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Various Artists: Tulare Dust: A Songwriters' Tribute to Merle Haggard [Digipak]

Track List

>Tulare Dust/They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down
>Big City - Iris DeMent
>Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today, A
>Holding Things Together
>Daddy Frank
>White Line Fever
>My Own Kind of Hat
>Shopping for Dresses - Steve Young
>Silver Wings
>Irma Jackson
>You Don't Have Very Far to Go
>Ramblin' Fever
>I Can't Be Myself
>I Can't Hold Myself in Line
>Kern River
>Introduction - Dave Alvin
>Tulare Dust/They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down - Greg Leisz/Katy Moffatt/Andrew Hardin/Rosie Flores/Tom Russell
>El Gallo del Cielo - Tom Russell - (featuring Greg Leisz/Andrew Hardin/Rosie Flores)
>Walking on the Moon - Katy Moffatt/Tom Russell - (featuring Andrew Hardin/Rosie Flores)
>I Can't Be Myself (When I'm With You) - Katy Moffatt/Tom Russell
>Introduction - Dave Alvin
>Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today, A - Peter Case
>Little WInd, A (Could Blow Me Away) - Peter Case
>Introduction - Dave Alvin
>You Better Back Off - Marshall Crenshaw
>Silver Wings - Marshall Crenshaw - (featuring Greg Leisz)
>Introduction - Tom Russell
>West Texas Plains - Rosie Flores - (featuring Greg Leisz/Katy Moffatt/Marshall Crenshaw)
>My Own Kind of Hat - Rosie Flores - (featuring Norm Hamlet)
>Introduction - Tom Russell
>Kern River - Dave Alvin
>King of California - Dave Alvin
>Introduction - Dave Alvin
>Georgia on a Fast Train - Billy Joe Shaver
>Shaver Ramblin' Fever - Billy Joe Shaver
>Outro - Dave Alvin

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (12/29/94-1/12/95, p.178) - "...Featuring a maverick lineup from the California-Texas axis, the populist-spirited collection suggests that the road to Haggard's songwriting runs straight through Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck..."

Spin (1/95, p.76) - Recommended - "...thrives on variation. Roughly divided between worker paens and lovelorn ballads, this `alternative' disc seems smitten with eccentricity..."

Q (1/95, p.262) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...not only proof Merle Haggard writes peerless C&W social commentary but that there is life yet in the tired old tribute album....Arguably the best country album of 1994..."

Option (3-4/95, p.143) - "...Although the artists who contribute to this album come from wildly disparate musical backgrounds, there are no weak links. All carry their songs honestly, authentically and with an obvious affection for the words and melodies they sing. Brilliant..."

Mojo (Publisher) (1/95, p.102) - "...a joy from stem to stern....TULARE DUST is primarily talented singer-songwriters from the Texas-California axis who have yet to make a huge commercial mark..."

Album Notes

Includes liner notes by Tom Russell and Dave Alvin.

Tributee: Merle Haggard.

Tributee: Merle Haggard.

Audio Remasterer: Randy Perry .

Liner Note Authors: Dave Allen; Tom Russell.

Photographer: Beth Herzhaft.

It's a mark of Merle Haggard's wide influence on current popular music that he could be simultaneously feted with tribute albums by the mainstream Nashville community (see MAMA'S HUNGRY EYES: A TRIBUTE TO MERLE HAGGARD), and by the country and rock outsiders who show up here. It's a mark of his wide songwriting net--he's written prison songs, train songs, labor songs, redneck sing-alongs, libertarian anthems, and a million love songs--that in two albums of singers doing their favorite Haggard tunes there would be only one overlap ("Silver Wings," done quietly here by Marshall Crenshaw and belted out there by Pam Tillis).

No matter the subject, Haggard has a way with the deceptively simple hooks and lyrics that mark the best folk music of any era. He scatters sophisticated changes through otherwise basic country formulas, and comes up with choruses that pack the punches of entire songs into simple declarations like "I wear my own kind of hat," or "That's why Irma Jackson can't be mine." These versions get right to the heart of that sensibility, with largely acoustic arrangements and--excepting Iris DeMent's marvelously twangy "Big City"--artfully restrained vocals that revel in the songwriting; and they avoid fancy pop arrangements like the plague. These are the kinds of songs that will be passed down from generation to generation, and TULARE DUST is the sound of younger (than Haggard, anyway) pickers and singers accepting the baton.


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