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Same train, a different time [Import]

Merle Haggard Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £19.23 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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California country music legend Merle Haggard's debut Vanguard release, I Am What I Am bristles with all the arresting qualities for which this unrivaled artist is prized. Every song is imbued with the near alchemical power of his dazzling vocal performances, and Haggard’s interpretive mastery and unmatched phrasing continues to bring on impressive measures of sensitivity, candor and ... Read more in Amazon's Merle Haggard Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Bear Family-Rollercoaster
  • ASIN: B000006K5N
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,919 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb collection 23 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a splendid collection of the songs of Jimmy Rogers (1897 - 1933). Jimmy was known as "The Singing Breakman" because that was the task that he had performed on the railroads - one of the most dangerous jobs.

During a very brief recording career he made 145 recordings, most of them songs that he had written.

Merle Haggard is a railroad fan himself (owning a huge model railway layout) and has a natural affinity with these songs, singing them in his own inimitable style. There are 24 songs on this excellent Bear Family CD and 5 short tracks of narration about Jimmy's life. The recordings date from the late 1960s, with 2 tracks from 1972, and they sound very good. I recommend this CD very highly.

N.B. If you wish to explore Jimmy's own recordings, there is an excellent Bear Family box-set which includes all the 145.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 tracks in total on this version 13 Oct 2011
Format:Audio CD
There are actually 29 tracks on this Bear Family CD - 25 from the original 1969 (double LP)repertoire, plus 4 bonus tracks, one of which,("Jimmie The Kid") had never been previously released.

The other 3 additional tracks are all Jimmie Rodgers songs from earlier Haggard albums.

By the late 1960s The Hag had enough influence at Capitol to record this album from which no singles were released, an almost unheard of practice.

It's an outstandingly good album and has been re-released on CD format by different labels in Japan, Germany and the USA.

This version has a different sleeve from the original as well as the extra tracks.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have--for Jimmie Rodgers or Haggard fans 19 Aug 2002
By LtCol Richard L. Jones (USAF-Retired) - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Back in the late 60's I bought the LP record version of this album, and when I heard it, I went back to the store and bought another copy, which I keep in pristine, unplayed condition. Now I have a CD which I can play endlessly without worrying too much about deterioration. So many people have performed songs by Jimmie Rodgers, but this album by Merle Haggard is so far above the rest we need a new way to describe it. It just reaches down into your soul. When you have material like this and an artist like this to perform it, it just doesn't get any better, to use a trite phrase. The technical quality of this CD is very nearly the same as my old LP, also, which is a plus. I only wish Merle had included "TB Blues" in this album--but the CD containing this tune recorded live is a good second one to get, anyway. (The Best of Country Blues)
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Haggard Classic 10 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Like a quick aside from his rapidly ascending career, Haggard recorded this tribute after the Strangers had perfected their pre-swing mixture of electric honky-tonk and sophisticated folk-country. As a result, the album remains a C&W landmark. Among the other major stars of his day, only Haggard recorded with his road band all of the time, and the virtuosic fretwork of Roy Nichols, James Burton, and Norm Hamlet (steel and dobro) drives every track. To the musical backing, Haggard lends his unmistakeably smooth vocals. He pulls off an amazing representation of Jimmie Rodgers' tough, little-guy machismo (which he shares) on the best tracks, which include all of the blues numbers. If the sentimental songs on the disc are generally a little weaker, "Waiting for a Train" still provides the record's transcendent moment. Neither can one divorce the musical brilliance from Haggard's use of the songs to make a socio-political statement. When he chose to do a tribute album, Haggard clearly intended to use Rodgers' hard times, Depression-era songs to convey his idea of late 60's populism, which he advanced in tunes of his own like "Mama's Hungry Eyes" and "Workin' Man Blues." The album, despite lackluster commercial success, remains one of C&W's defining records.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tribute To Rodgers 22 Sep 2001
By Jim Bagley - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Released in 1969 as a double album, Same Train A Different Time received little attention when first issued, yet it has deservedly grown in popularity and stature over the years. Here Haggard tackles twenty Jimmie Rodgers classics like "California Blues," "Frankie & Johnny," and "Muleskinner Blues" with great affection for the material. Having survived a destitute youth, Haggard obviously identified with the Depression Era songs. The backing musicians (including the legendary James Burton - a sideman for Rick Nelson and Elvis) are also first-rate and Haggard's yodeling is surprisingly strong. It all combines for a wonderful tribute to the Singing Brakeman.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant musicianship 20 April 2005
By Tom Leoni - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Anyone who likes country-blues (especially the all-acoustic variety) will love this CD.

