You can never go wrong in real Country music when you go for the names "Merle Haggard" and "George Jones." Put together two of the finest vocalists in country music and you just can't lose. I mean, really, what more do you have to say? They both sound great? The songs are can't-miss hits? That's obvious just from hearing the names. But heck, maybe you do have to listen for yourself, just to make sure.
Ever had a hankering to hear Merle Haggard sing some classic George Jones songs, like "The Race Is On" or "I Always Get Lucky With You"? Or have you ever fancied hearing George Jones sing a Merle Haggard song or two, like "Sing Me Back Home" or "The Way I Am"? If so, you're in luck. Here on one disc you'll find those songs, plus a whole lot of others, bringing together two of the best country music vocalists in history. When they aren't singing each others' songs, they're singing together on classic tunes like "Footlights" and "Born With The Blues." So is it just a gimmick, a trick to bring 'em together? Who cares? It's too good to worry about it being a stunt. These guys met for the first time back in 1962 at the start of Merle's career, when George was already a sensation; they struck up a friendship that's lasted more than forty years. Sure, it's easy to say that between the two of them they've probably had more number one hits, awards, and gold records than can fill a stadium (Merle has had 40 number one records, and George has charted more singles than any artist in any format of music, according to the disc's liner notes).
It's also easy to hear that both of them are just sounding better with age, just like fine wine (or a good fiddle). Haggard particularly sounds magnificent these days, especially in the exquisite "I Always Get Lucky With You," but you can't say Jones isn't right at his peak, too, when you hear him crooning "All My Friends Are Strangers." The duo don't just sing each others' hits. Their duets here are crisp and sharp, and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" is just plain fun, listening to them goof around in the studio. It's been 25 years since they recorded their first album, Yesterday's Wine, together, but they sound just as good now as they ever did. Sure, these guys are getting up there. They aren't beautiful hard bodies anymore (if, indeed, they ever were!). Nope, their beauty is in the music, and boy, is it gorgeous. You don't really need to say much more about these guys. They're legends. Their bios are well known. Or at least, they should be. New country fans should know these voices as well as I do. Because Merle says it all in some of his commentary in "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" when he jokes to George, "We need to get back on the radio." Yeah. They do.
- Footlights (Duet)
- The Race Is On (Haggard)
- The Way I Am (Jones)
- She Thinks I Still Care (Haggard)
- All My Friends Are Strangers (Jones)
- Things Have Gone To Pieces (Haggard)
- I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink (Jones)
- Born With The Blues (Duet)
- Sick, Sober & Sorry (Duet)
- I Always Get Lucky With You (Haggard)
- Sing Me Back Home (Jones)
- The Window Up Above (Haggard)
- You Take Me For Granted (Jones)
- Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Duet)