I have seen many posts on Facebook recently wanting Merle Haggard’s son, Ben Haggard, to release an original album. At first I thought it was great..actually I still would like to see this happen, but it got me thinking about superstars and their kids following in their footsteps.
Why do fans of Merle Haggard want Ben to release an album? Are they expecting a reincarnation of the legend? Even if he plays his own stuff, his fans will still be leftovers from Merle with a few new fans. Trolls will follow him and bash him on social media for living off his daddy’s fame. I’ve seen this with Hank Jr., Hank 3, Shooter and Whey Jennings, Rosanne Cash and many others. Shooter even stopped playing his daddy’s guitar for that reason maybe. It sounds easy enough to do, but does he really want to stand in the shadow of Merle?
On another view I can see this as the prime time for Ben to break into the scene because of the changing trends in country music. With the rise of Chris Stapleton, Cody Jinks, and Tyler Childers, a new sound is emerging from Nashville that is going to take country music back to its roots. For those skeptical of the the “going back to its roots” statement, take a look at country music history with Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, George Strait who helped bring the feel back in the 90s. In the 2000s we had Josh Turner, early Zac Brown Band, and Jamey Johnson. It always goes back to its roots until it trends away and goes back to pop country.
What do you all think? Should Ben Haggard release an album? Why?