In the four or five years since she’s performed in Prescott, Grammy and Country Music Award winner Suzy Bogguss said she’s put out a couple of new records, including one consisting of Merle Haggard songs. The album came out in 2014 and was special to her, Bogguss said.
“I’d been listening to him since I was a little kid and I actually kind of had my first radio success with one of his songs,” she said, calling it full circle to make a record of Haggard’s songs. “Just sort of highlight the fact that he wrote all these great songs. It didn’t matter what gender you were, you could just relate to the songs in a human way than you do necessarily in a guy or girl kind of way.”
Bogguss will perform some of those Haggard songs along with original songs written by her at the Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center, 117 E. Gurley St. on Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m.
Haggard was one of the biggest inspirations when learning about country music, Bogguss said, noting that her father was a big country music fan.
“That’s how I learned about country music was from driving my dad’s car when I turned 16,” she said. “I couldn’t afford records so I was just popping in the ones that were in there.”
When it comes to writing her own original songs, Bogguss said she’s not the most prolific person, stating it takes her a while to put together a whole album’s worth of work. A new record’s been in the works for a couple of years, she said.
Inspiration for the songs come from different places, Boggus said, commenting she can just hear a line and think it’s a great concept. Other times, she’ll wake up in the middle of the night and sing a melody into her phone, then talk to her husband, she said.
“He’s a killer lyricist, he might have an idea that kind of fits with the meter of the melody. I never know for sure if it’s going to be something he and I write together. I co-write with other friends as well,” Bogguss said. “It just kind of depends on what the song is and what my inspiration is. Sometimes it’s something that happens to me or it happens to somebody I know.”
There may be only two people in her band, but it functions as an awesome unit, Bogguss said. On one hand, there’s her bass player, who is animated on stage and a virtuoso on the instrument; and on the other hand, there’s the guitar player, who is from the Orkney Islands in Scotland, she said. The two of them are amazing instrumentalists and have a lot of character playing, Bogguss said.
Tickets are $40 for adults, $37 for seniors and veterans and $45 for opera box seats and can be purchased online at www.prescottelkstheater.com, by calling 928-777-1370 or at the door one hour prior to the performance.