Ol’ Merle – aka The Okie from Muskogee – is one of the last real outlaws; country musicians with true grit and balls. Merle along with Willie, Waylon, Johnny, Coe, Kristofferson, Williams (Sr., Jr., and now carried on by Tricephus), Shaver, and a handful of others defined country music as the soundtrack of the outlaw, a sound that married the stark American realism of Country and Western with the backbone of rock ‘n roll. The music was imbued with a sense of experience and truth that lends authenticity. These dudes and some gals lived what they wrote about. The boots and hats worn by these guys were picked out by these guys and probably would be worn by them even if they had a job at a gas station as opposed to a performer. They made real songs that resonate with music lovers of all types in contrast to the current slew (since the 90′s actually) of over-produced radio pop sung by some jerk in tight jeans with a phoney twang and an ornamental guitar that passes for country these days. That is the type of sound that resonates with fat sorrority girls, guys in shiney pick-ups that don’t know shit about music, and moms. Anywho, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, some real outlaw music in ”Mexican Bands” from Haggard’s latest, true-to-form record, I Am What I Am.