Merle Haggard is one of the icons of the country music scene. This DVD comes from a concert he performed in 1983 (I think it was still known as ‘Country and Western’ back then). Merle is a fabulous entertainer, although he does have a bit of a checkered past. Apparently early on in his life he ended up in jail, which is not a good thing. Worse still, he got busted in jail for brewing beer in his cell. I think this shows great creativity, and daring. I always admire people with that kind of ‘go get it’ attitude.

This concert shows Merle at his very best. From the opening song Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star to his closing number The Fighting Side Of Me, we are entertained by this king of the genre.

Although the footage from this concert is almost 25 years old, the quality of the video is outstanding. I love the digital age, you can take vintage audio or video and revitalize it, I guess you could call it ‘Viagra for medium’.

One of the outstanding parts of this DVD is his rendition of Folsom Prison Blues, which he prefaces with a short narrative about supporting Johnny Cash (who at that time was incarcerated). Interestingly enough both Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard enjoyed each others music from the wrong side if the jail bars.

Merle is now 70 years old, but he shows no signs of slowing down, rumor has it that there is a new blue grass album in the works. In 2006 he received a Grammy ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. He may not be a ‘spring chicken’ but he certainly is a great entertainer.

You can get your own copy of Merle Haggard In Concert from MVD.

Simon Barrett


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