Already, 2016 has been a miserable year for musical deaths, especially the loss of honky-tonk great Merle Haggard – who died of complications from pneumonia on April 6, his 79th birthday. The Hag had been scheduled to play Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre this weekend with his fellow country icon Willie Nelson. The show will go on, but repurposed as a tribute to Haggard. Nelson remains on the bill, joined by Kris Kristofferson (who played Booth with Haggard back in 2012) and The Strangers, featuring Haggard’s sons Ben and Noel. It should make for a cool wake, starting at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $49.50-$59.50. See boothamphitheatre.com for details.
- This weekend also brings Artsplosure to downtown Raleigh and Moogfest to Durham, with lots of free programming at both.
- Also this weekend, Cajun guitarist Tab Benoit plays Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre Saturday, the same night Tres Chicas sing at The Cary Theater and Chicken Wire Gang is at Cat’s Cradle’s Back Room in Carrboro.
- Sunday brings RuPaul’s Drag Race to Durham Performing Arts Center, and Asheville’s Town Mountain opening for Todd Snider’s Hard Working Americans at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre.
- We Are Scientists journey down from New York to play Kings in Raleigh Wednesday, the same night Hot Club of Cowtown plays western swing at Durham’s Motorco Music Hall and the great hornman Maceo Parker gets his due at the North Carolina Heritage Awards at Raleigh’s Fletcher Opera Theater.
- And Thursday, departing duo Beloved Binge plays Durham’s Pinhook one last time before moving on up to New York.