Highwaymen tribute comes to Tecumseh, MonroeWritten by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Highwaymen are on the road again — and they’re headed to Southeast Michigan.
The musical tribute to country music legends Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash will bring its honky-tonk hits to Monroe on Nov. 5 and Tecumseh on Nov. 6. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m.
The group has been touring for five years, but this will be its first trip to Michigan, said road manager Michael Johnson. Each performer is well-known for his uncanny resemblance to the singer he portrays, both in looks and singing voice, Johnson said.
Portraying Nelson is Michael Moore, who said he remembers hearing the singer on his grandmother’s old AM radio when he was just a kid in Texas, according to the band’s website. Even then, he was drawn to Nelson’s songs and spent years perfecting his unusual voice and phrasings — not to mention growing out his trademark braids — until he got it just right.
Rusty Evans and his band, Ring of Fire, are staples on the festival circuit and now the Rockabilly Hall of Famer is bringing his Man in Black magic to Michigan. Evans was inspired to impersonate Cash after he met the real singer in the 1960s and when Bob Dylan told him he sounded like Cash.
Bob Gill, who will portray Jennings, has been singing since early childhood. He was first drawn to Jennings in the 1970s and has been adding to his repertoire of songs ever since. Since Jennings’ death in 2002, Gill has focused exclusively on performing and sharing the music of his idol.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the first CD released by the original Highwaymen — perhaps the greatest supergroup in country music history — which also included Kris Kristofferson. Although Kristofferson will not be a part of the show, some of his songs will be played, Johnson said.
Sony Legacy released a two-CD set, “Essential,” set to commemorate the anniversary.
Johnson said fans of classic country music will not want to miss the shows.
“With two hours of good music and some of the biggest hits from these legendary country stars, everybody will more than likely hear their favorite songs,” Johnson said. “Each one of these guys has enough hits to fill a show, so these three together will be the Super Bowl of country music happening right here on stage. If you like country music, you don’t want to miss this show.”
Tickets for the Nov. 5 show at the River Raisin Centre for the Arts, 114 S. Monroe St., Monroe, are $25 ($22 for seniors, $15 for students); contact the box office at (734) 242-7722 or visit www.riverraisincentre.org for tickets.
Tickets for the Nov. 6 show at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts, 400 N. Maumee St., Tecumseh, are $28 ($24 for seniors and students); contact the box office at (517) 423-6617 or visit www.thetca.org for tickets.
The Tecumseh show will include a special pre-show performance by Pat Dunn and his band, Longshot, at 6:45 p.m.
For more information, visit the website www.highwaymenlive.com.