Unforgettable

Unforgettable

5.0 1
by Merle Haggard
     
 
Making a memorable return to the Capitol Records family, Merle Haggard checks in with a tasty sojourn into the world of classic pop standards that underscores his impeccable interpretive technique and the endearing warmth of his reinvigorated baritone. Backed by a small, jazz-oriented combo and using strings and horns discreetly, the Hag offers laid-back renditions of

Overview

Making a memorable return to the Capitol Records family, Merle Haggard checks in with a tasty sojourn into the world of classic pop standards that underscores his impeccable interpretive technique and the endearing warmth of his reinvigorated baritone. Backed by a small, jazz-oriented combo and using strings and horns discreetly, the Hag offers laid-back renditions of tunes both familiar and slightly obscure, such as the title track, the Ink Spots' 1946 classic "The Gypsy," and a delicate "Stardust" that finds Hag's searching vocal shadowed by a seductive horn line and a winsome guitar solo. He styles "I Can't Get Started" as a silky, sensuous groove tune with a smoky sax solo, a feathery guitar line, a muted trumpet, and a gently swinging vocal. In the same vein are a couple of new tunes, including the blues-inflected, string-laden tear-jerker "I Can't Get Started with You" and the Hag original "What Love Can Do," a lilting pledge of love with a woozy, after-hours ambience. Toss in a stark, dramatic reading of "Cry Me a River" and a convivial, shuffling take on "Pennies from Heaven," and the package takes on classic dimensions. Like his idol Bob Wills (and not to overlook Willis's peerless lead singer, Tommy Duncan), the Hag may always be fundamentally country, but his expansive definition of the genre serves him, the music, and the fans well. Everything old is new again in these skillful hands.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As the '90s drew to a close, Merle Haggard left major labels behind, putting out a pair of excellent records on the punk label Epitaph before parting ways with them and releasing a politically charged album on an even smaller indie called Compendium, before quietly returning to his longtime home, Capitol, in 2004 with Unforgettable. This album is part of a long line of veteran singers tackling the American popular songbook -- i.e., pre-rock & roll vocal pop standards such as "As Time Goes By," "Stardust," and "I Can't Get Started." This may be a common move, but coming from the contrarian Haggard, it seems as idiosyncratic and comfortable as his collection of classic country covers, Roots, Vol. 1. Like that album, this is warm, relaxed and laid-back, impeccably performed, and pleasurable to hear. Not that it contains any surprises -- it's filled with low-key, piano-driven arrangements suited for a late-night smoky bar or any other of the many similarly styled standards records -- but what makes Unforgettable work is Haggard's easy, assured delivery. He may not reinvent these songs, but he sings them as if they were his own, making this a small, romantic gem for listeners who love Hag the singer as much as they love Hag the writer.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/14/2004
Label:
Liberty
UPC:
0724386371621
catalogNumber:
63716

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Merle Haggard   Primary Artist,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Johnny Gimble   Fiddle
Bobby Wood   Piano
Biff Adam   Drums
Gary Church   Trombone
Eddie Curtis   Bass
Floyd Domino   Piano
Joe Manuel   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Freddy Powers   Acoustic Guitar,Drums
Kevin Price   Cello
Joe Reed   Bass
Clint Strong   Electric Guitar
Catherine Styron   Piano
Redd Volkaert   Acoustic Guitar
Randy Mason   Acoustic Guitar,Drums
Larrie Londin   Drums
Leland Sklar   Bass
Mike Wheeler   Electric Guitar
Abe Manuel   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Accordion
Oleg Schramm   Piano
Tony Savage   Conductor
Terry Domingue   Drums
Rose Katai   Violin
Soo Kyong Kim   Viola
Don Markum   Trumpet,Saxophone
Bruce McBeth   Violin
B.B. Morse   Bass
Abe Manuel   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Accordion

Technical Credits

Merle Haggard   Composer
Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Russ Morgan   Composer
Vernon Duke   Composer
Cindy Walker   Composer
Fred E. Ahlert   Composer
Lou Bradley   Engineer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Larry Greenhill   Engineer
Arthur Hamilton   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Freddy Powers   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Billy Reid   Composer
Larry Stock   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Arthur Johnston   Composer
Irving Gordon   Composer
James Cavanaugh   Composer
Colette Taber   Groomer
Theresa Lane Haggard   Composer
Joanna Carter   Art Direction
Tony Savage   String Arrangements
Herman Hupfeld   Composer

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Unforgettable 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
merle haggard is like fine wine . he gets better with time