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Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again is the follow-up to Merle Haggard's and George Jones' groundbreaking 1982 album, A Taste Of Yesterday's Wine. Even though the musical landscape around them has changed dramatically over the last two and half decades, Haggard and Jones continue to mine the traditional sound that has put them both in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
With a friendship that stretches over 40 years, Haggard and Jones know each other's styles well. On Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again, the tireless twosome revisit songs from their catalogs, but with a bit of a twist: Jones sings five Haggard songs; Haggard sings five Jones songs. The duo also join together on four cuts. At 69 (Haggard) and 75 (Jones) the two country legends are nearing the end of their touring and recording days, so this collection will very likely be their last together.
Ghosts of country music past echo loudly on Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again. "Born With The Blues" recalls the mournful material of Hank Williams Sr. and Lefty Frizzell. Jones twists the notes like only he can, while Haggard chews on his share of the song in his California drawl. A moaning steel guitar drives a stake through the bleeding heart of the dejected track. The swinging "Sick, Sober, & Sorry" has shades of Bob Wills and Jimmie Rodgers in it. Haggard and Jones poke fun at themselves and their storied pasts.
The album's most poignant moment comes with the disc's opening number, "Footlights." Haggard and Jones duet on a song that mirrors their own lives. An aging performer finds the years and miles beginning to wear on him. Haggard's and Jones' weathered voices show their age only slightly, but both men sound as if they know the clock for them is winding down. "So I'll hide my age and make the stage and try to kick the footlights out again," Jones sings, a tinge of sadness in his voice.
They don't develop artists like this anymore, and they don't write songs like the gentle "The Way I Am," rendered brilliantly here by Jones, or the arresting "I Always Get Lucky With You," which is smartly turned out by Haggard. Few of today's country artists would record such pointed songs as "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink" (Jones) and "The Window Up Above" (Haggard). "Sing Me Back Home" (Jones), a woeful tale about a death row convict taking his final walk, is as traditional as it gets.
No two artists have had as big an impact on country music as Merle Haggard and George Jones, and this hardcore reflection of days gone by testifies to that fact. Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again should be required listening for every would-be country artist pounding the pavement in Nashville today.
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|Number of Discs:||1|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.2|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||0.4 x 5.0 x 5.6|
|1.||Footlights - George Jones & Merle Haggard|
|2.||The Race Is On - Merle Haggard|
|3.||The Way I Am - George Jones|
|4.||She Thinks I Still Care - Merle Haggard|
|5.||All My Friends Are Strangers - George Jones|
|6.||Things Have Gone To Pieces - Merle Haggard|
|7.||I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink - George Jones|
|8.||Born With The Blues - George Jones & Merle Haggard|
|10.||Sober & Sorry - George Jones & Merle Haggard|
|11.||I Always Get Lucky With You - Merle Haggard|
|12.||Sing Me Back Home - George Jones|
|13.||The Window Up Above - Merle Haggard|
|14.||You Take Me For Granted - George Jones|
|15.||Don't Get Around Much Anymore - George Jones & Merle Haggard|
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