Merle Haggard

A new song from George Strait and Asleep at the Wheel! (Some from the Avetts, too)

GeorgeStraitandRayBensonGettyImagesOn March 3, Asleep at the Wheel will put out their fourth tribute to the legendary Bob Wills. That’s pretty good news in its own right, but it gets even better: The album features the first new music from George Strait since he retired from touring last year!

The album will also feature the Avett Brothers, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard, and more. With a hat tip to Texas Monthly, here’s the Strait/Benson collaboration on “South of the Border”:

And here they are doing “The Girl I Left Behind Me” with the Avett Brothers:

My New Toy

I got a new toy – a portable turntable! My best friend, a real audiophile in Seattle, recommended three, and I picked the one with the best ratio of five-start to one-star reviews on Amazon.com: a three-speed model from Jensen.

Jensen record player Jamey Johnson

The inaugural record, playing as I write this quick post: Jamey Johnson’s “Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran” from 2012, featuring duets with Alison Krauss, Merle Haggard, George Strait, willie Nelson, and more.

I’ve got a much bigger record player at home in Idaho that looks like a giant chest, with huge built-in speakers, an AM/FM radio, and a busted 8-track player – there’s no hauling that out to D.C., but mentioning it does give me a chance to give a shoutout out to the annual KPBX Recording and Video Sale! If you’re in the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area this winter, be sure to check it out – tons of cheap used records and gear every January/February. Last I knew, all discs were $2, but that may have increased to $3 or $4 in the years since I’ve been for all I know.