started playing this old Merle song …”
Written by Sonny Throckmorton, "The Way I Am" was released in March of 1980 as the first single and title track of Haggard's The Way I Am album, released that April. The song hit No. 2 on the country charts. In an ironic twist, Hunt made arrangements to play “The Way I Am” at All for the Hall before he found out about Haggard’s passing.
“It sent chills up my spine. It gave me this really eerie feeling,” Hunt told the audience. “It was a sad day for country music, but it made me realize how grateful I am to be able to do what I’m doing. It made me realize how grateful I am for Merle Haggard, all these boys on stage behind me and all the people who have come before me in country music, who have paved this way for me.”
Press play on the video above to watch Hunt and his band perform a simple, reverent version of the tune.
Hosted by Keith Urban and Vince Gill at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, the sixth annual All for the Hall raised $750,000 for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s music education programs. Additional performers included Emmylou Harris, Tracy Lawrence and Jason Isbell, among others.
See Photos From All for the Hall 2016
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