The LoCash Cowboys paid tribute to their late band member, Ryan “Troop” Jones, over the weekend (Sunday, Feb. 26) with a special benefit concert in his honor, which also featured the likes of Bruce Brown, Mason Tyler, Randy Houser and Jeffrey Steele.

As fans filtered into Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon to remember the band’s fiddle/mandolin/acoustic guitar player, two spotlights shined down on the spot on the stage where Troop would have stood had he been there that night, the set complete with his gear and a giant portrait of the 30-year-old’s face.

It was only fitting that the night’s introduction was given by none other than Darth Vader, as Jones’ nickname “Troop” was coined from his love of Star Wars. The Star Wars legend informed fans that it was not to be a night of sadness and mourning over his passing, but rather one to carry on his legacy and celebrate the impact he made on each and every person standing in the room.

LoCash’s Preston Brust and Chris Lucas took the stage with their remaining band members and played their forthcoming single, ‘C-O-U-N-T-R-Y,’ which will be impacting radio later this spring. They kept fans’ energy level high by performing the familiar hits ‘Here Comes Summer’ and ‘You Gonna Fly’ — a song they wrote for Keith Urban, who just took the song to the No. 1 slot on the charts for the second consecutive week.

“We can’t thank you enough for being here,” Brust said, following ‘You Gonna Fly.’ “Thanks, Troop, for two weeks at No. 1 with that song … we know you had something to do with that!”

Between performances from the Cowboys and their touching stories of life on the road with Troop, the other performers took the stage to pay their own respects to the talented musician who fell ill last summer and eventually passed away in October.

Brust and Lucas also treated fans to several new tunes throughout the night, including ‘Love Drunk,’ ‘Do it Up Right’ and ‘Trucks,’ knowing they were all songs Troop would have approved of them playing on his special night. “Troop always loved those fun songs like that,” Lucas noted from the stage.

After Houser performed an acoustic set of his own hits, including ‘Boots On,’ ‘In God’s Time’ and a new tune, ‘Like a Cowboy,’ iconic songwriter Jeffrey Steele wowed the crowd with performances of some of his hits taken to the top by other artists, including ‘Gone’ by Montgomery Gentry. Possibly one of the night’s most powerful performances came when Steele sang an emotional rendition of ‘What Hurts the Most,’ a song recorded by Rascal Flatts, which pulled on the heartstrings and moved many to tears.

“The show turned out to be amazing,” Lucas told Taste of Country following the night’s final performance. “First off, thank you Jeffrey Steele and Randy Houser for showing up and supporting our wonderful friend, Troop. It was a very classy event and an emotional night, but I know for a fact, Troop was smiling down, and that’s the way he would have wanted it.”

Proceeds raised from ‘The Song Lives on — A Tribute to Ryan Jones’ benefited MusiCares.

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