Another grand master

One of the most magical and powerful forms of writing is songwriting; that may be why so many contemporary fiction writers pay royalty fees to be able to quote popular songs in their novels.

Last night we went to the Paramount to hear one of the grand singer/songwriters: Merle Haggard. I’d forgotten what an immense repertoire he has, and how gorgeous his voice is (think Willie Nelson, then add a range that runs considerably deeper).

Haggard, born in 1937, has been performing since he got out of prison in 1960 (inspired to go straight by seeing Johnny Cash perform and by talking with Caryl Chessman). Though I’ve danced in honkytonks for years to Haggard’s songs played by other bands, I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard him live with his 10-piece ensemble, the Strangers, before. If you haven’t, and you’re interested in great songwriting and masterful performance, here’s his tour schedule. Note that March 9 – 25 he’ll be on a national tour with Willie Nelson, Ray Price, and Asleep at the Wheel that includes two nights at The Backyard in Austin (of course those two dates are sold out).

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