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Merle Haggard 

When: Aug. 25-26, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $35-110
In a thousands-words-long profile that appeared in The New Yorker on Feb. 12, 1990, Merle Haggard, then 53, said he thought he'd live to be 100 years old. He made the statement on a tour bus, surrounded by unfiltered cigarette papers and empty cassette cases. Nearly a quarter-century later, at 77 years old, Hag — the no-introduction-needing outlaw country icon, Bakersfield Sound architect and 2010 Kennedy Center honoree behind such classics as "The Bottle Let Me Down," "Mama Tried" and "Okie from Muskogee" — isn't just self-fulfilling his prophecy to grow old in spite of hard living; he's still on the road, kicking ass. Since Haggard hasn't released an album since 2011's very Bakersfield-sounding Working in Tennessee, this week's two-night Mother Church stint is sure to be heavy on back catalog. By his account, you may have 23 years left to catch Haggard in concert, but that doesn't mean you should miss these gigs. ADAM GOLD

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