Little Big Town stepped onto Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium stage on Sunday night (May 15) to pay tribute to the late country legend Naomi Judd, at a memorial concert event billed as Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration.
During their time onstage, Little Big Town expressed their condolences to the Judd family, speaking directly to her widower, Larry Strickland, and daughters Wynonna and Ashley, who were seated in the audience.
“Your music has been the fabric of our lives, and Naomi, it will live with us forever,” said the band’s Karen Fairchild. “So thank you for … it’s a great honor just to be on the stage with y’all tonight.”
They then launched into a gentle, lilting performance of “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days),” one of the Judds‘ signature hits. Released in 1986, it became the sixth No. 1 hit that Wynonna and Naomi scored at the hitmaking mother-daughter country duo, and remains a classic to this day. Its lyrics look wistfully back towards simpler, bygone times, told from the perspective of a young girl asking her grandfather to tell her stories about the life he knew when he was young.
Little Big Town’s rendition of “Grandpa” was faithful to the original, with Fairchild taking the lead in the first verse and bandmate Kimberly Schlapman singing the second. In the choruses of the song, all four members of the group joined in with rich vocal harmonies.
The country quartet were one of an array of performers who paid tribute to Naomi during the River of Time celebration. Also on the bill were Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley and more. Brandi Carlile teamed up with Wynonna Judd for a performance of “The Rose,” while Wynonna took center stage for “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
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