Few artists can command an audience with just a guitar and harmonica quite like Kris Kristofferson. But for two intimate club shows in May, he’ll share the stage with one of country music’s most famous bands: the Strangers, along with Merle Haggard’s son Ben. Billed as “Kris Kristofferson and Ben Haggard with the Strangers,” the concerts are set for May 14th and 15th at Nashville venue the Basement East.
The shows will reunite musicians who have played with both Kristofferson and Merle Haggard throughout their careers: drummer Jeff Ingraham, bassist Doug Colosio, fiddler Scott Joss, and Haggard band leader and pedal steel player Norman Hamlet, who spent 49 years on the road with Haggard. Kristofferson and the younger Hag will share the stage, trading songs with the Strangers backing them up.
This won’t be the first time that Ben Haggard and Kristofferson have performed together, however. In 2016, they played a string of gigs along with Merle Haggard’s son Noel Haggard shortly after Merle’s death on April 6th. They also have plans to tour theaters and festivals this spring with a similar show, but the East Nashville dates are the only standing-room club appearances.
For Kristofferson, the two-night stand will come a month before his 82nd birthday on June 22nd, which the Country Music Hall of Fame member will celebrate onstage in London – he’s set to launch a European tour on June 11th.
Tickets for the Kristofferson-Haggard shows go on sale Thursday, March 8th at 11 a.m./CT.