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I Am What I Am

Merle HaggardAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Merle Haggard - Working In Tennessee Album Teaser


Merle Haggard

Working in Tennessee

Loaded with equal measures of ardent passion and provocative observation, Merle Haggard's Working in Tennessee, his second Vanguard release, is a dazzling showcase for the Country Music Hall of Famer's perpetually arresting brand of progressive honky tonk. Produced by Haggard and right-hand man Lou Bradley and recorded at his Northern ... Read more in Amazon's Merle Haggard Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • ASIN: B0037EDIG4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,661 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I've Seen it Go Away
2. Pretty When it's New
3. Oil Tanker Train
4. Live and Love Always
5. The Road To My Heart
6. How Did you Find Me Here'
7. We're Falling in Love Again
8. Bad Actor
9. Down at the End of the Road
10. A stranger In the City
11. Mexican Band
12. I Am What I AM

Editorial Reviews

2010 album from the Country legend. I Am What I Am bristles with all the arresting qualities for which this unrivaled artist is prized. Every song is imbued with the near alchemical power of his dazzling vocal performances, and Haggard's interpretive mastery and unmatched phrasing continues to bring on impressive measures of sensitivity, candor and authority. Never conventional, often confrontational, always outspoken, the 72 year old Haggard remains as aggressively bent on revealing unspoken truths as ever.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Masterpiece April 20, 2010
By Raven
Format:Audio CD
After "The Bluegrass Sessions" in 2007, I had high expectations...and this CD delivers on them in new, exciting, and unexpected ways. Merle is, as always, great. I've been a fan of his music since my father listened to it when I was a kid, and he's only gotten better with age. After the strange, akward funk of the 90's, Haggard seems to have realized the limitations age has imposed on his voice and learned to fully utilize what still works. The results have been a musician growing older with grace and dignity.

"I Am What I Am" is a disc that seems to lean a bit closer to jazz than usual, giving the music a new feel with many unexpected flourishes. It is fantastic. Give it a listen, but put aside any assumptions that you'll be listening to a rehash of his popular tunes of years gone by.

I hope that Merle continues to record many more wonderful CDs for Vanguard Records, as they seem to have given him the freedom to be what he is...
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The welcomed return of Merle Haggard April 23, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Bakersfield's own Merle Haggard releases "I Am What I Am", his first album in three years on Vanguard Records. It's a bit of a comeback record of sorts. Unlike most comeback records, this album was written and produced entirely by the man himself with production assistance from Lou Bradley. The album starts off with "I've Seen It Go Away" in which Merle laments over the state of the world. "Stranger In The City" is a ballad about a traveling musician that refuses to stray from his marriage. Further down the album is the rather amusing mariachi influenced "Mexican Bands" in which Merle rattles off the hilarious line "Agave makes me dance on my hands". His wife Theresa who provides background vocals on half of the songs duets with him on the upbeat "Live And Love Always". Merle also makes a couple of jazz influenced songs such as "Pretty When It's New" and "The Road To My Heart". The album ends with the spectacular title track "I Am What I Am". It's a great, but considerably mellow, album from most of the songs are about being madly in love. It's a rather short album- clocking in at under forty minutes, but it's worth repeated listening.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Keep a Good Man Down April 22, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Neither age nor a run-in with lung cancer has seemed to make a dent in Merle Haggard. I Am What I Am gives fans what they would hope for, and in spades. The opening track, "I've Seen It Go Away" is another song in the long (and damn good) line of Merle Haggard populist tunes, and "I Am What I Am" is another one of Merle's winning odes to honest individualism, warts and all. Listening to this cd, I was stunned by the consistent quality of the work. Thirty years ago, at least three or four of the songs would have been released as singles and hit the Top Twenty.

