Held in support of Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, All For The Hall 2016 featured long-time host Vince Gill, joined by Kasey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton as well as cross-over stalwarts Joe Walsh and James Taylor. With an all-star lineup spanning the annals of country from A.M. gold to modern troubadours defining the contemporary scene, All For The Hall 2016 at Club Novo on Tuesday proved the cross-country importance that America’s most distinct genre still holds.
“We are so lucky to have all these wonderful musicians with us today,” said Gill of the artists on stage with him.
In a terrifically astute guitar pull led by Vince Gill and company, it was evident that Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton can hold their own with the old guard, and are no slouches in redefining the current landscape of country.
Gill led the singer-songwriters in playing acoustic versions of their hits down the line, prompting each artist to entertain the crowd with a beloved hit or an up-and-coming song from their career.
Playing a handful of their own hits in addition to joining in on classic songs, Musgraves and Stapleton found that singer-songwriter sweet spot long honed by Gill, and brought Club Novo to a resounding uproar in their newfound status as country music luminaries.
“Y’all said it, not me!” laughed Musgraves in response to the audience shouting that her version of ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ was better than the one popularized by Miranda Lambert.
Stapleton surprised The Novo with deceptively soulful vocals despite his traditionally hirsute appearance, tackling his latest catalogue of songs.
“I closed my eyes there for a minute and I thought I was listening to Al Green,” said Walsh after Stapleton’s first performance.
Walsh and Taylor, amiable as always, provided the guitar pull with tunes that may have seen a more understated growth within country, but those that nonetheless found an incendiary home within the quintet that night.
“This next song is one that I sang for Apple Records in front of Paul McCartney and George Harrison,” said Taylor of his ‘Something In The Way.’ “I was shaking more than a Chihuahua on methamphetamines.”
Alongside the herculean efforts of Musgraves and Stapleton, Taylor proved once again his position as the seminal American troubadour.
Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James” and “Steam Roller” have seemingly not aged a day since they were first pressed on record, and brought several bleary eyes to the house.
“I seriously thought I was going to tear up whenever James sand,” said Chris Douglas, a friend of the Musgraves camp. “I don’t understand how someone preserves such an easygoing voice after all these years.”
In terms of some of the finest country licks around, it turns out that Downtown Los Angeles doesn’t differ from downtown Nashville all that much.