At the New Orleans Superdome during Bayou Country Superfest over Memorial Day weekend, George Strait covered a couple of songs by other country music legends. Previously, we heard the King of Country's emotionally heavy rendition of Merle Haggard's "Are The Good Times Really Over (I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver)," and now, we're treated to Strait's version of "Old Violin," a Johnny Paycheck cover.
Johnny Paycheck found success with "Old Violin" in 1986 while he was in the process of appealing the prison sentence he received for shooting a man in Ohio. (He said it was in self defense.) Paycheck's inner turmoil is laid out in the lyrics to "Old Violin" in a way that's painfully relatable to listeners. And despite the huge crowd in the New Orleans arena, Strait manages to make the song feel deeply personal for anyone willing to connect with the music.
"We give our all to music/ And soon, we'll give our life," Strait sang, closing the stunning cover that included a poignant crying fiddle chiming in to add to the already rich storytelling. Once fans see the recording of this cover, they're going to keep their fingers crossed that Strait keeps it in his set for upcoming shows.
Strait still has a couple of tour dates coming up this year following his highly anticipated concerts at the BOK Center in Tulsa, the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, and the Bayou Country Superfest that also included sets by Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town. This December, he'll reign over the T-Mobile Arena for two nights in Las Vegas, and in 2019, Strait will play his 30th RodeoHouston show. RodeoHouston even tacked on an extra date (Sunday, March 17) to their already packed schedule to include the King of Country. Tickets for his Las Vegas shows are already available, and passes for the RodeoHouston performance will start going on sale in batches beginning Aug. 1 with season tickets.