Merle Haggard to Perform at Van Wezel, 1/29
Having won just about every music award imaginable, Merle Haggard's status as a legendary storyteller has permeated just about every genre of music to its core. With his unique ability to lyrically connect his listeners with emotions and circumstances that could either be all too familiar or entirely foreign, Merle Haggard bridges a gap that many songwriters struggle with for their entire career. Johnny Cash, on his variety show, once introduced Haggard, saying "Here's a man who writes about his own life and has had a life to write about." With a unique way of portraying his life and the lives of others in a way that everyone could understand and relate to, Merle became a strong symbol of working class America with songs like "Working Man Blues" and "Hungry Eyes."
One of the beautiful aspects of Haggard's approach to music is that he always was true to going his own way and making his own sound. Even when paying respects by recording tributes to the greats that influenced him, such as Jimmie Eidgers, Lefty Frizzell, and Bob Willis, Merle always incorporated elements of Jazz, Rock, Blues, and Folk while maintaining reverence for traditional country style. With over 40 #1 hits to his name, Merle Haggard is one of the greatest foundational country artists still touring today, and a rock star like no other!