Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:
***

GEORGE JONES AND MERLE HAGGARD
Jones Sings Haggard, Haggard Sings Jones: Kickin' Out the Footlights . . . Again
Bandit

Hag and Jones cover each other's songs--what's not to like?

Because George Jones and Merle Haggard are our premier living country artists -- male, anyway (hello, Dolly) -- their album of four duets and five solos apiece can't be ignored. Sometimes some synergy is just what an old dog needs, and having them sing each other's hits is a neat idea. But though the seventy-five-year-old Jones will stand as one of the greatest singers in any genre, his vocal edge has blurred so noticeably in recent years that the wistful "All My Friends Are Strangers" isn't just his finest performance on this likable-enough album, but in this millennium. So Haggard, who at sixty-nine has been picking up his game of late, carries the team. On solo shots such as "Things Have Gone to Press" and "I Always Get Lucky With You," the words have clearly passed through his brain before reaching his larynx -- a larynx that if we're lucky will continue to resonate for another decade.

Rolling Stone, Dec. 14, 2006