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Merle Haggard: Today’s Country Music Lacks ‘Substance’

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for The Smith Center)


If you look up ‘Icon’ in the dictionary there is a good chance you’ll find a photo of Merle Haggard. He’s been making music for the better part of five decades and has secured his place in music, not just country, history – A true Original Outlaw well before being a Bad Ass was Cool.

So when Merle speaks, maybe you should listen:

“I’ve gotta be honest, I don’t really listen to the radio at all anymore,” Haggard explained to News Observer. “Once in a while, I’ll scan it and I don’t understand what they’re doing. I can’t find the entertainment in it.”

Mr. Haggard continued:

“I know these guys, occasionally play shows with them and they’re all good people. But I wonder if that record they’re making is something they can actually do,” the legend says. “Too much boogie boogie wham-bam and not enough substance.”

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“It’s all the same musicians, too, probably eight to 10 musicians play on every record you hear,” Haggard adds. “For a musician hearing things that way, you can tell when a certain guitarist is playing. I know more about the musicians than the artists, actually.”


Now go out and buy a Merl Haggard album to discover what real Country Music is… Or you can wait for one of his four soon to be released albums to turn up in the record store.


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