Watch Maren Morris Lead Little Big Town in ‘Down to the River to Pray’ at the Ryman
Morris took leads vocals on “Down to the River to Pray” as Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimmy Westbrook added harmonies. The song was performed completely a cappella, though the audience quickly joined in to accompany the five singers with hand claps and foot stomps.
“Down to the River to Pray” — sometimes known as “Down in the River to Pray,” “The Good Old Way” and by a few other titles — is a gospel hymn that has been covered by a number of artists throughout the years. Although its exact origin is unknown, it was likely composed by a slave; its earliest version was published in the 1860s. Alison Krauss sings what is perhaps the most famous country music version of the song; she’s recorded it a few different times, but it first appeared on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack in 2000.
Little Big Town began their 2017 Ryman Auditorium residency, Little Big Town at the Mother Church, in February; they also performed at the venue in May and have dates scheduled for September and November. Morris, meanwhile, is currently out on the road as part of Sam Hunt’s 15 in a 30 Tour and will resume her headlining Hero Tour this fall.
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