Amoeblog

The Top Ten Merle Haggard Albums

Posted by V.B., October 21, 2014 02:50pm | Post a Comment

It’s been said that during his heyday, 1966-1976, Merle Haggard wrote a good song every day.  I’ve only heard that said about one other artist: Stevie Wonder.  Indeed, Merle’s albums during this period showcase his talents as a songwriter and performer.  When he wasn’t recording his own tunes, his covers of mostly Bakersfield songwriters further displayed his unique ability to get to the heart of a song.

Merle started out playing bass in Wynn Stewart’s band and soon cut some singles for Tally, a small Bakersfield label.  After scoring a top 20 country hit with “Sing a Sad Song,” Merle got signed to Capitol and was teamed up with producer Ken Nelson.  Ken let Merle use his own band, supplemented with some L.A. studio guys like James Burton, to get his Bakersfield sound.  The key components were the hot but sparse sounds of guitarist Roy Nichols, steelers Ralph Mooney and Norm Hamlet, and the stark harmonies of Merle’s then wife, Bonnie Owens.  Merle had more hits when he moved on to MCA, Epic, Curb, Anti- and others, but the hard-biting brilliance of his early Capitol works defines Bakersfield C&W music.  There were also five excellent, mostly instrumental albums by Merle’s band, The Strangers, that are worth seeking out if you like slinky West Coast country pickin’.

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Merry Christmas!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 23, 2012 07:05pm | Post a Comment

Some Classic Working-Man/Working-Woman Songs For This Labor Day

Posted by Billyjam, September 5, 2011 11:14am | Post a Comment
         
"Working Man's Blues" by Merle Haggard

Beyond that first thought that typically pops into my head on this day every year ("Labor Day already? Damn where did the summer go?!") my mind turns to the endless lists of songs about working & laboring away in a job - of which these can be divided primarily into the "I hate my job and my boss" category (IE Johnny Paycheck's perennial "Take This Job And Shove It") and the "I work hard to make a living and support my family but don't necessarily want to quit or harm my boss." This Amoeblog focuses on the latter and on just classics from the 1960's to the 80's in the rock and pop categories. Disclaimer: obviously there's many not included so feel free to add your suggestion in comments below.

First up is the above classic "Working Man Blues" by Merle Haggard with lines like "It's a big job just gettin' by with nine kids and a wife. I been a workin' man dang near all my life I'll be working long as my two hands are fit to use." Hopefully Merle will play this song when he performs, along with Kris Kristofferson, at the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco in four weeks (Sept 30, Oct 1st & 2nd). Also included (below) is Glen Campbell's timeless tale of the hardworking "lineman for the county" - "Wichita Lineman." Note that there are still some tickets available for Campbell's Amoeba Hollywood instore signing tomorrow (Sept 6th) at 6pm which the artist, who was recently diagnosed with alzheimer's, is doing in support of his final album Ghost On The Canvas.

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Merle

Posted by Charles Reece, June 19, 2011 11:50pm | Post a Comment
I just got tickets to the Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson show in October at the Greek, which makes me a happy boy, so here's a brief look at some of the former's mostly good albums:

Swinging Doors and The Bottle Let Me Down (1966)

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Lineup Announced for 2010 Bridge School Benefit Concert, Buffalo Springfield Again

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 14, 2010 01:43pm | Post a Comment
buffalo springfield

Buffalo Springfield is reuniting -- at least, the three surviving members of the classic rock group are! And three fine rock stalwarts they are: Neil Young, Steven Stills and Richie Furay will be hitting the stage at the Young's 2010 Bridge School Benefit Concert and playing tracks from their albums together as the Springfield.

Buffalo Springfield "Broken Arrow" 1967


Buffalo Springfield "On the Way Home" 1968


Other artists set to perform at the always-epic acoustic annual fund raiser Oct 23 and 24 at Shoreline are Modest Mouse, Pearl Jam, Grizzly Bear, Lucinda WIlliams, Merle Haggard with Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne with David Lindley, T-Bone Burnett's Speaking Clock Revue (Neko Case, Elvis Costello, Ralph Stanley, Elton John, Leon Russell and Jeff Bridges) and more!

Tickets will be available for snapping up on September 19.

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