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Amber Waves of Grain / Kern River
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Album: Amber Waves of Grain / Kern River
# Song Title   Time
1)    Kern River
2)    Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You
3)    There I've Said It Again
4)    You Don't Love Me Anymore
5)    Natural High
6)    Big Butter and Egg Man
7)    Ridin' High
8)    There's Somebody Else on Your Mind
9)    I Wonder Where I'll Find You at Tonight
10)    There Won't Be Another Now
11)    Old Watermill, The
12)    Amber Waves of Grain
13)    Tulare Dust/Mama Tried
14)    Farmer's Daughter, The
15)    Okie from Muskogee's Comin' Home/Okie from Muskogee, The
16)    Gone with the Wind
17)    I Wish Things Were Simple Again
18)    Working Man's Blues/Always Late with Your Kisses
19)    American Waltz
1)    Kern River
2)    Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You
3)    There I've Said It Again
4)    You Don't Love Me Anymore
5)    Natural High
6)    Big Butter and Egg Man
7)    Ridin' High
8)    There's Somebody Else on Your Mind
9)    I Wonder Where I'll Find You at Tonight
10)    There Won't Be Another Now
11)    Old Watermill, The
 

Album: Amber Waves of Grain / Kern River
# Song Title   Time
1)    Kern River
2)    Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You
3)    There I've Said It Again
4)    You Don't Love Me Anymore
5)    Natural High
6)    Big Butter and Egg Man
7)    Ridin' High
8)    There's Somebody Else on Your Mind
9)    I Wonder Where I'll Find You at Tonight
10)    There Won't Be Another Now
11)    Old Watermill, The
12)    Amber Waves of Grain
13)    Tulare Dust/Mama Tried
14)    Farmer's Daughter, The
15)    Okie from Muskogee's Comin' Home/Okie from Muskogee, The
16)    Gone with the Wind
17)    I Wish Things Were Simple Again
18)    Working Man's Blues/Always Late with Your Kisses
19)    American Waltz
1)    Kern River
2)    Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You
3)    There I've Said It Again
4)    You Don't Love Me Anymore
5)    Natural High
6)    Big Butter and Egg Man
7)    Ridin' High
8)    There's Somebody Else on Your Mind
9)    I Wonder Where I'll Find You at Tonight
10)    There Won't Be Another Now
11)    Old Watermill, The
 
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar); Roy Nichols, Bill Hullett, Clint Strong (guitar); Grady Martin, Reggie Young (electric guitar); Norm Hamlett (steel guitar); Tiny Moore (mandolin, fiddle); Jimmy Belken, Hoot Hester, Jim Belken (fiddle); Don Markham (horns, background vocals); Gary Church (horns); Mark Yeary, Bobby Wood (keyboards); Dennis Hromek (electric bass, background vocals); Biff Adam (drums); Curtis Young, Donna Faye, Janie Fricke, Tammy Wynette (background vocals).
  • Audio Remasterer: Andrew Thompson .
  • Liner Note Author: Maurice Hope.
  • Recording information: Eleven-Eleven Studio, Nashville, TN; Record Plant Studios, New York, NY; The Bob Devaney Sports Complex, Lincoln, Nebraska; The Holiday Star Theater, Merriville, IN.
  • Editor: John Tobler.
  • Illustrators: G.S. Martin; Robert Harms.
  • Photographer: Randee St. Nicholas.
  • This BGO set features remasters from the middle of Merle Haggard's tenure at Epic; both were released in 1985. Kern River is easily the most diverse recording he issued for the label. Though the sad, weary title track is one of the finest country tunes he penned during the 1980s, it's actually an outlier here. There are other ballads, but the emphasis on the material leans more toward uptempo numbers and his particular take on Western swing and jazz, as evidenced by "I Wonder Where I'll Find You Tonight," "The Old Watermill," and a cover of Louis Armstrong's "Big Butter and Egg Man." Amber Waves of Grain is a live date, cut during shows at the Holiday Theater in Merrillville, Indiana and the Bob Devaney Sports Complex in Lincoln, Nebraska. Both shows were tributes to American farmers and all of the album's original royalties were donated to farm-oriented charities and aid organizations. Musically, it falls into the trap of a lot of Haggard's post-1972 concert offerings. It's a mixed, uneven bag. The title track is one of a number of patriotic tunes here, though this is one of his particularly jingoistic ones. To boot, rather than fire up the base, it sounds like an elegy. Other patriotic tunes here include "American Waltz" and "I Wish Things Were Simple Again," which feels like a lackluster sequel to "Are the Good Times Really Over for Good." The band kicks it, though, particularly on the smattering of hits that include fine medleys of "Tulare Dust/Mama Tried," a brief sequel entitled "The Okie from Muskogee's Comin' Home" (a hard-driving country boogie that actually prefaces the original), and "Working Man's Blues/Always Late with Your Kisses." ~ Thom Jurek
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