The best way to get a feel for a Tennessee Walt show is … to see a Tennessee Walt show. For reasons of marketability, we try to avoid posting our touring shows on the internet; however, with the advent of the pandemic lockdown in 2020, Walt launched a series of nine special, one-of-a-kind shows on the internet. Those shows remain available to this day.
Each of these shows (which were done as benefits for the libraries of the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tristate area) is unique, and each features songs which Walt has never performed in any of his in-person shows. Except for an occasional guest shot by the ever-welcome Texas Sally, each of these shows is simply Walt at his piano, singing classic country and talking about the songs and the stories behind them.
Each show is available either at Facebook.com/TennesseeWalt or on Walt’s YouTube channel, and most of them also feature online program notes to be found on the blog on this very site. Take a look, and see for yourself—and, if you like what you see and hear, take a look at our Tour page to see when you can next go see Walt live and in person.
Tennessee Walt’s A Distant Country (April 4, 2020).
To provide diversion to a locked-down New York area, and to call attention to the plight of the region’s libraries, Walt offered a program of classic country featuring songs by Hank Williams, the Carter Family, Citizens Band Radio, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, Alfred G. Karnes, Kris Kristofferson, John D. Loudermilk, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Gretchen Peters, Kenny Rogers and Ernest Tubb, plus a few originals (including the world premiere of “A Gray Day in Lockdown City”).
Tennessee Walt’s A Distant Country 2 (May 2, 2020).
A Distant Country was intended to be a one-shot event, but the popular response was such as to justify a return engagement, featuring songs by Hank Williams, the Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Hank Penny, Carl Perkins, Billy Joe Shaver, Hank Snow and Tammy Wynette, plus a few originals.
Tennessee Walt’s A Distant Country 3 (June 6, 2020).
A Distant Country 3, appearing three months into the lockdown and featured a bunch of audience requests, producing a program that included songs by Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Don Gibson, Merle Haggard, Pee Wee King, Blind Alfred Reed, Cal Smith, Hank Snow, Jim Reeves, Jimmie Rodgers, Taylor Swift, and Kitty Wells, as well as a few originals (including the world premiere of “Getting Too Old”).
Tennessee Walt’s An Evening in a Distant Country (July 5, 2020).
The fourth Distant Country show was our first evening web performance, as well as our first with a distinguished co-host: The Grand Ole Opry, only the most popular radio/television show in the history of country music. For the occasion, the show included songs by Hank Williams, Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Red Foley, Tompall Glaser, Merle Haggard, Ferlin Huskey, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Locklin, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells, Bob Wills and, of course, a few originals.
Tennessee Walt’s A Distant Country 5 (August 1, 2020).
Our evening audience was significantly smaller than our daytime “crowd,” so we returned to Saturday afternoons for our fifth library benefit, this time featuring songs by Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Bobby Bare, the Carter Family, Johnny Cash and June Carter, Roy Clark, Mac Davis, Dave Dudley, Buddy Holly, Kris Kristofferson, Buck Owens, Floyd Tillman, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills and a special set devoted to fictional country singers Bad Blake, Mac Sledge and Red Stovall, as well as the obligatory few originals.
Tennessee Walt’s Hank Williams Birthday Party (September 17, 2020).
The Grand Ole Opry was back as a co-host for our celebration of the 97th birthday of the patron saint of country music, which naturally featured an all-Williams program … except for the Johnny Cash hit “The Night Hank Williams Came to Town.”
Tennessee Walt’s Christmas in a Distant Country (December 5, 2020).
Country music has its share of Christmas classics, and our holiday show featured favorites by Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby (who?), Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, Kasey Musgraves, Buck Owens, Billy Joe Shaver, Carl Smith, Judd Strunk and Ernest Tubb, plus a clutch of Bah & the Humbugs classics and a few originals (including the world premiere of “Pray for the Good Old Man”).
Tennessee Walt’s A Year in a Distant Country (March 13, 2021).
Two days short of a year into the pandemic (the last live Tennessee Walt show had been in New Hyde Park on March 15, 2020), we celebrated having made it through the year with a program of songs by Hank Williams, Junior Brown, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Jessi Colter, Kris Kristofferson, John D. Loudermilk, Gretchen Peters and Jimmie Rodgers, plus a special set honoring the great country artists who’d died in the past year (including Charlie Daniels, Jan Howard, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Billy Joe Shaver and Jerry Jeff Walker), as well as a few originals, including the world premiere of “Sisyphus.”
Tennessee Walt’s 60 Years in a Distant Country (May 22, 2021).
Walt’s 60th birthday, marked two days after this show, was the occasion for an all-originals show featuring not one but six world premieres, including “Almost Ready,” “Aruba,” “I Don’t Know Where I’m Going,” “Just Another Trainwreck,” “The Last Country Song” and “Leaving on Her Mind.”