Merle Haggard has signed with Vanguard Records and will release I Am What I Am, his first album for the independent label, on April 20. The project, featuring 12 new songs he has written, was co-produced by Haggard and Lou Bradley. Vanguard Records was established as a classical label in the early ’50s but gained greater acclaim as a folk and blues label during the following decade. Its current roster includes Mindy Smith, the Levon Helm Band, Shawn Mullins, the Boxmasters and the Robert Cray Band. Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.