Merle Haggard Live From Austin TX '78

Merle Haggard Live From Austin TX '78
If there's any further explanation needed about why Merle Haggard's songs are timeless, all one needs to hear is the opening track of this CD/DVD set: "Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today." The same sentiment will be true in 2009, just as it was when Hag and company taped this Austin City Limits performance not long after the song's original release. While at that time Hag was a fading curiosity among the Urban Cowboy crowd, this spirited outing in front of a typically reverential ACL audience shows he was hardly concerned about then-current trends, both musically and visually. After running through a string of classics — "Silver Wings," "Lonesome Fugitive," "Sing Me Back Home" — Haggard pulls out the fiddle and pays tribute to Texas legend Bob Wills with rousing versions of "San Antonio Rose" and "Cherokee Maiden." The musicianship is expectedly impeccable and should be a revelation for any young alt-country fan who perhaps has only discovered Haggard within the last decade. Yes, there's more to Merle than "Okie From Muskogee," a lot more. (New West)