Rodney Crowell, Doug Green Headline Benefit for Death Penalty Opposition

Rodney Crowell and Ranger Doug Green of Riders in the Sky headlined a benefit concert at Nashville’s historic Belcourt Theatre Tuesday night (June 2) for the anti-capital punishment group, the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing (TCASK). Singing along with the two veteran performers were their adult offspring, Chelsea Crowell and James Green. The event was billed as Generations Against the Death Penalty. Just before the show started, TCASK’s executive director, Stacy Rector, reminded the crowd that Tennessee had confined Paul House to its death row for 23 years before releasing him recently for insufficient evidence. She added that nationally 132 former death row inmates have been freed because of wrongful convictions since the United States reinstated the death penalty in 1976. In a show that ran nearly two and a-half hours, the elder Green did a string of yodels and cowboy songs and Crowell rolled out one lyrical masterpiece after another, among them the relatively new “Glasgow Girl” and the even newer “Jesus, Talk to Mama.” For the finale, the four performers sang Merle Haggard’s death-house classic, “Sing Me Back Home,” before returning to the stage for three more songs.