There's a special magic when two old friends get together, and that heartfelt chemistry resonates throughout California Blend.

There's a special magic when two old friends get together, and that heartfelt chemistry resonates throughout California Blend. Haggard undoubtedly possesses one of country music's most acclaimed voices, and he sounds better than ever. You can hear a lifetime of experience—hope mingling with heartache—reverberating poignantly in every performance. Smith is a California country music scene veteran turned businessman whose music career influenced a young Haggard. The two rekindled their friendship, recorded this at Haggard's home studio, and Haggard is issuing it via his own label. This disc's many highlights include "Wreck on the Highway," "Grace for the Shepherd," "Wait a Little Longer Please Jesus," and "Great Judgement Morning," which Smith first learned as a boy. With the surging interest in roots music, this record has the potential to capture a wide audience. The combination of understated production and moving performances make this a treasure not to be missed.—DEP

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