Merle Haggard goes bluegrass
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Merle Haggard goes bluegrass

Sunday, July 8, 2007 – After more than 40 years in country, Merle Haggard is going in a different direction - bluegrass. He will release "The Bluegrass Sessions" Oct. 2 through Del McCoury's label, McCoury Music.

The disc will feature a duet with Alison Krauss on the Haggard's classic "Mama's Hungry Eyes." Marty Stuart contributes guitar and mandolin on the sessions recorded at Ricky Skaggs' Tennessee studio in two days.

"Each take became a performance. Merle's singing was totally inspired,' Stuart wrote in the liner notes. 'In fact, he got to the point where he didn't even go into the control room to listen to playbacks. There was no need. All of us knew what we were doing was right.'

Haggard said, "I really enjoyed doing it, and I hope this is just Volume One."

The disc features reworked Hag classics, such as "Big City," several new Haggard tracks and a few bluegrass standards, including the Delmore Brothers' album-ending "Blues Stay Away From Me." A medley of Jimmy Rodgers songs also was recorded.

This marks a busy period for Haggard. In March, he released "Last of the Breed" along with Willie Nelson and Ray Price. They are touring this summer behind that release.

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CD review - Working in Tennessee Read Merle Haggard's Wikipedia entry. It talks, in the second sentence, of his having helped create the Bakersfield sound, with its "rough edge." Later, it discusses, at some length, his conservative touchstones, in particular Okie From Muskogee. While, in Wikipedia fashion, that may capture the popular perception of the recent Kennedy Center honoree, it doesn't hit at the core of what made him, along with Willie Nelson and George Jones, one of country music's three most ...
CD review - I Am What I Am It seems that the legendary country artists who survive to their later years, often make some of their best music during that time. It certainly was true with Johnny Cash and apparently Merle Haggard is primed to follow suit. The evidence of that is spread all over his new 12-song outing. Haggard has gone introspective, but he has done it in such a way that most of the songs are easy for the listeners to apply to their own experiences. The opener, I've Seen It Go Away, is about losing the ...
CD review - Legendary Performances DVD The Strangers are a talented and extremely flexible band, as Haggard's mood can vary from showing off his rich singing voice on ballads to playing the jazzy guitar hero via Western swing material. Thus, it takes a multi-faceted combo, like The Strangers, to keep up with Haggard's many moods. This disc collects 15 Haggard TV clips, and the man is definitely not lip synching his way through these performances. For instance, viewers can clearly hear The Hag clear his throat right before ...

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