Merle Ronald Haggard revolutionized country music when he and his band, The Strangers, developed the Bakersfield Sound in the 1950s; a style of country music that was born in Bakersfield, California. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, he has continued to record and release music since, and at the ripe age of 77, he put on a show at Ink-N-Iron that proved why his music, and sound, has withstood the test of time.
Now, I may not have the greatest knowledge of country music, but listening to him sing a song like “Workin’ Man Blues”, and other songs that reach out to the common man and their daily life, really left an impression on me. Just him and his band playing music for the people.
He played both his guitar and his fiddle, and his voice seemed unaffected by age. In fact, I’d even say that at his age, his voice, based on the early recordings of him that I happen to have on iTunes, has only matured like a fine wine. Definitely smoothed out and in control.
If someone is going to open my ears to a different kind of country other than Rascal Flatts, I’m happy to report that Merle just may have done it. Hell, if a living legend couldn’t do it, then I don’t know who could have.
I couldn’t find a setlist online, so if anybody knows what songs he performed, and the order that he performed them in, let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it there.