Much of this cd is in a quiet mode, but Merle sounds invigorated on every track. I'm glad that Merle Haggard is what he is -- one of the finest performers and songwriters in American music history. Highly recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Too bad this wasn't released 40 years ago. It would have been a smash hit. As it is it was released in 2010, when country radio has no clue what country music is. All they know is the cookie cutter crap that spews out of Nashvegas.
Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesny, etc. none of them are worthy of holding Merle Haggard's hat, but their soulless crap will outsell Merle's honest and heartfelt music.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Things Get Better With Age April 20, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Unbelievable. Merle and The Strangers hit one out of the park... again. I don't know how, but this country legend just seems to improve with age. The timbre of that beautiful baritone voice, and the musicians that he chooses to surround himself with... WOW! You won't regret this one.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatness! May 9, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
That ol' time country music....many wonder where did it all go. I have appreciated Merle Haggard since the late 60s.....a man who stood firm, in his immersion in eternal country music and blues....wrote some of the greatest melodies of all time ( today I started loving you again, /silver wings.. etc..) This is one of his finest recordings...incredibley tasteful guitar...good song writing ( he wrote all but one song).....A testament to what is truly great here in America...No wonder Dylan digs him.....Wonder if it will even get played on today's so called country music stations?....My vote for best country album of the year....
"One day when our dream world finds us..." ( that one by Roger Miller--Train of Life) Where did it all go? Well pick this one up and you will find it again...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning of a new decade, #1 Americana June 8, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I just saw this weeks' "Americana" chart, and the Hag is #1! 73 years old, starting his 6th decade recording. I feel that this is Merle's best album (yes, album. I have it on vinyl!) since "If I could only fly", and it is somewhat similar to that record in the overall vibe. 11 songs written (or co-written) by Hag, one cover ("Live and love always" a duet with his wife Theresa - I've heard versions by the Maddox Bros. and Rose and also Hank and Audrey Williams). There's not a bad cut on the album (I don't particularly care for "Bad actor", although it is well written and performed, it just doesn't sound like a Merle song to me. However, it's my daughter's favorite, so go figure!). My favorites are "How did you find me here", "I am what I am", "Live and love always", "Oil tanker train", and "Pretty when it's new". "We're falling in love again" would be a great song for a cover version (George Strait, Johnny Bush?) and I'm willing to bet that "Pretty when it's new" will be covered also. "Mexican bands" is a blast, and "I've seen it go away" sums up Hag's current worldview perfectly. "Down at the end of the road" is a sad song about preparing for your kids to grow up and leave. Leave it to Hag to do an anti-cheating honky tonk song ("Stranger in the city"). The playing is tasteful and live-sounding (as has been the case with many of Merle's recent recordings) and the "guest musicians" are a great compliment to the Strangers. I think when it's all said and done, this will be rated as one of Merle's great records, a late career classic. I also believe that eventually Merle will get the widespread recognition he deserves as the greatest Country Music artist ever. Or, as Kris Kristofferson recently stated "The greatest artist in the history of American music". Thanks again, Hag (and thanks to Vanguard for the great job they've done also).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It Is What It Is....CLASSIC HAG.
I was late coming to the party on this album, and once I heard it I really felt stupid for not getting it sooner. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jersey Deville
4.0 out of 5 stars Haggard never fails -- does not surpass IF I COULD ONLY FLY
Once a Haggard fan, always a Haggard fan. The amazing warmth and timbre of his voice remain on this brief collection of love songs. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Birdman
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Merle
This is a great album, Course all of Merle's albums are good! But, this is one of my very favorites.
Published 16 months ago by Gayle Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars None like Merle
Wonderful cd from Merle. Merle does a great job as always. Great vocals and great music. Anything with Merle has to be good.
Published 17 months ago by Ronnie
5.0 out of 5 stars He's still got it!
Best original stuff Merle put out in a long time. Compares well to some of his classic albums of the seventies and eighties. Read more
Published 18 months ago by S. James
5.0 out of 5 stars Haggard Keeps Going Strong
Basically, I would agree with all the positive comments that other reviewers have made about this album. The more I listen to this album, the more I like it. Read more
Published on December 21, 2011 by sjf
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect album and full of originals
Wow, I have listened to this at 20 times since purchasing the day it came out on Amazon. If you changed the audio quality a bit, you'd think this was from 1969. Read more
Published on December 18, 2011 by Donald L. Garrison Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Personal Experiences : Merle Haggard
I just got this album ( cd ) today , Dec. 17 ,2011 and I've listened to it . It's a very personal collection of songs written by Merle . Read more
Published on December 17, 2011 by timmyd1970
5.0 out of 5 stars My mom loved it!
This was a birthday gift for my mom. It came in a timely manner. The CD case was cracked at the corner but the CD itself was fine.
Published on November 28, 2011 by Denise
5.0 out of 5 stars I Am What I Am
This was my first, none "Greatest Hits", Merle Haggard album, and I can say it's not going to be my last. This is a great album from start to finish. Read more
Published on August 25, 2011 by Brandon
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Topic From this Discussion
never buy another haggard album
I think you must have been drunk or high I have been to five of his concerts in the last two years and he has been fantastic at all of them!! He can show a lot of the new country won a bee's a few things or two. I love the Haggards and will not miss a concert that is close to my area. JB.
Apr 7, 2010 by J. Burckhard |  See all 10 posts
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