Doc Pulls Haggard Off The Road
Under the advice of his doctor, Merle Haggard has canceled the balance of his U.S. touring plans through Nov. 3. Haggard, who has a history of coronary artery disease, complained last Thursday of tighUnder the advice of his doctor, Merle Haggard has canceled the balance of his U.S. touring plans through Nov. 3. Haggard, who has a history of coronary artery disease, complained last Thursday of tightness and pain in his chest, and has returned home to California to consult his cardiologist.
The symptoms were relieved with nitroglycerin, according to a statement from his doctor, but Haggard still canceled several shows in Texas, as well as a recently added stop at Tim McGraw's annual Swampstock fundraiser in Rayville, La., on Sunday. Other affected shows include a performance tonight (Oct. 30) in Louisville, tomorrow in Indianapolis, and a pair of shows Friday and Saturday in Robinsville, Miss.
Still on Haggard's itinerary is his planned six-date Canadian tour, due to kick off Nov. 14 in Calgary. "We're hopeful he'll be feeling well enough to play those shows," a representative of his booking agent tells Billboard.com.
Haggard has been touring in advance of the release of his latest album, "Roots Volume 1," due Nov. 6 via Epitaph's Anti- label. "This is my favorite album, I think," the legendary artist recently told Billboard. "The whole picture is to try to preserve that body of work that happened from the transition from big brass bands to Elvis. There's about a five- or six-year period in there, before Elvis and Ray Price came in and changed everything. There was some music that was played by Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell and Hank Thompson, people like that, that was absolutely wonderful."
The album features five songs originated by Frizzell, one of Haggard's greatest influences, as well as three new Haggard originals, two songs associated with honky-tonker Thompson, and a pair originally recorded by Williams.