When Was The Last Time You Played This Album?


Merle Haggard “I Am What I Am”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#154 in the Series) is Merle Haggard, I Am What I Am.

I was REAL late coming to the Merle Haggard appreciation society.  I’ve loved traditional country for many years.  But for some reason Merle slid though the cracks for me.

That changed due to his classic song, Sing Me Back Home.  About five years ago I started noticing all these artist I really respected had covered it. The Grateful Dead, Flying Burrito Brothers, Heartfield, Gram Parsons and Keith Richards together, The Everly Brothers, etc etc. I had to look in on it.  Then I started checking out all these old albums and wow.  I sure missed quite a bit.

Instead of featuring one of those classics albums, I’m going to go right to the end of the list. His most current. I Am What I Am was one of my favorite albums of 2009.

There are absolutely some wonderful songs on this album.  I’m going to attach two videos.  I challenge you to listen to them and tell me they are not a couple of great songs.  Merle fans know this already.  The challenge is more aimed at those that are thinking, What the hell is he doing!

This also gives me a chance to bitch at country radio. They didn’t touch this work. But they continue to pollute the airways to lazy pop music that they pawn off as country just because as an afterthought a fiddle or pedal steel was added.

Merle hasn’t won a country award since 1982.  He hasn’t had a #1 hit since 1987.  Thanks country radio.

Give these two a listen. I’ve Seen It Go Away and Pretty When It’s New.

Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel “Willie and the Wheel”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel’s, “Willie and the Wheel.”

Which 2009 release sat in my CD player the most? It easily was Willie Nelson and Texas swing band Asleep at the Wheel teaming up for Willie and the Wheel. This was such a fun record. Short, only 36 minutes in length and just a bunch of fun.

They covered ‘Hesitation Blues’ (Hot Tuna used to do a great rendition of this) and also ‘I’m Sitting on Top of the World.’ Some of my favorites included ‘Sweet Jennie Lee’ and also Oh! You Pretty Woman.’

One of the most accessible records I’ve heard in a long time. I real easy listen.

“Willie and the Wheel” peaked at #90 on the Billboard Top 200 and #13 on the Billboard Country Charts.