Merle Haggard & The Strangers

Dewey Groom's Longhorn Ballroom (Dallas, TX)

Feb 13, 1982

  • play
  • add
  • favorite
  1. 1 Misery and Gin 03:32
  2. 2 I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink 04:08
  3. 3 Back To The Bar Rooms Again 02:29
  4. 4 Our Paths May Never Cross 04:08
  5. 5 Interlude 01:23
  6. 6 It's Been a Great Afternoon 03:02
  7. 7 My Favorite Memory 04:39
  8. 8 Going Where The Lonely Go 06:49
  9. 9 Mama Tried 02:53
  10. 10 The Mule 03:51
  11. 11 The Breakdown 03:02
  12. 12 Brain Cloudy Blues 05:00
  13. 13 Tulare Dust / The Way I Am 03:43
  14. 14 Bull And The Beaver 02:40
  15. 15 Swinging Doors (Incomplete) 05:49
  16. 16 Good Old American Guest 03:58
  17. 17 This Cold War With You 04:23
  18. 18 Always Late (With Your Kisses) 03:09
  19. 19 Pennies From Heaven 04:58
  20. 20 Misery 02:41
  21. 21 Right Or Wrong 04:10
More Merle Haggard & The Strangers

Jimmy Belkin - fiddle
Merle Haggard - vocals, guitar
Dennis Hromek - bass
Don Markham - saxophone, trumpet
Roy Nichols - guitar
Bobby Wayne - guitar
Mark Yeary - piano

Johnny Cash may have been one of the first country artists to capitalize on his criminal record, but Merle Haggard was a true outlaw. Whereas the Man in Black only recorded a legendary album at San Quentin Prison, Haggard had actually been an inmate there.

The son of Dust Bowl refugees, Merle Haggard grew up at a time when his native Bakersfield was fast becoming a hot spot for Western swing and country music. He managed to stay out of reform school and jail just long enough to begin making a name for himself, and by the end of the '60s, he had become country's biggest star.

These two shows, recorded appropriately in Dallas, Texas, are full of the kind of hard livin', true life tales that made Merle famous. The performances are near flawless, with backing band The Strangers embellishing each song with tasteful pickin' and fiddlin.' Somehow, Haggard and his crew managed to arrive on the other side of the '70s completely unaffected by the awful trends that plagued Nashville for most of that decade. The sound is amped up, for sure, with electric instruments and an edgy attitude, but still firmly rooted in tradition.

Haggard seems able to tap into heartache and hangovers like none other; cowboys and rockers alike can't help but identify with these stories. This is true country - zero pretension and a whole lotta feeling, just like it was meant to be.