Country Outlaws

Merle Haggard / Waylon Jennings / Willie Nelson

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Country Outlaws Review

by Thom Jurek

This is one crazy three-disc compilation from the Columbia River Entertainment Group. It contains a disc each devoted to Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings. In the case of Nelson, it contains a terrific live album with his Family Band. He runs through past hits including “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” "On the Road Again," “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain,” “Whiskey River,” “Always on My Mind,” and some killer covers like Steve Goodman's “City of New Orleans” and Lefty Frizzell's “If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time.” Likewise, the Hag’s disc features him in his prime, fronting a smoking big band -- complete with a horn section -- and running through tracks from his Capitol, Epic, and MCA periods, including “Ramblin’ Fever,” “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Mama Tried,” and yes, “Okie from Muskogee,” to mention a few. Those are both solid sets. The Jennings volume, however, is mainly a rehash of RCA material from the early years that’s been collected elsewhere and better. This box sells for a song, so it might be worth the purchase price just to snag the live albums by Nelson and Haggard.

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