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MERLE HAGGARD 'The Bluegrass Sessions' MCM-0008-CD

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In spite of the sub-title and the presence of some top Bluegrass sidemen, this is not really a Bluegrass album. But that is not to say that it isn't good --fact is it's a wonderful disc that captures Haggard in fine form with excellent, sympathetic acoustic backing (and it's great to hear him this way for a change). As longtime country fans know, Haggard not only has a distinctive voice, but he is a great singer; it's not a voice that lends itself to the high lonesome strains of Bluegrass, but that really doesn't matter here. There's very little banjo to be heard here, but there's plenty of tasteful backup work by Rob Ickes (dobro), Marty Stuart (mandolin), Carl Jackson (guitar, vocals) and Aubrey Haynie (fiddle). There are also no songs that are identified with the Bluegrass tradition --for the most part (10 out of 12) they are Merle's own songs, both new and old, with MAMA'S HUNGRY EYES the most recognizable. For most of our customers, BLUES STAY AWAY FROM ME and JIMMIE RODGERS BLUES will be the most recognizable songs on a good album (produced by Ronnie Reno, who was a Haggard sideman for many years), but, typical of Haggard, there are others that hit home with their social commentary, like HOLDING THINGS TOGETHER and WHAT HAPPENED. While this record may not rival Haggard's classic recorded work, it's a well done & very enjoyable album.

Show Credits
1 Runaway Momma 3:49
2 Pray 2:53
3 What Happened? 3:42
4 Jimmie Rodgers Blues 4:17
5 Learning To Live With Myself 4:09
6 Mama's Hungry Eyes
7 I Wonder Where To Find You 2:54
8 Holding Things Together 3:25
9 Big City
10 Momma's Prayers
11 Wouldn't That Be Something 3:28
12 Blues Stay Away From Me 3:45