Picks and Pans Review: Seashores of Old Mexico
Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson
There are a lot of reasons for this partnership to become a disaster. Haggard's mellow, rich voice accentuates the nasal, tense qualities of Nelson's style, for one thing. They don't harmonize well, for another. They brought off their previous album, Pancho and Lefty, however, and for most of this one they strike up a conversational duet style that suggests a couple of cronies rehashing their misspent lives over a pitcher of beer. While a couple of the songs are silly (Jimmy the Broom, about a Reno vagabond, is one), most of them seem honest, rueful and reflective. They include D. L. Jones's When Times Were Good, Hank Cochran's and Grady Martin's Love Makes a Fool of Us All, Nelson's Why Do I Have To Choose and two Haggard tunes: Without You on My Side and his standard Silver Wings. The arrangements are appropriately straightforward, with Haggard's band, the Strangers, providing the framework. Add this to Haggard's and Nelson's long lists of noteworthy achievements. (Columbia)
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