They don't make 'em like Merle Haggard anymore, but what the hell would they do with 'em if they did? Everything about Haggard is rough: his Bakersfield voice, a scratchy, gnarled thing even in his youth; his trademark accompaniment, the twangy, stinging barbs of Telecaster snaking out of tweed-covered amplifiers; even his nickname, "Hag," which lingers long and ugly in the mouth. These are seeds that wouldn't find purchase in the fertile soil of Top 40 country, populated by "Blakes," "Traces," and "Jasons." They don't make them like Hag anymore, but that's okay. The man's influence is still there, even as his rough-and-tumble voice doesn't get much... More >>>