Mon., April 08, Merle Haggard and the Strangers
Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 7:30 p.m., $49-$79
Guitarist and singer-songwriter Merle Haggard is the real deal when it comes to exuding all the blue-collar blues, heartache, damnation, redemption, want, bare-chested patriotism, hard drinking, humor, romance and family ties of the raw, twangy, rockin' country style known as the “Bakersfield sound.” Haggard's past smacks of grist for a honky-tonk jukebox: loss of the family's Oklahoma farm to fire, his birth outside Bakersfield and death of his father nine years later, his incarceration in San Quentin State Prison, five marriages, and his career climb from bars to the Country Music Hall of Fame. And his backup band is usually amazing, too. He plays Tuesday night at the same time as well. 10 College Parkway in Folsom, http://merlehaggard.com.