Pickin' on Merle Haggard puts the hits of the original country outlaw in the hands of a Nashville studio group and delivers a quaint set of background-quality instrumentals. That's basically the premise of the entire Pickin' On series and the end results vary widely in quality. The Merle Haggard edition fairs better than most; the selection is admirable and the renditions are alternately faithful and adventurous when compared to the Okie from Muskogee's original versions. Fans of Haggard will find this interesting and/or amusing, all others should find out why he deserves a tribute in the first place.
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AllMusic Review by Wade Kergan