LIVE AT THE RYMAN
with Chris Janson
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Merle Haggard 2-night ticket packages are available here.
At the age of 77 the veteran singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and bandleader is still making some of the most compelling music of his long and storied career. It almost goes without saying that Merle Haggard is widely regarded as country music's greatest living recording artist. A rugged individualist who simultaneously embodies and transcends the genre, Haggard is both a seminal superstar and an unrepentant outsider. Over the course of a remarkably prolific five-decade career, he's consistently shown himself to be an uncompromising creative force, far more concerned with pursuing his iconoclastic vision than with meeting the expectations of the music-industry establishment.
With his 1962 album release, he became a fixture on Bakersfield, California's thriving country music scene, working manual labor jobs by day and playing local clubs by night. A string of singles for the local Tally label led to a deal with Capitol Records, and in 1965 Haggard launched an incredible string of classic hits including "Swinging Doors," "The Bottle Let Me Down," "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," "Branded Man," "Sing Me Back Home," "Today I Started Loving You Again," "Mama Tried,” "Hungry Eyes," "Silver Wings," "Workin' Man Blues," "The Fightin' Side of Me," "If We Make It Through December" and the much-misunderstood "Okie From Muskogee."
Those classics found Haggard honoring country-music traditions while drawing upon a broad range of jazz, blues, and folk influences, while his vivid, emotionally nuanced lyrics poignantly chronicled the dreams and heartbreaks of common people, as well as his own harsh life experiences.