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Tulare Dust: A Songwriters' Tribute To Merle Haggard
Various Artists
Tulare Dust: A Songwriters' Tribute To Merle Haggard
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1


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Iris Dement worth the price of admission
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Buy this CD if for no other reason than to hear Iris Dement singing 'Big City'. It's the best thing she's ever done, IMHO. If Angels ever come down and complain about their dead end jobs, it'll sound just like this. Only maybe not quite so sweet. Who knew old Merle could write something that could sound like an angel fixin' to turn in her timecard? It just goes to show, "the Hag" can do it all. Good tribute album to the body of work contributed by a genuine 'force of nature' in American music."
This tribute saved Merle's career
Bt | Parts unknown | 12/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The story goes that ol' Merle was ready to pack it in at the time this disc was made. What happened? He heard some young angel named Iris Dement sing a version of his tune "Big City" and he melted. Merle said that after hearing Iris, he felt there was hope for country music after all! A nice story, but the truth is, this disc is one of the best tribute albums you're likely to hear anywhere. While Iris does shine, the stand-out track is Tom Russell doing "Tulare dust/They're tearin' the labor camps down." Fantastic. The rest of the disc is interesting. Some of it quite different than Merle's version, but good nevertheless. A good buy."
Great Tribute to a Great Artist
James Carragher | New York | 09/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The songs on this tribute to Merle Haggard show better than some of his own inconsistent work just what a huge, multi-faceted talent Haggard has been for decades. For those who might still only recall him as a tunnel-visioned patriot (neither Okie from Musgokee or The Fighting Side of Me are here, fortunately), Tulare Dust sets the record straight -- Haggard is the champion of each human's daily struggle (the title cut and A Working Man), the romantic of rough open road (White Line Fever, Ramblin Fever), and the chronicler of tragic romance (Kern River). Most surprisingly, perhaps, considering his origins and audience, he writes of love across the color line (Irma Jackson). Picking the best of this outstanding collection is tough, but try Iris Dement's amazing take on Big City, Dwight Yoakam's weepy Holding Things Together, Billy Joe Shaver and Ramblin Fever, but most especially Dave Alvin and Kern River. In just about the only disappointment, while almost all the other singer-songwriters deliver inspired covers of these songs, Marshall Crenshaw's version of the classic Silver Wings is bland and rote.

A must have CD."