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on July 30, 2013
First, this is a cover album being sung by Vince Gill. He is not Merle or Buck and not pretending to be. In a review I read, he says the songs have already been done by the masters themselves and this is not an attempt to try to do that again. Instead, Vince has a more gentle voice that gives these songs a different, but still excellent rendition. The instrumental is great. These songs are true honky tonk sounds. They are sing along and tap your feet songs. Nothing commercial or phony here. If you like real country sounds, you have two true country musicians, Vince and Paul, plus the backup musicians, giving you exactly that. They've covered some great songs and have done them with just enough difference from the originals to make them Vince and Paul songs on this album, sung in tribute to those two masters that did them first. Nothing wrong with that!

Sample The Bottle Let Me Down. If that ain't a "honky tonking" two stepper, then I don't know what is!!! Hot Damn!!!

I just listened to Together Again....again. I swear I get chills listening to Vince's vocal and Paul's steel.
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on July 30, 2013
First, I appreciate the dual billing of both the vocalist and a lead instrumentalist, although Paul Franklin can't be considered THE lead instrumentalist here because there's plenty of Vince Gill's guitar playing to satisfy any fan of his as "only" a guitarist.

Second, the choice of material is really solid. Although Buck Owens and Merle Haggard have each produced a long, strong catalog of hits, picking 10 songs of theirs to craft a tribute album couldn't have been easy. But, thankfully, there's no "Okie from Muskogee" or "Made in Japan." Just very solid country songs by two of the best of their generation.

Third, these songs do not necessary duplicate the original arrangements or original guitar/steel guitar riffs that we've come to know over the years. And that's really good, because with musicians of the caliber of Gill, Franklin and the others on this work, there's enough great talent to go around.

Gill remains one of the great singers in the history of country music (and probably a few other genres). With his crystal-clear tenor and remarkable skills as a guitarist, he is a legendary artist. There are few others in his league.

Listen to "I Can't Be Myself" on this album. While Haggard's original sets the standard for raw emotion and meaning, Gill's version gives it a strong run for the money. It's just brilliant singing and interpretation of a classic country song.

I've had the album for two hours, and already listened to it three times. I'll be listening to it many, many more times.

I appreciate the musicianship, the selection of material, and the willingness and ability to tackle such a great project.

I highly recommend "Bakersfield."
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on July 30, 2013
Now IF you like REAL country music, and not some of the "stuff" that is attempting to passed as such, then YOU NEED this new project by Vince Gill and Paul Franklin!!-

This is the ABSOLUTE REAL DEAL!! So good, it made me have chills and muscle twitches when I first heard it! A MUST have for any true country music aficionado!
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on July 30, 2013
OMG this album is AWESOME!! It's old time country written and previously recorded by Merle and Buck, redone by two of the very best, Vince Gill and Paul Franklin! Old timers will LOVE this new album and the younger generation can sure learn TRUE COUNTRY by getting this album! It just came out today and I'm already hooked! You won't be sorry!
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on July 31, 2013
This is a great album by one of the greatest artists in country music history. I'm a huge Merle and Buck fan, and also a huge fan of Vince. I think he does a great job on these tunes. His delivery on these songs are pure Vince. I'm sure singing these popular songs, it's hard to not sound a little like the original artists that you've heard do them for decades, but Vince does a great job on them. The musicians are excellent, and it's great to hear COUNTRY music again. I would recommend this to any fan of COUNTRY music, and would also recommend fans of today's cookie cutter packaged country music! Take a listen to what REAL country songs should sound like. Meaningful lyrics, backed by solid musicianship... not overbearing rock/pop music backed by sing songy corny words that rhyme! Let's get back to what country music should sound like people!

Great Job Vince and Paul!
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on July 30, 2013
This is simply the best album Vince Gill has ever made - and he has made alot over the past 25+ years. This is true traditional country music at its best, and Vince does it perfectly. It brings me back to the heyday of the Bakersfield sound with Buck, Merle, Wynn and Tommy (Collins). What a great sound this was! Any rating less than 5 stars for this album would be a crime. Thank you, Vince, for giving us this treasure.
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on July 30, 2013
You could not have picked a better cast of characters to pay tribute to Merle & Buck. This is a fantastic collection of AMAZING players. At the top of the list is the stellar guitar work and vocals of Vince Gill. Right there with him is one of the greatest steel guitar players of our time Paul Franklin. The combination of Willie Weeks/Greg Morrow is the best there is. You need to get this if you are a REAL fan of Country Music.
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on July 30, 2013
Vince makes it sound so effortless. He is truly a master and this CD just proves it. If you have never listened to country music this is the pinnacle.
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on August 6, 2013
"Bakersfield" is a true gem that honors the best era in country music history. Vince Gill & Paul Franklin are absolute masters of their craft with the longevity and accolades to put to rest any skepticism of undertaking such a daunting challenge as this album must have presented. While I understand that all genres of music must grow with the times and the audience, there will never be another Buck, another Merle, another Cash, Willie, Loretta, or Hank. And there will certainly never be another Vince or another Paul. Thank you from my very traditional (31 year old) heart for making an album that is truly timeless. I hope it opens the ears and hearts of new listeners to take a journey to discover the original Bakersfield sound!
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on July 31, 2013
Been waiting for this one! I'm a huge Merle fan and I think Vince does an awesome job with Merle's songs. There's more steel guitar in them which is great because Franklin is the best! If you're an original country music fan, you will want this one!
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