On Kacey Musgraves’ magnificent, CMA-winning 2018 album, Golden Hour, one song stands apart as not like all the rest. That would be “High Horse,” a surprising space-disco cut that manages to take many of country music’s most well-worn tropes, specifically cowboys and cowgirls and the horses the rode in on, and gives them a surprising, endearing, and ultimately brilliant new lense. And while a typical live show would find Musgraves performing the song pretty much as it appears on the album, the Grand Ole Opry is not a typical live show.
As Rolling Stone points out, for a performance on the revered Nashville stage, Musgraves gave her current hometown a made-over version of the standout song. Studio synth magic gives way to upright bass and all acoustic instrumentation, though the song maintains its tempo and overall feel. Even with acoustic backing, Musgraves can’t help but move, even inspiring the buttoned-up audience to clap along. A double-time finish, though, does take the song into bold new territory, coming closer to the more traditional country sounds that are often performed on the Opry stage. It’s a nod to where Musgraves has come from and where she is going, and how those two places can live in perfect harmony.
Watch Kacey Musgraves’ acoustic ‘High Horse’ above.