The Dirt Drifters Blog About Merle Haggard

Written by SLN Staff Writer
The Dirt Drifters Blog About Merle Haggard

In the midst of an intense radio tour for their debut single “Something Better”, The Dirt Drifters stopped to play a show at the famous Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, CA. The history of the town and the music that has come from it struck a chord with lead singer Matt Fleener, who after checked in at with the below blog. Give it a read along with the video above of the band performing the Merle Haggard classic “My Favorite Memory”…


Well, we landed in Los Angeles last week and it was the first time in my life I've been west of the Rockies. To explain how I felt I will say this, at Will Rogers airport in OKC they bale hay next to the runways. They don't do that in L.A. I couldn't get over the size of the city as the plane was landing. Then we headed north to Bakersfield, home of the best sounds and music EVER in country music. Period. My whole life I've been a Merle Haggard fan. I'm not talking just a normal fan. He is the best there is and anyone that tells you different is a complete fool.

So the next morning I woke up at 6:30 am and took a walk around town, just to soak it up. I imagined myself seeing it as it was in the 60's; the beer joints, the fist fights, the steel guitars pouring out of the doors with the cigarette smoke. If time travel is ever possible, that is in the top three places and times for me.

We met some really good folks in town and we played Buck Owens' Crystal Palace. There is not enough time for me to go on and on to talk about what that was like, but I will say this, I stood on that stage and sang a Hag song. The same spot where my hero has stood numerous times in his town. Speechless.

After that I did what Merle would do. I sat in a hotel room, drank coffee, stared out the window and wrote a song. Jeff was picking through some chords and we just sat there on the hotel beds and wrote a real country song.

Somehow I feel connected to those times and places, and maybe those old guys would be proud of this band. We are doing it they way they did. Earning our licks in the bars, writing songs about our lives, recording music with our closest friends and dreaming of finding something at the end of a rainbow.

I honestly don't know where this year and record will take us. There is a spirit and hunger running through us like a pack of hungry dogs, ready to pounce when the moment comes. It's amazing the dreams your guitar will whisper to you when you talk to it.

It's very important to us the things we have seen and been through. The folks we have met who opened their doors and hearts, fed us, prayed for us and gave us another ounce of hope. Anyone out there reading this who fits that description, God Bless you. With this band there is no back up plan, no retreat. We will make you proud.

I'll leave you with a quote from Merle.

“Someday when our dream world finds us
And these hard times are gone
We’ll laugh and count our blessings
In a mansion all our own
If we both pull together tomorrows sure to come
Someday we’ll look back and say it was fun”