Purists may quibble over the somewhat misleading packaging here, since it's only when you read the liner notes that you discover that these are mid-'90s re-recordings of Haggard's signature songs from the '60s and '70s. Nevertheless, this is well worth hearing. The backing--presumably by Haggard's longtime ace road band, the Strangers--is sensationally fluent, the arrangements are as pared down as the originals, and Haggard's singing has only deepened with age, as witness the newfound tone of rueful regret in "Mama Tried." A worthy supplement to the genuine article.
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