Chris Willman
October 12, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Bluegrass Sessions

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Merle Haggard
genre
Country

We gave it an B

It’s his ”first bluegrass album,” but don’t expect banjo-slamming covers — just Merle Haggard’s own chestnuts revived acoustically. Hag’s usual band swings so much that you may feel these rootsy arrangements straitjacket him. (”Big City,” with its famous ”Turn me loose” chorus, never sounded less loose.) While the main draw of The Bluegrass Sessions is several newly penned tunes from country’s greatest songwriter, you can skip ”What Happened?”, his latest America-now-sucks anthem, and go straight to ”Wouldn’t That Be Something,” a touching plea for marital reconciliation.
DOWNLOAD THIS: ”Mama’s Hungry Eyes”

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