Flyinshoes Review

Welcome to FSR our Roots Music Reviewers & Pod/broadcasters Community


We are currently fund raising to buy an American Mobile Studio touring RV to bring stateside sessions and to help Euro Artists tour in the States, be part of the adventure Donate Here!

Here are some of the artists we are helping "Look for America"

A full integrated conventional and digital media promotion service for the independently minded musician.

Become a Patron!

Merle Haggard - Working in Tennessee (Vanguard Records)

October 4th sees the release of Merle Haggards 49th studio album, Working in Tennessee. It harks back to my personal favourite record of his, Big City, which was released thirty years ago in October 1981 and contained his song “I think I’m gonna live forever”;  

Merle might not live forever, but he shows no signs that he won’t, Merle himself says “Music keeps me alive.”  In parallel, The Hag is keeping the music alive and that music hasn’t changed much, he hasn’t reinvented the wheel and his music still sounds true to him.  This album sounds as good as anything he recorded in the 70’s and 80’s, a period when he had 38 US Country Number 1’s, largely down to the fact he is joined, as ever, by his long time backing band - The Strangers.  


Working in Tennessee is very much a continuation of themes presented by Haggard over the years that gave him his tag as a “poet of the common man”.  If you’re familiar with his work, you’ll be familiar with his disdain for Music City and that sound which ultimately led to his success in country music as he developed, alongside Buck Owens et al, the Bakersfield Sound which blew the Nashville Sound, and it’s music city producers stranglehold on country music of the time, off the map.  

At the same time artists such as Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, (the latter features on this album as Merle revisits his signature song Workin’ Man Blues), were harmonious in developing the “outlaw” sound which encompassed the Bakersfield Sound.  Haggard sums up his feelings on this subject with Too Much Boogie Woogie.  

Haggard has had his fair share of second chances in life.  Aged 20, he was arrested for robbing a bar and was sentenced to 15 years in San Quentin prison during which time Johnny Cash performed the first of his famed prison concerts.  After serving 3 years of his sentence, Haggard left prison and launched his career.  Cash was obviously a huge influence on him during his formative years, and Working in Tennessee contains 2 of the man in black’s hits, with Cocaine Blues and Jackson.  On Jackson, he is joined by his wife Teresa Haggard.


Merle was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008, and after undergoing lung surgery late that year he began performing again just 2 months later in January 2009.  Haggard talks a lot about wanting to stay alive and enjoy life.  This undying enthusiasm to enjoy life and making his music is encapsulated, and delivered with a life lesson, in Laugh It Off, something you can imagine he has done so with his old companion Willie Nelson a few times.

The mainstream country music industry in Nashville might have reverted back to its pre-outlaw ways, politicians are still politicians and the world is not all at peace.  What I hate and indeed this album is compulsory listening for anyone who considers themselves a member of “the silent majority”.


Just about everyone should be able to relate to this album and even more so, if you’re a fan of good country music, you’ll enjoy this album. 


Merle Haggard - Working in Tennessee is released on October 4th 2011 on Vanguard.


Free download of the title track "Working in Tennessee" available at the following link:




Views: 695

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Flyinshoes Review to add comments!

Join Flyinshoes Review


Keep the wheels on the hub

Become a Patron!

Would like to contribute to FSR and the House Concert Hub? Please help keep the wheels on the hub, this site is run on House Concert Principles and relies on your donation. Thank You for keeping this in mind



Face Book

The Medicine Show is the home of the House Concert here is our rolling news


This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

The House Concert Hub community will use it for the purpose of providing a online, all singing all dancing, review and preview area for the music of the community, and the music community at large. Have a look around tell your friends use the share button, tell the world.

We need reviewers, the idea is we have a correspondents in every area of the musical global village, it will be edited and co-ordinated by Rob Ellen of Medicine Music publicist promoter and presenter, if you wish to subscribe as a correspondent, join up here and drop Rob a line, he will send you cd's and send you to shows, display and publicise your content.

Here starts an other adventure.

  Visit The House Concert European Hub (& Acoustic Music Club Network)

March 2018

Mary Gauthier
95 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
Ed Romanoff
89 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
Dean Owens
43 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
Marlon Williams
41 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans
Rod Picott
39 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
Vivian Leva
39 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
H.C McEntire
38 pts.
Merge Records
34 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
Alela Diane
32 pts.
Allpoints Believe
Ben Miller Band
32 pts.
Choke Cherry Tree
New West Records
The Lynnes
32 pts.
Heartbreak Song For The Radio
Adam James Sorensen
30 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
John Oates
27 pts.
Thirthy Tigers
Cameron Blake
26 pts.
Fear Not
Continental Song City/CRS
John Gorka
26 pts.
True In Time
Red House
I'm With Her
25 pts.
See You Around
Rounder Records
The Reverend Shawn Amos
22 pts.
Breaks it Down
Put Together Music
Beth Wimmer
21 pts.
Chris Smither
21 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
Dayna Kurtz
21 pts.
Here, Vol 2
Kismet Records
Joan Baez
20 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
Kacy & Clayton
20 pts.
The Siren’s Song
New West Records
Caleb Caudle
19 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
Ad Vanderveen
18 pts.
Denver Nevada
Ben Reel
18 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
Bruno Deneckere

© 2018   Created by The Medicine Show.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Site Meter