The Bluegrass Sessions

September 25, 2007 | Format: MP3

$9.49
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
3:48
30
2
2:53
30
3
3:42
30
4
4:16
30
5
4:09
30
6
3:36
30
7
2:54
30
8
3:24
30
9
3:37
30
10
4:07
30
11
3:27
30
12
3:45

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: October 2, 2007
  • Release Date: October 2, 2007
  • Label: MCCOURY Music
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 43:38
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0011YT3O8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,474 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
It is very personal, as are the liner notes by Marty Stuart that feel real good.
jjoan
Its the Hag and I highly recommend the Album, makes a great gift for someone who will appreciate it a lot...
Roxanna R. Williams
Beyond that, this is an excellent disc, with Merle in great voice doing outstanding material.
John Gervickas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Ross on October 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Playing Time - 43:45 -- Traditional country music stalwart Merle Haggard considers bluegrass people as "the salt of the earth ...kind of a no-baloney audience." Of the many albums he's made, none has ever been bluegrass. However, I do know that he performs a kick-up-your-heels rendition of the old-time and bluegrassy "Get Along Home Cindy," and maybe that would've been a good choice for this session too. Merle's also said that "If you're going to play something and you're going to hook it, you'd better hook it good. It either has to be real funny or it has to be real serious." After this assembled band attempted and failed to capture Merle magic in an old bluegrass standard, "I Wonder Where You Are Tonight," Marty Stuart, producer Ronnie Reno and recording engineer Lee Groitzch took a different approach to capture Hag's musical soul. They strategically gathered in a circle around a couple of mics and began recording in a more cozy, friendly style. Merle sang and strummed his Martin Blue Yodel guitar. The all-stars who wrapped their playing around his vocalizing were Marty Stuart (mandolin, guitar), Rob Ickes (Dobro, slide guitar), Charlie Cushman (banjo, guitar), Carl Jackson (guitar), Ben Isaacs (bass), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle), Scott Joss (fiddle) and J.D. Wilkes (harmonica).

After two days of working, a cherished record was born with classic country ala Jimmie Rodgers and Delmore Brothers, along with a heaping helping of Merle's own classics like Mama's Hungry Eyes, Big City, Holding Things Together, and Mama's Prayers. To also capture the influential septuagenarian's acoustic muse, five new songs written by Merle include Pray, America What Happened?, Learning to Live With Myself, Motorcycle Mama and Wouldn't That Be Something.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Psycheguy on November 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 12 song CD by the 'Hag' has outstanding playing by some of the finest musicians in the world, including Marty Stuart, Carl Jackson and numerous others. Merle wrote/co-wrote 10 of the songs -- several are remakes, others are new. Merle's voice sounds as fine as ever, and the acoustic sound on those remakes is outstanding.

The closest sounding song to pure bluegrass, in my opinion, is 'Runaway Momma' while the others impress me as more country flavored. There is great dobro on 'Jimmy Rogers Blues.' Nevertheless, this is another great piece of work from a living legend. I love the song, 'What Happened' and the sentiment expressed, i.e., 'Where did America go?' -- maybe we all ought to listen to what Merle is asking/saying? 'Blues Stay Away From Me' is a great take on an old Delmore Brothers song.

Overall, Merle fans will want this one, others might want to start elsewhere with other CDs by Merle. I gave it 4 stars rather than 5 because I believe that the title is a bit misleading -- my opinion. Overall, however, a very solid effort that is surely worth a listen. Bottom line is that great singing/writing/playing is great no matter what the title is, so from that perspective this is indeed a 'special cd.'
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Smallchief on November 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Merle Haggard's songs are so tuneful and lilting that I find myself whistling along with him -- to the consternation of anybody near me. He's a poet of the downtrodden. His rough hewn themes deal with patriotism, prison, trains, mama, and getting drunk.

Many of the songs on the CDs are redos of Hag's classics written over a 30 or 40 year period. Despite the name, this CD isn't bluegrass, but rather acoustic country with an old-time flavor. Marty Stuart on mandolin and Rob Ickes on dobro contribute some excellent licks. There's a bluesy flavor to some tunes and "What Happened" hearkens back to his patriotic anthems of the 1960s. Haggard could sing the phone book and make it sound earthy and good.

Smallchief
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nariaki Imamura on February 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This arrangement works. Haggard is one of the best songwriters in country music, and has one of the greatest singing voices of any genre. But his last several solo albums have not felt as inspired as this one. This album is different. The bluegrass arrangements are beautiful and perfectly complement his voice, which is gradually growing weaker as he grows older. The songwriting still bears the undeniable Haggard stamp, but the musical arrangements really breathe some fresh life into Merle's performance. It all sounds very honest; not contrived or calculated in the least. And the result is exciting, because I really didn't expect it to be as good as it is. But it is. A very difficult album not to enjoy and be moved by.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Gervickas on October 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The only two things I don't like about this CD are the title (ultimately, this is really not bluegrass, as much as it is Hag with some terrific musicians doing an acoustic country CD), and the cover (a cartoon of Hag that looks like him circa 1984, driving a car!). Beyond that, this is an excellent disc, with Merle in great voice doing outstanding material. The only songs that will be familiar to the majority of fans are "big city" and "hungry eyes". There are actually only three new songs on the disc, and they are all excellent. "Pray", "what happened", and "learning to live with myself" (which I think is one of the best songs he has done in years). Although I have read quite a few reviews that list "holding things together", "runaway mama", "I wonder where I'll find you at tonight", "wouldn't that be something", and "mama's prayers" as new songs, they aren't. These songs were all on previous albums. Being a hardcore Hag fan, I would have preferred some more new material, although a few of the remakes rival (if not surpass) the originals - the exceptions being "big city" and "hungry eyes". Those two are all time classics, and although the new versions are good, the originals are perfect, IMO. The remake of "holding things together" is stunning (check out the video on the McCoury website). Merle also recorded "blues stay away from me" many years ago, but this version is even better. The singing and playing on this disc are fantastic. Hag continues to amaze me with his singing and writing at this stage of his career. He is still writing strong and relevant material, and coming up with fresh ideas (such as this disc). I hear that next up will be a rock and roll CD, and I bet it's a good one. Again, long live the Hag!
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