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For country music fans in New York City, there may have been no better way to celebrate Johnny Cash’s birthday than last night’s star-studded All for the Hall New York concert at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square.
The intimate, acoustic benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum featured two non-stop hours of classic country, pop, and rock courtesy of host and museum board president Vince Gill, contemporary superstar Jason Aldean, revered singer/songwriters Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Pistol Annie Ashley Monroe, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman and his Allman Brothers Band cohort Warren Haynes and Train frontman Pat Monahan.
Among those in the audience cheering for everything from the Allman Brothers Band classic “Midnight Rider” to Jason’s hit “My Kinda Party” were Nashville mayor Karl Dean; Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen, stars of the ABC drama Nashville; and Hall of Fame director Kyle Young, who announced that, thanks to fundraising efforts like these, the museum was on track to open its expanded facility in spring 2014.
The stars sang their own hits and on each other’s tunes as well as covers, including a singalong of Cash’s timeless “Ring of Fire.”
Before the show, Jason talked about how excited he was to play with Warren and fellow Georgian Gregg. “Growing up listening to those guys and really being influenced by their music so much, to be able to sit down and jam with them is just really cool.” Emmylou said she loves playing the All for the Hall events because hearing the intimate rendition of the songs is like “hearing where the songs came from.” She also joked that when she was in Gill’s position as museum board president she didn’t do anything, “so I guess I’m making up for my poor tenure.”