The Buckaroos Play Buck & Merle

The Buckaroos Play Buck & Merle

by The BuckaroosThe Buckaroos


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Omnivore's 2013 compilation The Buckaroos Play Buck & Merle is a two-fer by any other name, combining the group's 1965 album The Buck Owens Song Book with 1971's The Songs of Merle Haggard. Both LPs pay tribute to the titans of Bakersfield country, Buck being the Buckaroos' bread and butter while Merle is the man who gave the group its name and often rivaled Owens' popularity. That's where the similarities between these two albums end. The Buck Owens Song Book adheres pretty closely to the Bakersfield blueprint, an entirely instrumental selection where either Don Rich picks out a melody on his twanging Telecaster or Tom Brumley plays it on a steel guitar as the band cheerfully rolls on. These sound pretty close to Buck's originals, which inevitably suggests how he's nowhere to be heard, but it's nice to hear the band just play. The Songs of Merle Haggard is another matter entirely. Here, the band is considerably softer in its approach, a shift emphasized by organs or pianos tinkling out the melodies and by the warm, cooing vocals on the choruses. Nominally, this is country, but in practice this is straight-up easy listening, something that's much, much closer to Floyd Cramer or the Sandpipers than Merle Haggard & the Strangers. That means this LP isn't a great place to hear the Buckaroos just play, as it contains very little of their lean hard-driving strengths, and yet that's also the charm of the album: it's a shag-carpeted, wide-collared curio of its time and that tackiness means it's actually a more entertaining listen than its companion LP on this CD.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/23/2013
Label: Omnivore Recordings
UPC: 0816651014279
catalogNumber: 65

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buckaroos   Primary Artist
Red Simpson   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Tom Brumley   Steel Guitar
Bob Morris   Bass
Don Rich   Fiddle,Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Gut String Guitar
Jim Shaw   Organ,Harmonica,Piano,Jew's Harp
Doyle Curtsinger   Bass,Mandolin
Jerry Wiggins   Percussion,Drums
Willie Cantu   Drums
Doyle Holly   Guitar
Jelly Sanders   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Ronnie Jackson   Banjo,Rhythm Guitar

Technical Credits

Merle Haggard   Composer,Lyricist
Buck Owens   Composer,Lyricist
Greg Allen   Art Direction
Lee Furr   Engineer
Harlan Howard   Composer,Lyricist
Ken Nelson   Producer
Bonnie Owens   Composer,Lyricist
Dusty Rhodes   Composer,Lyricist
Don Rich   Composer,Lyricist
Buckaroos   Producer
Patrick Milligan   Reissue Producer
Voni Morrison   Composer,Lyricist
Roy Burris   Composer,Lyricist

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