There are plenty of influences within the country music genre and each of them for their own specific reasons. For Buck Owens and Merle Haggard that reason is simply known as “The Bakersfield Sound,” a sub-genre of country music that these two innovators influenced that later would shine through from the likes of Dwight Yoakam and even early Gary Allan. Vince Gill and Paul Franklin, both legends themselves, have brought their talents together to honor that sound with Bakersfield. Included on the album is their take on 5 songs from each Owens and Haggard that include the familiar hits like “Foolin’ Around” and “The Fightin’ Side Of Me.” By alternating between Owens and Haggard songs over the 10-tracks, listeners get to experience songs like “Together Again” and “The Bottle Let Me Down” back to back, which allows them to hear the similarities between Haggard and Owens style, but to also hear the subtle differences that made them stand out on their own as artists as well. Throughout this tribute the guitar work is incredible and the lead vocals of Gill’s reach registers that we haven’t heard from him yet in his storied career in his efforts to match those of Owens and those of Haggard’s. Though I am not usually one for an album of cover songs, even a tribute like this one, because of the class and sincerity that Vince Gill and Paul Franklin brought to this project there is no doubt that they truly wanted to pay tribute to one of the more specific brands of the country music sound and this album is just another way to keep the heritage of the genre alive and kicking.