Jan. 23—TIFTON — In the mid-1980s, four superstars of country music came together to form "The Highwaymen," recording three albums and selling out shows around the world with a set list comprising their biggest hits. Fans of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson will have the chance to relive those memories in Tifton on Thursday.
"The Highwaymen — American Outlaw Tribute" will perform at the Tift Theatre as part of the ABAC at the Tift Series. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $35. Tickets can be purchased prior to the concert at www.artsatabac.com or can be purchased at the door.
The show captures the magic that began when the four country music legends were first on stage together for a Christmas show in Switzerland in 1984. In his autobiography, Jennings wrote that after the show, the quartet started trading songs in the hotel. Within days, they were together in a studio in Nashville when another country music superstar, Marty Stuart, remembered an old song called "Highwayman" that had four distinct verses. The group thought it would be perfect to highlight the familiar but different voices of each member and a supergroup was born.
The performers who make up the group have diverse backgrounds. Gray Sartin performs as Johnny Cash, a show he created in 2011 and quickly became a nationwide hit. He started performing at age 5 and began singing and playing guitar at 10. North Carolina's Tyson Halford handles the Willie Nelson role. He was classically trained on piano at age 8 before learning to play guitar, harmonica, drums and mandolin.
Stefan Superti grew up in New York but moved to Nashville after college. His music repertoire grew by playing many genres of music. In 2021, while playing a solo acoustic set at Margaritaville in Nashville, he was approached by Sartin about taking the Waylon Jennings role in the group. He has toured with them ever since. Greg Bauman, who performs as Kris Kristofferson, has been playing professionally since age 13. Nathan Place on drums and Cliff Hagen on bass round out the group.
With four great music catalogs to choose from, fans will hear everything including Nelson's "Always on My Mind," Cash's "A Boy Named Sue," Jennings' "Luckenbach, Texas," and "Me and Bobby McGee," one of the many hits written by Kristofferson.
The Highwaymen Show is part of the "ABAC at the Tift" series, which presents original artists and tribute acts representing some of the greatest performers of rock, soul, and rhythm and blues.