Haggard Readies Gospel Albums

Country Music Hall of Fame member Merle Haggard will release a pair of gospel albums May 1. Two Old Friends is a collection of duets with Albert E. Brumley Jr., son of the late, legendary gospel songwriter Albert Edward Brumley (who wrote “I’ll Fly Away”). Cabin in the Hills features guest vocals by Haggard’s wife, Theresa, ex-wife Bonnie Owens, Porter Wagoner, Johnny Counterfit and Ray McDonald. The projects feature a mix of traditional numbers and new originals by Haggard, Iris DeMent and others. Relentless/Nashville licensed the albums from Haggard’s own label, Hag Records. His last album, If I Could Only Fly, was released to critical acclaim in October on independent label Anti Records, an imprint of punk label Epitaph.