Merle Haggard’s Son Says Luke Bryan’s Hag Tribute Could Be a “Monster”

Ben Haggard raves about Luke’s duet with Dierks.

On the new all-star album Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard, artists like Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, Joe Nichols, Thompson Square and Randy Houser take turns covering some of the legendary Merle’s greatest songs. But there’s one that stood out to Ben Haggard, Merle’s 21-year-old son who plays guitar alongside his dad on tour: Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley’s take on “Pancho and Lefty,” the hit 1983 duet that Merle recorded with Willie Nelson.

“You know, Luke Bryan’s a great artist, but I never really listened to his stuff. I just listened to ‘Pancho and Lefty’ about five minutes ago and it blew me away. I’m in love with it,” Ben tells Country Weekly.

And even though Luke, who handles the Willie part, and Dierks, who channels Merle, sped up the arrangement, giving it a more contemporary feel, Ben says the song just works.

“They definitely put their own thing to it. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a hit,” he says. “It could be a monster—again.”

For more on Working Man’s Poet and the artists who appear on the album, pick up the April 14 issue of Country Weekly, on stands now.

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