Watch JP Harris Pay Tribute to Luke Bell at the Mother Church
On Wednesday, September 14th, 2022, the Americana community gathered in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium to celebrate the 2022 Americana Music Awards, with Billy Strings walking away with Artist of the Year, Allison Russell winning Album of the Year for Outside Child, and Sierra Ferrell winning Emerging Artist of the Year. To see the full list of winners, CLICK HERE.
There were many great performances on the evening as well, with Lyle Lovett singing the old Little Feat classic “Willin’,” Sierra Ferrel performing “At The End of the Rainbow,” and many more. But one of the most surprising and unexpected moments of the entire presentation is when traditional country performer JP Harris came out and stood center stage at the Mother Church of Country Music, and sang Luke Bell’s “The Bullfighter” in tribute to the fallen singer and songwriter. Luke Bell passed away a few weeks before.
JP Harris was currently on tour at the time, and flew into Nashville last minute to perform the tribute. Early on in Luke Bell’s career, not only did JP Harris give Luke a place to stay and a job (JP Harris is also a full-time contractor), he also was a mentor to Luke, referring to him at one point from the Ryman stage as “little brother.”
RELATED: Fellow Friends, Family, and Musicians Pay Tribute to Luke Bell
“He’d barely begun what should’ve been a very wide and deep mark in the history of country music. His talent was unmeasured, his gall unmatched, and his true cowboy charm was maddeningly effective,” JP Harris said. “Luke never got the chance to sing this song himself from this stage like he should have. So I’m going to do my damnedest in your stead, little brother.”
The moment was a touching epitaph in the Luke Bell saga. If you weren’t there though, you missed it, until now. Ahead of the broadcast of the 2022 Americana Music Awards on PBS stations in the Austin City Limits time slot, they have released the video of JP Harris performing “The Bullfighter” in tribute to Luke Bell.
Check local listings for the Americana Music Awards broadcast to see the tribute in context, airing on most PBS stations Saturday night (4-1). It will then be available for streaming on April 2nd after 10:00 EDT at pbs.org/show/austin-city-limits/ .
April 1, 2023 @ 3:58 pm
Very sweet tribute.
Mr. Harris, and the band did a good job.
April 1, 2023 @ 7:20 pm
That was great take
April 1, 2023 @ 9:57 pm
Quite a number of years back I was playing JP Harris a considerable amount and then abruptly he fell off my radar. This tribute has put him back on it.
April 4, 2023 @ 10:13 am
I’ve spent a year or two trying to remember who the singer with the beard is. At last!
April 2, 2023 @ 6:42 pm
Agreed- Luke Bell was phenomenal. Thankful for the small sample of music he gave us.
April 2, 2023 @ 7:12 pm
A sweet rendition JP! Appreciate you remembering and keeping Luke’s legacy alive. Thank you sir!
April 3, 2023 @ 6:02 am
I found out about both of these guys through your site. Thanks so much.
April 3, 2023 @ 5:55 pm
Kudos to JP for making such a touching tribute to a fallen talent