Bobby Osborne covers Merle Haggard on White Line Fever

Bobby Osborne with Alison Brown of Compass Records at Bonnaroo in 2017 – photo by Jay Blakesburg

Compass Records also has a new single out today, a bluegrass cover of the great Merle Haggard’s White Line Fever, sung by the legendary Bobby Osborne.

Alison Brown, co-founder of Compass, had the idea to speed the song up into a grasser, and add some additional lyrics to personalize it a bit. She pitched the idea to Bobby, who jumped on board, so Brown brought in Jeff Tweedy of Wilco to compose a final verse. It tells of Bobby’s own 60 years in bluegrass, both with Sonny as The Osborne Brothers, and as a solo artist following Sonny’s retirement in 2005.

Brown played banjo on the track, with Trey Hensley on guitar, Sierra Hull on mandolin, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, and Todd Phillips on bass. Hensley and Tim O’Brien provide harmony vocals.

Have a listen  in this static video.

Bobby’s White Line Fever is available now from many of the popular download and streaming sites. Radio programmers can find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.