BY JEREMY BURCHARD Wide Open Country
Nearly four months after Merle Haggard passed away, it’s still hard to grasp the giant hole he left in country music. But Merle’s son Ben Haggard has done a fantastic job honoring his father, and this new cover is no exception.
Ben is no stranger to his father’s music. In fact, Haggard’s youngest son played lead guitar for his band for years. Ben also shared one of the most touching pictures of his father when he passed.
Ben Haggard recently released a cover of his dad’s song “If I Could Only Fly.” The touching lyrics offer a glimpse into life without Merle. “I could only fly,” sings Haggard, “I’d bid this place goodbye to come and be with you.” The video appropriately begins and ends with a picture of Merle hanging on the wall.
Sure, Ben and Merle carry a lot of the same traits. But the younger Haggard is a phenomenal musician in his own right. His smooth voice lends itself perfectly to the classic brand of country. And he’d have no problem stepping out into a solo career if he one day chooses to.
If you want to catch him live, Ben and brother Noel Haggard will join Marty Stuart to honor Merle in October. Fittingly, the concert will take place in Merle’s hometown of Bakersfield on Oct. 6, the six-month anniversary of Haggard’s passing.