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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to Merle Haggard, June 3, 2001
This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
Although I'm not a real Country Music fan, and had never heard any of Merle Haggard's songs, I am hooked on this Tribute CD to Merle! It is a fantastic compilation from a host of Country Music Stars, running the gamut from one end of the country spectrum to the other. The rocking country blues of "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" (Brooks & Dunn) had me tapping my foot to the music from the start of this CD. Then along came Clint Black's version of "I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am", about the pride of a hobo, with a backbeat that made me envision a rumbling train, and the fantastic sound blew me away! Pam Tillis softens the mood with an angelic rendition of "Silver Wings", while "The Farmer's Daughter" (Vince Gill) is poignant as a Father reluctantly gives his daughter away in marriage to a city boy. My favorite is "Mama Tried" (John Anderson & Marty Stuart), for its great rhythm, vocals, and lyrics. There is not one track on this CD that you will want to skip over. I highly recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys variety in music, country or otherwise. You won't be disappointed!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy tribute to Merle Haggard, May 5, 2003
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This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
This album from 1994 features many of country music's then biggest names, together with a couple of stars from the seventies and eighties, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris.
The set opens with a great version of Tonight the bottle let me down by Brooks and Dunn, followed by Clint Black (who has a similar type of voice to Merle) singing I take a lot of pride in what I am. Both of those are well-known Hag classics, but there are some less well-known songs here, including The farmer's daughter (Vince Gill), The running kind (Radney Foster) and Trying not to love you (Alan Jackson). Merle has had so many classic songs, but perhaps the best known of those covered here are Mama tried (done superbly by John Anderson and Marty Stuart) and Mama's hungry eyes (with which Emmylou closes the album).
The songs and singers all well matched, making this an outstanding tribute to one of country music's legends.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It., January 1, 2004
By 
Shydeaux (New York City) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
I would not consider myself an advit Country Music fan, although, I enjoy the music of Willie Nelson and some other traditional country singers. For me, I really enjoy the stories that they tell and the way their messages are so humble and heartfelt. A friend of mine gave me this tape to check out, and I could not stop listening to it. I was only familiar with Merle through his Pancho and Lefty song with Willie Nelson, but, after I heard this CD, I became an immediate fan. Even though the songs here are sung by other people, the lyrics and the stories are all Merle. I was touched by the "Farmers Daughter", "Silver Wings", and, of course, Willie Nelsons rendition of "The Day I Started Loving You Again". And I could not stop laughing when I heard, "The Night The Bottle Let Me Down". If you are a fan of good music, not just Country Music, but music period, this is definitely a CD you would want to add to your collection. It will be worth every penny you invest it in. Enjoy.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect, June 29, 2005
This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
Virtually all tribute albums featuring other artists recroding songs made famous by the recipient of the tribute contain at least one dud and a couple of near duds. That is not the case with Mama's Hungry Eyes, which is the reason I rank it as the greatest tribute album. In fact, a couple (used in the country colloquial to mean any number from 2 to 4) of the versions here I prefer over Merle's, and a couple more I rate as fully equal with Merle's.

Brooks and Dunn provide a rousing, rocked-up version of 'Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down.' I am not the biggest fan of the duo, but I say this song is better than at least half of those on the duo's pair of Greatest Hits albums. All Brroks and Funn fans should want this CD for this recording alone.

Clint Black gives the performance that most closely recalls Merle in phrasing and timing. It too is good enough that all Clint Black fans should want this CD for his recording alone.

Pam Tillis's 'Silver Wings' is a masterpiece, easily among the best half dozen songs she has recorded. It is one that I rate as being at least equal to to Merle's original.

Randy Travis's take on 'Everybody's Had the Blues' does not equal the Pam Tillis contribution, but it is among my favorite 15 or so Travis recordings. Again, it is good enough that any Randy Travis fan should want this CD for that song alone.

Vince Gill's take on 'The Farmer's Daughter' blows me over almost as much as Pam Tillis's 'Silver Wings.'

The collaborative effort on 'Workin' Man Blues' works very well, and the guitar work is excellent. They have taken what could have become a cliche on such a collection and made it ring with the clarity of '70s Southern Rock.

Radney Foster is one of those performers who never achieved all I thought he was bound to achieve, but here he shines. He has taken what is often an overlooked gem (left off almost all Merle 'greatest hits' albums) and given a performance that is as compellingly powerful as Dwight Yoakam's remake of 'Suspicious Minds.' My only complaint here is that the fade should not have been made; rather, the band should have been allowed to carry-on ala Lynyrd Skynyrd for a 6-7 minute jam. If such a long version exists, I would buy a new copy of this CD just to have it.

Like many, I have complained about Alabama wasting its considerable talents recording too many country-pop songs. The band, as it does whenever it has good material, shows its chops on 'Sing Me Back Home.'

Alan Jackson's rendition of 'Trying Not to Love You' is one of my least favorite songs on the album, but then again it is not among my favorite Merle 2 dozen songs. It is, I think, a good enough version that all Alan Jackson fans would want it.

Lorrie Morgan is a singer I saw as possessing good, not great, potential and cursed with less than great material. 'I Threw Away the Rose' is the best recording I have heard by her.

In fact, it is a masterpiece. Any Lorrie Morgan fan should demand this recording.

I am glad that I get to hear John Anderson and Marty Stuart sing together, but 'Mama Tried' is not a song that is helped by a duet recording. For that reason, this is perhaps the least successful song on the album.

Willie Nelson provides a quintessential Willie version of 'Today I Started Loving You Again.' It is one of the 5 or so best songs recorded by Willie since the 1980s.

The album closes with Emmy Lou Harris doing what she does best: taking a song previously recorded with some success and making it her own. If I were to select a 24 song Best of Emmy Lou album, her version of 'Mama's Hungry Eyes' would make the cut, hands down.

But the album is not perfect: it is too short. There are too many great Merle Haggard songs not included, and too many potentially great interpreters of Merle songs not included. I would love to hear Dwight Yoakam, Loretta Lynn, Kelly Willis, Patty Loveless, to name but four, singing Merle.

If there is any way to re-release this CD, it should be done. After all, the cause is a very good one. If that were to happen, I would suggest updating the CD by adding another 5-7 songs by artists not on the original release. I also would suggest that if the original tape of 'Runnning Kind' includes a jam at the end, that the full version be on the new release of the CD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, October 16, 2013
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This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
I really liked this tribute to Merle Haggard. All of the songs were done very nicely with everyone putting their own touch on the song while maintaining the original integrity. I think I like the gal's renditions the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars merle tribute scores., March 22, 2013
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This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
All the singers on this album do great justice to Merles music. The wide rangr of different styles accents the really great writng in these songs
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad song on it., February 27, 2014
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This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
This is a brilliant album-a real must-have for lovers of real country music. Some of the songs are nearly better than the original version!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Father had this cassette and wore it out, ..., February 21, 2015
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This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
My Father had this cassette and wore it out, so I got him a CD online. He loves it and listens to it all the time while driving.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great music, July 29, 2013
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This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
I had this on cassette and loved it, so was glad to get the CD at such a great price
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, July 19, 2014
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This review is from: Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard (Audio CD)
It is a tribute to Merle that other's can do his songs justice.
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