At 77 years old, Merle Haggard is still going strong. He’s still touring regularly, and he’s added some contributions to a Buddy Holly tribute album to his already-considerable collection of recorded work. And, if Merle has his way, his storied career will be going on for quite a bit longer.
In an interview with the Raleigh News & Observer, Haggard dished out his thoughts on retirement, and he doesn’t seem too keen on the idea. “If I ever retired, I wouldn’t be doing much,” Haggard said. ” I’ve fished all my life and I play golf, but that don’t substitute for the road and playing shows and the high points of all we’ve accomplished in 50 years. The music is actually something I enjoy doing, even though the traveling’s not so much fun anymore.”
Haggard also revealed that he’s been working on four new albums, but don’t expect them to sound like anything on country radio. In fact, Haggard may not know what that sounds like: “I don’t really listen to the radio at all anymore. Once in a while, I’ll scan it and I don’t understand what they’re doing. I can’t find the entertainment in it.” Haggard later went on to describe modern country as “too much boogie-woogie and wham-bam and not enough substance.”
Haggard’s tour lasts through the rest of the year, including a performance for Austin City Limits in November.