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Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson

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8 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, at Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas (Bayou Place) 713-230-1600 or www.livenation.com.

Country music aficionados should find themselves somewhere near heaven when legendary figures Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson take the stage — together — Tuesday night. These two larger-than-life figures, both north of 70 years old, have authored a truly amazing portfolio of songs that have become part and parcel of the Americana canon and are, debatably, the two best living songwriters in the genre. Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Sunday Morning Coming Down" alone qualify him for any hall of fame, and Haggard's list is truly monumental: "Today I Started Loving You Again," "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down," "Silver Wings," "Mama Tried," "If We Make It Through December," "Daddy Frank" and dozens more. No Depression editor Grant Alden recently wrote an essay supporting the idea that Haggard is the greatest Americana songwriter...ever. Performing with a stripped-down combo, Haggard apparently does the lion's share of the work, performing several songs for every one of Kristofferson's. However it goes down, this will certainly be a once-in-a-lifetime event.
 
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