Merle Haggard & the Strangers

Train Whistle Blues, Vol. 5: Classic Railroad Songs

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This pleasant collection from Rounder Records brings together 14 train songs recorded during Merle Haggard's long tenure with Capitol Records, drawn mostly from 1969's Same Train, Different Time: A Tribute to Jimmie Rodgers and 1975's My Love Affair With Trains, in essence serving as a sampler for those two releases. Haggard's lifelong fascination with trains isn't hard to trace. The son of a railroad man, he was raised in a refurbished 40-foot reefer boxcar 300 feet from the Southern Pacific & Sante Fe oil spur, and as a writer and singer he clearly understands the train as a metaphor for escape and personal freedom. Highlights here include versions of Dolly Parton's "My Love Affair With Trains," Jimmie Rodgers' "Waiting for a Train," and two poignant and autobiographical Haggard originals, "White Man Singin' the Blues" and "No More Trains to Ride."

blue highlight denotes track pick