Personnel: Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar); Bobby Wayne, Clint Strong, Steve Grahn, Gary Tackett, Grady Martin, Willie Savage (guitar); Norm Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro); Steve Herrman (harmonica); Don Markham (saxophone, trumpet); Gary Church (cornet, trombone); Mark Yeary (piano, keyboards); Mike Leech, Reggie Brown, Joe Reed (bass); Biff Adam (drums, percussion); Eric Griffen, Steve Van Stralen (percussion).
Producers: Mark Yeary, Merle Haggard, Grady Martin.
Engineers: Steve Grahn, Bob Hockenberry, Ken Suesov.
Recorded at Talley Studio, Palo Cedro, California.
Though the 1990s weren't kind to Merle Haggard in terms of album sales, his songwriting expertise still remained intact, as this 1990 release shows. With typical Haggard economy, BLUE JUNGLE unpeels the complex singer's many layers. There's the champion of the down-and-out on "My Home Is in the Street" and "Under the Bridge," the patriot railing against flag burners on "Me and Crippled Soldiers," and the understated, heartbreaking love song, "Driftwood." From the updated Bakersfield swing of the title track to the honky-tonk raunch of "A Bar in Bakersfield," BLUE JUNGLE is a glimpse of a performer with nothing to lose, away from the spotlight yet very much engaged with his material.