Merle Haggard - Down Every Road 1962-1994
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Down Every Road 1962-1994 (Capitol Nashville, 1996)

Merle Haggard

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

Capitol has been more than a little tardy in realizing the value of Merle's back catalogue, but this project was worth the wait. Though it ignores Merle's career after 1986, except for "In My Next Life" (from 1993), you get 100 tracks of classic Haggard over four discs - five previously unreleased- as well as an excellent 74-page book. Of special note is the A-side of Merle's ultra-rare first single (only 200 copies exist), "Skid Row" and an unreleased version of "Trouble In Mind" from the 1970 sessions which produced Merle's classic Bob Wills tribute album; an album which kicked off a western swing revival which continues to this day. Thoughthe set glosses over the past 10 years of Merle's distinguished career (a fifth disc really would have been justified in Hag's case), it remains an essential purchase for fans of Merle Haggard or the Bakersfield sound. Highly recommended.

CDs by Merle Haggard

Working in Tennessee, 2011 I Am What I Am, 2010 Legendary Performances DVD, 2008 The Bluegrass Sessions, 2007 Hag/Someday We'll Look Back, 2006 I'm A Lonesome Fugitive/Branded Man, 2006 Mama Tried/Pride In What I Am, 2006 Sing Me Back Home/The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde, 2006 Strangers/Swinging Doors And The Bottle Let Me Down, 2006 Chicago Wind, 2005

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