Sunday To-Do: Merle Haggard | Rock Candy

Sunday To-Do: Merle Haggard

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MERLE HAGGARD
7 p.m., Robinson Center Performance Hall. $32-$52.

Fans disappointed by the last minute cancellation of Merle Haggard's 2008 Riverfest show should be more than compensated with this intimate concert in a venue with second-to-none acoustics. Once deemed “incorrigible” for missing performances, a ritual known as “pulling a Merle,” this American icon helped create the Bakersfield Sound, a reaction to the slick, polished country product coming out of Nashville. Haggard, after seeing three of Johnny Cash's San Quentin performances in a numbered uniform, has evolved into one of the most cherished American cultural icons still performing. His unflinching honesty on subjects as diverse as love, loss, patriotism, regret and redemption extend throughout his catalog, memorably on songs like “Mama Tried,” “Sing Me Back Home” and the tongue-in-cheek staple, “Okie from Muskogee,” all of which are sure to appear on his set list.

—Paul Peterson


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