Merle Haggard is the greatest country songwriter since Hank Williams. One of the early innovators of the Bakersfield sound with it's hard, driving electric guitar, and an influence on every country artist since. Haggard has always remembered his roots as a working man. After his release from prison, he worked as a ditch digger and electrician while playing music on weekends. His string of hits in the mid 1960s assured he wouldn't be digging ditches again. "The Bottle Let Me Down", "Sing Me Back Home", "Mama Tried", and "Okie From Muskogee" are just a few of his songs now considered classic country.
"Okie From Muskogee" was a political statement in response to the Vietnam war protests and hippy culture of the late 60s. An anthem for the common man, a view he has carried through his music all along.
That's why I was taken back when I watched the video on his website. If Merle still speaks for the common working man, then there is hope.
Watch Merle Haggard's video here