Courtesy of Amy Jack

Rooted in Country: Amy Jack on Merle Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee'

Like many country artists, singer-songwriter Amy Jack was shaped by the music of Merle Haggard. But Jack's connection to The Hag goes beyond a lifelong appreciation for his artistry.

Haggard produced Jack's debut album, Introducing Amy Jack, and the album was one of the last projects Haggard worked on before his death in 2016.

Jack says Haggard's tribute to her home state of Oklahoma exemplifies the values she was raised on.

"Merle Haggard's music has always been an inspiration for my music," Jack tells Wide Open Country. "'Okie from Muskogee' is rooted in country values and a song I grew up listening to. 'We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse, We like livin' right, and bein' free. And the kids here still respect the college Dean. A place where even squares can have a ball.' As Merle would say, 'What's wrong with being a square? What's wrong with havin' a ball?' God bless America, and God bless America's music."

Read More: Rooted in Country: Melissa Carper on Hank Williams' 'Ramblin' Man'

Jack, who's currently based in North Texas, recently released "A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats."

Jack previously recorded a cover of Haggard's "Got Lonely Too Early"

Jack's song "For the Love of the Game" was featured on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Committee's "Road to Rio" Tour. It was also featured on ESPN as part of the 2016 March Madness coverage.

For more information on Amy Jack, visit her official website.

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