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Merle Haggard: The Country Club, Reseda CA

Mark Leviton, BAM, 18 April 1980

MERLE HAGGARD and his ten-piece backing band opened this new club with the kind of set most performers must only dream of. The set relied almost entirely on new material, every bit as good as the classics Haggard could have so easily trotted out. He opened with 'Mama Tried' and closed with 'The Fightin' Side of Me', but in between presented the new songs in a way that made me regard every one as a new classic. As Merle sings in one of his best new tunes, "I wear my own kind of hat."

Total word count of piece: 471

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