At a live show last December in Atlanta, Midland added a cover of Garth Brooks’ 1989 song “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” to their setlist. The track was a single release from Garth’s debut album and expressed the narrator’s unsettling feelings about becoming older and watching “tougher broncs” in the rodeo industry.
Garth Brooks once said of the song:
“… it was my first single. It was a baby that I watched grow up. Whenever I hear it today, I have a smile on my face.”
Midland adds their urban cowboy country spin on the song, and you can tell the guys are excited to be playing the old throwback hit. In the first chorus, they all meet in the middle of the stage, playing their instruments and smiling ear-to-ear; it’s just fun to see.
The best part of the Midland cover is the iconic Garth shoutout to Chris Ledoux. Ledoux was a professional rodeo cowboy in the 1970s, competing in the national circuit and winning the crown for World’s Best Bareback Rider in ’76. He simultaneously wrote songs about his rodeo experience during his time in the circuit, recorded them in a basement, and sold them out of his truck at events.
Garth’s mention of Ledoux in “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” was recognizable to listeners, and Garth himself felt that mentioning Chris helped the song and his country music career to take off.
Chris didn’t think that was possible.
Instead, the first time he heard his name in the song he was in complete shock.
The two later met and became friends for many years prior to Chris Ledoux’s passing. But any avid listener of the “Much Too Young” track recalls Garth’s tagline, “God bless Chris Ledoux,” which Midland also mimics here (2:35), marking them as true lifelong country fans.