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In The Studio (And Exclusive Tracks): Merle Haggard

September 25, 2007 4:49 PM ET

Rolling Stone recently got the scoop on Merle Haggard's The Bluegrass Sessions, which comes out October 2nd. "I've got to where, a hundred albums later, I can't tell how good they are anymore," Haggard says of his first disc of bluegrass songs. "I know we had fun doing it — we didn't sweat too hard." The disc — recorded in Nashville with a group of top-shelf pickers — features bluegrass traditionals and reworked versions of Haggard's own tunes. But the best tracks are the new ones, like "What Happened?" which surveys the damage of the Bush era. "I hope it's not too late to fix things, Haggard says. "But I don't think it's going to happen in our lifetime." Sample three songs from the LP (including single "Wouldn't That Be Something" and two exclusive tracks) right here:

LISTEN Sample "Run Away Momma" from The Bluegrass Session:

LISTEN Sample "Wouldn't That Be Something" from The Bluegrass Sessions:

LISTEN Sample "Mama's Hungry Eyes" from The Bluegrass Sessions:

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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