Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson to perform at VPAC

Mayra Escobedo

Country and folk music artists Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson will take the stage at the Valley Performing Arts Center Saturday.

It will be their first time performing at the VPAC. Haggard, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, uses a mix of jazz, folk and blues to create unique a country music sound. This blend of musical styles is what made him one of the leading figures in the Bakersfield country music scene in the 1960s.

His songs speak of the working man’s struggle, drinking and difficult times. All things he can relate to having been in and out of jail most of his young life. After serving time in San Quentin at the age of 20, Haggard decided to turn his life around after his release and focus on country music in the Bakersfield scene.

Kristofferson, a member of the Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame, is considered to be one of the songwriters who helped redefine songs in country music. He along with a few other songwriters rebelled against the conservative way country songs were written in the 1970s and moved to a more personal way of writing. Finding such great success as a songwriter, more than 450 artists have recorded his composition; he was able to launch a singing career.

Haggard and Kristofferson will be performing at the VPAC Saturday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. The show is almost sold out but tickets are still available at the VPAC website for $72.25.