Among the litany of iconic musicians who have left us this year, country legend Merle Haggard stands out as a man who always did things on his own terms. In the days leading up to his death at the exact age of 79, Haggard continued to write and record songs in spite of his deteriorating health. Today, his family has shared the very last of these songs, “Kern River Blues”, as a way to thank fans for their “tremendous outpouring of love and prayers for Merle.”
After debuting on Willie Nelson’s SiriusXM channel Willie’s Roadhouse on Thursday, the song is now available on iTunes and Haggard’s official website. 10% of all gross proceeds will go towards homeless charities.
Check out a preview of the song below.