I got to see these two in concert together not long ago (thank God live music is back) and one of the highlights of the show was their duet on “Evangeline” from Randy’s 2019 album Magnolia.
Now, that entire album was insanely underrated, but for me, “Evangeline” was one of the standouts.
According to Randy, it’s a song inspired by his time at East Central Community College in Mississippi when he would run off to New Orleans after class and then drive back the next morning.
“I was reminiscing about all the things we did in junior college. We would take off from class at Central Community College where I went to school for a couple years.
We would just take off after class and drive down to New Orleans and spend all night, hang out, then drive right back in the early morning and be back for class. Those memories stay with you. I know they have with me.”
New Orleans is my favorite city in the world, and if you’ve never watched the sun come up over Jackson Square (usually at the end of a night of heavy drinking, surrounded by people who are equally drunk), you’re missing one of life’s greatest pleasures.
So this song has always spoke to me, because it manages to capture not only the free-spirited idea of running off together with someone you love, but also the magic of New Orleans all at once.
And when you get to hear it from not only Randy Houser, but also the incredible Jamey Johnson singing with him?
Man, that’s hard to beat.
This tour wasn’t the first time the duo have performed the song together, having also knocked it out of the park back at Farm Aid 2019.
So sit back, grab you a hurricane to drink (or a cafe au lait and some beignets, if it’s too early to start drinking), and picture yourself running off to New Orleans to dip your toes in the Mississippi River, or watch the sun come up on Jackson Square.
Because this duet? Pure magic.
And of course, here’s the original from Randy, which is a masterpiece in its own right.