Working In Tennessee
Sello: Vanguard Records
Having survived a round of lung cancer in 2008, you'd think Merle Haggard would have mellowed a bit. But some 40 years after helping ignite the "outlaw" movement, there's still plenty for Haggard to rail against. "Too Much Boogie Woogie" is a commentary on the state of country music, which he says "is enough to make you cry." That, coupled with the western-swinging title track, leaves little doubt his fightin' side still runs deep. But it's not all us vs. them. "Laugh It Off" is a goofy "find your Zen" song, while "Truck Driver's Blues" allows a laid-back Hag to stretch his vocals a bit.