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Vince Gill, Paul Franklin revisit ‘Bakersfield’

Vince Gill, Paul Franklin revisit ‘Bakersfield’

The most important thing to Vince Gill and Paul Franklin when they were recording “Bakersfield,” an album of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens cover songs, was that Haggard approved of their work.

“Those are masterpieces,” said Franklin, a renowned steel guitar player. “And for (Haggard) to hear them, the fear would be (he would say), ‘Oh my God, what did you do to the song. Where did my melody go?’ When he responded in the way that he did, I teared up and I know Vince did.”

Haggard loved the interpretations and wrote the album’s liner notes. Gill said that during the recording process, he got positive texts from people who work for Haggard including, “The old man is smiling.”

Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores will release “Bakersfield: Deluxe Edition” on Jan. 27. The new version of “Bakersfield,” which was originally released in 2013, contains four new tracks. Fans will find songs including “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Foolin’ Around” and an instrumental song Gill wrote called “Buckin’ Merle.”