Join us on Thursday, June 22nd at 7pm to hear the entire Merle Haggard: Live from Austin, TX 1978 record!

Track Listing

  1. Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today
  2. Silver Wings
  3. Ramblin’ Fever
  4. Lonesome Fugitive
  5. Sing Me Back Home
  6. Orange Blossom Special
  7. Old-Fashioned Love
  8. Long Black Limousine
  9. Cherokee Maiden
  10. San Antonio Rose
  11. Misery
  12. Farmer’s Daughter
  13. Brain Cloudy Blues
  14. Workin’ Man Blues

Here’s what has to say about this release!

Merle Haggard had been one of country music’s biggest stars and most uncompromising talents for more than a dozen years when he rolled into the KLRU-TV studios in Austin, TX for a taping of PBS’s long-running music series Austin City Limits in early 1978. (It’s said that Haggard had never heard of the show at the time, but was persuaded to take the gig by friend and superfan Darrell K Royal, coach of the University of Texas football team). At this point, Haggard was soon to leave Capitol Records and the most successful period of his career was ending, but you get very little sense of that on Live from Austin TX, which features his ACL performance complete and unedited. Haggard sounds casual but focused on this set, running through a few of his hits with appropriate conviction (“Silver Wings,” “Sing Me Back Home,” and “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” among them) and dipping into a few lesser-known songs with a palpable emotional gravity (“Long Black Limousine” and “Farmer’s Daughter”). Hag also takes advantage of playing for an audience in the Lone Star State and covers a handful of classic Bob Wills numbers, where he shows off his rough but enthusiastic fiddle playing (as well as some more polished work from Paul Anastasio and Gordon Terry). Haggard’s ten-piece band on this date sometimes lacks the lean but potent feel of his classic recordings, but there’s no arguing their chops, and the additional fiddles and horns work just fine on the Western swing tunes, while Norman Hamleton pedal steel and Roy Nichols on electric guitar make a great combination. Haggard doesn’t sound like he’s working too hard to win over the crowd on Live from Austin TX, but after the first song it’s clear he doesn’t have to, and by the end of the show he’s clearly given them just what they’ve come to hear; this is a solid live set from one of country music’s true originals. [Live from Austin, TX 1978 was released as a two-disc set featuring an audio CD and a video DVD.] – Mark Deming

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