Thursday, March 1, 2007

Merle Haggard

March ’07 – I was on my way to play a show a few weeks ago and a woman, seeing my guitar, asked me what music I liked. I asked her the same question and she said “Country music, Aboriginal music.” She listed a few singers, including Merle Haggard, so, sometime later, although his conservative politics always bothered me, I got his Best Of down from my shelves and since have been listening to it a lot. I love ‘MAMA TRIED’ – it is a compact little life story, with brief but vivid character sketches, and a chorus so rousing and full of energy that you almost forget the meaning of the words that you’re singing along with: “I turned twenty-one in prison, doing life without parole”. Great guitar riffs, too.