Fans of classic country in the Bakersfield vein will be heartened by the July 30 release of Vince Gill and steel guitarist Paul Franklin’s aptly-titled tribute album, Bakersfield. In anticipation of next Tuesday, our friends at MCA Nashville and EMG have provided us with copies of the album for THREE lucky readers.
Before we get to the contest, though, let’s talk a little about the project.
Split evenly between covers of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens (find the full track list below), this was quite obviously a labor of love. Tracked at Gill’s home studio, the recording was co-produced by Gill and Franklin and features an all-star cast of musical friends like John Hobbs (piano), Greg Morrow (drums), Willie Weeks and Brad Albin (bass), J.T. Corenflos (electric rhythm guitar), and Time Jumpers Kenny Sears, Larry Franklin, Joe Spivey, and Dawn Sears. Gill played all acoustic and electric guitar fills and solos himself. Naturally, the sweet, sweet steel guitar of Paul Franklin is all over the place, too.
A few quotes on the project from folks who oughta know:
“This is just as much a guitar record for me as it is a singing record. But it was fun for me to sing a whole record of the greatest songs ever. I guess what I’m real proud of is that when it’s one of Buck’s songs, I sing it very much in that vein. And the Haggard songs are very much in the vein he sang. With Buck’s songs, you won’t find much vibrato in my vocals, and with Merle’s, it will come down to a low note and that quiver.”
“This may be Vince’s greatest project. What a showcase! I’ve heard him sing for 30 years, but he sings licks on this record I never heard before.”
“I can only give the entire project a big ole double, thumbs up! Well done guys, the West Coast takes a bow.”
Bakersfield track list
1. “Foolin’ Around” – Buck Owens (Written by Harlan Howard and Buck Owens)
2. “Branded Man” – Merle Haggard (Written by Merle Haggard)
3. “Together Again” – Buck Owens (Written by Buck Owens)
4. “The Bottle Let Me Down” – Merle Haggard (Written by Merle Haggard)
5. “He Don’t Deserve You Anymore” – Buck Owens (Written by Arty Lange and Buck Owens)
6. “I Can’t Be Myself” – Merle Haggard (Written by Merle Haggard)
7. “Nobody’s Fool But Yours” – Buck Owens (Written by Buck Owens)
8. “Holding Things Together” – Merle Haggard (Written by Bob Trotten and Merle Haggard)
9. “But I Do” – Buck Owens (Written by Tommy Collins)
10. “The Fightin’ Side Of Me” – Merle Haggard (Written by Merle Haggard)
HOW TO WIN
Appetite sufficiently whetted? Great. To enter, simply comment on this post with your favorite Merle Haggard or Buck Owens song(s) by next Thursday, August 1. Winners will be randomly chosen and contacted shortly thereafter. Speaking of which, be sure to use a valid email address when you comment so that we can actually get in touch with you to give you stuff. Sort of important.
Easy enough? Let’s talk Buck and Merle.
(If you just can’t wait, you can also preorder Bakersfield at Amazon right this second.)