The Bluegrass Sessions
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||Runaway Momma||Merle Haggard||3:48||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Pray||Merle Haggard||2:53||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||What Happened?||Merle Haggard||3:42||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Jimmie Rodgers Blues||Merle Haggard||4:16||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Learning to Live With Myself||Merle Haggard||4:09||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Mama's Hungry Eyes||Merle Haggard||3:36||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||I Wonder Where to Find You||Merle Haggard||2:54||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Holding Things Together||Merle Haggard||3:24||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Big City||Merle Haggard||3:37||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Momma's Prayers||Merle Haggard||4:07||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Wouldn't That Be Something||Merle Haggard||3:27||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Blues Stay Away from Me||Merle Haggard||3:45||$0.99||View In iTunes|
Country legend Merle Haggard’s “Bluegrass” album isn’t any huge stylistic change for a man who’s always leaned on the hard country line and preferred Western Swing to any concessions to NashVegas. Hag’s been more of a purist than most and his traditionalism only becomes more pronounced as he soldiers on in a career that’s spanned five decades. The picking fits the genre, the songs lean towards Haggard’s own heroes (Jimmie Rodgers, the Delmore Brothers), his old catalog (“Big City”) and his own social commentary (“What Happened” shakes its head at an America overrun by foreign cars and WalMart). Marty Stuart joins on mandolin, Alison Krauss duets on “Mama’s Hungry Eyes,” and an all-star cast of Carl Jackson, Aubrey Haynie and Rob Ickes cast things in a relaxed, professional, but never overpolished, setting. Age has weathered Hag’s voice. No longer the same deep, resonant weapon, it’s become a weary talespinner’s yawp, conversational, saving itself for a few special notes. He remains an emotionally compelling singer, as the simple truths of “Learning to Live With Myself” resound with Haggard’s touching pathos.
As a fan of Merle Haggard, this is a nice album. I have most of his country albums from years past. As a bluegrasser ---- sorry, this isn't bluegrass. The title is misleading in that regard. So if it's bluegrass you're looking for better check out something else.
Merle has this cd sounding like the old country which was rooted in bluegrass. He is the greatest story teller that country music has. Especially " What Happened". That song will never get air play but it should. This is Vintage Merle.
Good country; where's the bluegrass?
I want to like this album (and let's be clear, I have only listened to the 30-second previews so far to decide whether to purchase it), but where's the "bluegrass" of the title? To me, bluegrass music has a heavy emphasis on the instrumentals: banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro. Some of that is there, but recessed way behind the vocals (and mostly I like Merle). The second characteristic of bluegrass is the close vocal harmonies, of which I hear little here. The only track that comes even close to pleasing me is the standard "Big City," for which I have personal preference because sometimes you'll find me "somewhere in the middle of Montana" too. And I like the two blues tunes, "Jimmie Rodger's Blues" and "Blues Stay Away From Me," but because they are blues, not because they are bluegrass. This is not a bad Merle effort, it just ain't bluegrass.
Born: April 6, 1937 in Bakersfield, CA
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s