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Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley just saluted the late Merle Haggard with this country tune The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube screenshot
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube screenshot

Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley stopped by “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on March 29, ahead of the 2017 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Aside from chitchatting about their upcoming co-hosting gig for the big event, the duo joined forces with the nightly program’s house band, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, for a rollicking tribute to Merle Haggard.

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In this video, Luke dons his usual get-up of a plaid shirt and jeans, while Dierks sports all denim. Both singers strum on their acoustic guitars, as the six-piece band sprinkle colorful notes into Merle’s 1977 hit “Ramblin’ Fever.”

Luke and Dierks, who couldn’t help but tap their toes to the beat, took turns singing behind the microphones, before harmonizing together on the chorus. Then, each musician stole the spotlight with an instrumental solo, which made for the ultimate jam session!

Prior to their performance, Dierks said, “We love Merle Haggard. He’s an icon and we lost him last year. He had such a diverse sound — lots of saxophones in his music, and horn instruments.”

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Not only was the duo’s performance the perfect salute to Merle, who passed away on April 6, 2016, but it also showcased their natural onstage chemistry.

Luke and Dierks will bring their teamwork front and center on April 2 at the 52nd annual ACM Awards. This will be Luke’s fifth time and Dierks’ second time co-hosting the ACMs.

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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