To the uninitiated the name Merle Haggard may not mean a great deal, however the the country music appreciator Haggard of ‘The Hag’ as he is affectionately known ranks as one of the greatest country artists in its musical history.
Many devotees of country relate that ‘the voice’ of country has to be George Jones ,however to my mind it’s a double top with George and Merle as equals.
From humble beginnings Haggard has lived and practically documented his life through his songs from the early days of ‘creating’ the Bakersfield sound with Buck Owens through his thirty eight Number One hits and his subsequent seventy six studio albums.
Although not a brand new release an album has now been re-released which was originally recorded in one day in October 2007.
Together with such luminaries as Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss, Carl Jackson, Rob Ickes and many more from the bluegrass fraternity Haggard recorded twelve tracks live in the studio.
The album was released on the McCoury Music/Hag Record label entitled Merle Haggard – The Bluegrass sessions it is now available once again.
Containing some of his previous hits it it a gem of an offering with ‘Hag’ getting to grips with songs like ‘Wouldn’t That Be Something’,”I Wonder Where I’ll Find You Tonight’, and ‘Mama’s Hungry Eyes’ where he is joined by Alison Krauss.
Musicianship throughout is brilliant with some of the best bluegrass pickers around, and production is honed to perfection.
Haggard’s vocals are at their most believable, both relaxed and effortless.
In total it is sheer magic to a Haggard’s fan ears and for those yet to find out who he is you should be ashamed for not catching up with him sooner.
Merle Haggard – The Bluegrass Sessions. McCoury/Hag Label