CD 1996 (CD 872110),
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1. Sin City Blues
2. No Time to Cry
3. Beer Can Hill
4. Truck Drivers' Blues
5. Too Many Highways
6. Five Days a Week
7. Kids Get Lonesome Too
8. If Anyone Ought to Know
9. Untanglin' My Mind
10. Winds of Change
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): CD 77796
Personnel: Merle Haggard (vocals, electric guitar); Abe Manuel, Jr. (arranger, acoustic & electric guitars, fiddle, viola, strings, Cajun accordion, accordion, percussion, background vocals); Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens, Bob Teague, Johnny Paycheck, John Anderson (vocals); Joe Manuel (acoustic & electric guitars, bass, background vocals); H. Joseph Reed, Jr. (acoustic & electric guitars, bass); Clint Strong, Terry Hardesty (acoustic guitar); Tim Howard, Seymour Duncan (electric guitar); Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro); Jim Belkins (gypsy violin); Don Markham (pennywhistle, saxophone, trumpet); Iris DeMent, Oleg Schramm, Mark Yeary, Bobbi Curtis, Mark Erie (piano); Bobby Wood (electric piano); Eddy Curtis, Leland Sklar (bass); Biff Adam (drums, percussion); Larry Lundan (drums); Dawn Sears (background vocals).
Producers: Merle Haggard, Abe Manuel, Jr.; Merle Haggard, Abe Manuel, Jr., Lou Bradley.
Recorded at Tally Studio, Redding, California. Includes liner notes by Theresa Lane Haggard.
Personnel: Merle Haggard (electric guitar); Abe Manuel, Jr. (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, fiddle, viola, strings, accordion, percussion, background vocals); Dwight Yoakam, Bob Teague, John Anderson, Johnny Paycheck, Buck Owens (vocals); Joe Manuel (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, wah-wah guitar, background vocals); Hilton Jr. Reed (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Terry Hardesty, Clint Strong (acoustic guitar); Tim Howard, Seymour Duncan (electric guitar); Norm Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro); Jim Belkins (violin); Don Markham (pennywhistle, saxophone, trumpet); Mark Yeary, Iris DeMent, Oleg Schramm (piano); Bobby Wood (electric piano); Biff Adam (drums, percussion); Dawn Sears (background vocals).
Recording information: Tally Studio, CA.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Jim Belkins; Abe Manuel, Jr.; Joe Manuel.
Merle Haggard, one of country music's few living legends, continues to make great music. Haggard's 1996 is not his best effort, but it still outclasses 99.9 percent of what dominated country hit radio that year. Highlights include an affecting cover of Iris DeMent's "No Time To Cry"; Haggard's understated melancholy vocal suits the song better than does DeMent's plaintive warble. "Sin City Blues" and "Truck Driver's Blues" are also lovely and moving. Less successful are "Beer Can Hill" and "Winds of Change;" weak numbers that waste guest vocals by Dwight Yoakum, Buck Owens, and John Anderson.
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