Firstly, the songs are the compositions of someone who needs no introduction, the legendary Jimmie Rodgers. Most of them are based on a 12-bar blues pattern, with the lyrics repeating the first verse twice over the first chord-change - a traditional form that was very dear to Rodgers. The words are a good reflection of depression-era themes, such as railroad hoboing (Hobo Bill), scrounging up a modest living (No hard time blues) and, of course, loving and leaving in their many facets (California blues, Jimmie's last Blue Yodel).

Haggard's vocal rendition is somewhat different then Rodgers,' but the result is equally engaging. While Rodgers' voice is haunting and languid, Haggard's is more round and palpable. Also, Haggard's yodeling is much less frequent, but when employed is extremely effective, equally "plodding" and never over-used. In a sense, it is by being completely himself that Haggard nails the spirit of Rodgers' songs.

The arrangements are one of the many strong suits of this CD. For the most part, pieces feature acoustic instruments - drums, bass, guitars, dobros (one played with the slide, the other a dobro-guitar), and blues-harp. A couple pieces have horns, played in a quasi-Dixieland style reminiscent of those in Rodgers' own recordings - while a violin, an electric guitar and a steel guitar surface in a minority of the tracks. Most pieces are moderate "2/4" two-steps, with the occasional waltz.

The accompaniment is provided by Haggard's own band (the Strangers) and the studio artists sometimes heard in his earlier recordings. Among the latter is none other than James Burton, one of the fathers of Country Guitar styles and, of course, the guitarist who toured with Elvis from 1969 to 1977. While most listeners are accustomed to hearing Burton's Telecaster, it is amazing to hear him pick away at a round-neck dobro with equal flair and musicianship (his fiery solo in "No hard time blues" is an oft-copied masterpiece).

Song-choice is varied and representative of Rodgers' output. Also, the recording is interspersed with a few (very brief) tracks of Haggard's narration of Rodgers' life and deeds - which can be easily skipped over once they are familiar to the listener.

Overall, I recommend this CD very enthusiastically to all who enjoy this style of music - a CD that has only strengths and no weaknesses.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hag's Best Ever 16 July 2004
By Casey C. McDonald II - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I bought this album in 1969 when it was first released and I still have it now. Even though my old record player is in bad shape I still listen to it whenever I get the time. One can not just sit and listen to one or two of the songs on this album and then cut it off, because when it starts you find yourself getting caught up in the singer the times and music and before you know it you have listened to every song on this two album set. I do not believe that there ever has been or ever will be someone quite like Merle Haggard. He has a voice with depth and quality that no one can duplicate or be compared to. He is truly one of a kind. I too feel that if Jimmy Rodgers was alive to hear this music he would truly be amazed at what he was hearing and wished (even though he could sing these same songs superbly) he could sing them the same way that the Hag could and does here. I have always been a fan of the Hag and always will be. God don't make singers of country music like him any more. This is the kind of music that takes you back to front porches and porch swings. Back to when time seemed to stand still. This music will live forever because of the heart and soul that was put into this music by Jimmy Rodgers first then Merle Haggard. Thanks Merle for sharing Jimmy Rodger's songs and your great talent with all that will give an ear to this great form of music.
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