It was back in March of 2019 when George Strait invited a special guest to the stage to assist him in performing his classic-sounding “God and Country Music.” The King of Country Music enlisted his grandson George Harvey Strait III, affectionately called Harvey, to duet with him on the tune at his concert at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston, Texas.
The performance, which also had Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen on the bill, was one to remember as it marked the child’s debut at the historic event. And, it turns out the kid’s got some star potential of his own as he showed no signs of fear while standing on stage inside the NRG Stadium, which sold over 80,000 tickets.
Harvey waited for his turn to sing while his famous grandpa showcased his signature vocals on the majority of the lyrics. And, when it came time for the final words of the song, little Harvey had the audience melting in his hands, belting out his parts.
Strait must see quite a bit of talent in Harvey since the young buck appears on the studio version of “God and Country Music.” On the Luke Laird, Barry Dean, and Lori McKenna-penned track, Harvey comes in toward the end, singing the words, “God and country music” alongside his granddad.
“God and Country Music” is featured on Strait’s 2019 album, Honky Tonk Time Machine. Other songs on the 12-track record include the title track, “Código,” “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar,” “The Weight of the Badge,” and more. There is also a surprise collaboration on the album, “Sing One With Willie” with Willie Nelson, and only one cover, Johnny Paycheck’s “Old Violin.”
This year, Strait marked his 31st return to RodeoHouston, since 1983. In the last two years, he had to bow out of performing at the iconic event due to the World Health Crisis. And, the 70-year-old hitmaker, who has charted over 60 No. 1 singles, has been keeping busy.
He recently released a salute song titled “Willy The Wandering Gypsy,” which appears on the tribute album to the late Billy Joe Shaver titled, Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver. Shaver, who played a significant role in Waylon Jennings’ career catalog, died in October of 2020 from an unexpected stroke.
Other artists who appear on Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver include Nelson with Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Steve Earle, Ryan Bingham, and Nathaniel Radcliff.
Paying tribute seems to be a theme for Strait in recent days as he shared a heartfelt message on Twitter in response to a death that has shaken the country music community. Strait was among the many artists who paid respects to fallen country legend, Loretta Lynn, who passed away peacefully in the comfort of her Tennessee home on Tuesday (Oct. 4), according to a statement from the family. She was 90 years old.
“We’re sure going to miss @LorettaLynn,” Strait tweeted, alongside a photo of the two posing backstage. “What an amazing woman and so unbelievably talented. Very thankful she shared that with all of us fans. God bless all of the family. Rest in Peace, Loretta. See you down the road.
Additionally, Strait recently revealed to Pollstar that he re-signed with his longtime record label MCA Records.
“I just re-signed with MCA Records and I’m really excited about that and the fact that they still want me around,” Strait said. “They’re the only record company I’ve ever been with, and I guess the only one I’ll ever have. They can bury me under the building when that time comes.”
In the interview he also shared that he has plans to “make another record soon.”
While Strait shared that he is semi-retired, he does still play dozens of shows throughout the year. However, Strait said he has plans to only play about eight shows in 2023.