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Merle Haggard 

When: Mon., Feb. 11, 8 p.m. 2008
Price: $65

Merle Haggard is the Okie from Muskogee, the Untamed Hawk, the Poet of the Working Man. He has a reputation for honestly speaking his mind. Despite his conservative history, Haggard is currently a critic of George Bush and the war in Iraq; he even wrote a campaign song for Hillary Clinton. Recent tunes like "Fix America First" and "Where's All the Freedom" are positively left-wing statements, full of righteous anger about the direction the country's going in. Musically, Haggard's just as sharp as ever, leading a top-notch band that plays everything from hard-core honky-tonk to cowboy jazz with a breezy aplomb. He seldom plays the Bay Area, so don't miss this chance to see a living legend in concert. Merle and his current incarnation of the Strangers plays Monday, Feb. 11 at the RegencyCenter (1290 Sutter St., San Francisco). 8 pm., $65. 415-421-8497 or RegencyCenterSF.com


— j. poet

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