Yee Howdy! This week’s album is Merle Haggard – Okie from Muskogee – 8-18-22



Okie from Muskogee Review

by Bruce Eder


The hit single title-tune didn’t make it onto an LP for three years, but purchasers of this disc were getting something better, a good live album, the first of three concerts released by Haggard and the Strangers in less than four years. Cut in Muskogee, Oklahoma (where Haggard is given the key to the city and an award certifying him an “honorary Okie”), the first side is devoted to classics such as “Mama Tried,” “Swinging Doors,” “Working Man Blues,” and “Sing Me Back Home” — stuck amid these originals is a sizzling rendition of Jimmie Rodgers’ “No Hard Times,” and “In the Arms of Love,” co-authored by Buck Owens and Gene Price (Haggard’s bass player, who gets a featured vocal). Haggard opens side two with his song about the mythical Depression-era persona “Hobo Bill” (the Jimmie Rodgers-influenced “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride”), premieres one new song (“Billy Overcame His Size”), and in the second half gives the Strangers a brief featured spot (“Blue Rock”), sandwiched between the Haggard anthems “White Line Fever” and a smooth rendition of “Okie From Muskogee.” The Bakersfield sound is very well represented, with crisp rhythms and lean leads (by Roy Nichols), and Haggard is in excellent voice.

Track Listing
  1. No Hard Times
  2. Silver Wings
  3. Merle Receives Key to Muskogee
  4. Merle’s Introduction to Medley
  5. Swinging Doors
  6. I’m a Lonesome Fugitive
  7. Sing Me Back Home
  8. Branded Man
  9. In the Arme of Love
  10. Workin’ Man Blues
  11. Merle’s Introduction to “Hobo Bill”
  12. Hobo Bull’s Last Rid
  13. Billy Overcame His Size
  14. If I Had Left It Up to You

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