Merle Haggard’s Live In San Francisco 1965 opens with a series of endings, which work pretty well: the last 48 seconds of “Devil Woman” is about all I can take, especially since he clones the hair-oil sanctimony of Marty Robbins’ original delivery—then make way for the exciting climaxes of “Movin’ On”, “Orange Blossom Special”, and “Love Is Gonna Live Here Again”! First full-length (2:58) is a very fine “Blue Yodel”, with Johnny Gimble’s blue fiddle swinging out and back into a tensile combo of early Strangers (later, Bonnie Owens is the effective singing actress on “Lead me On”, and caps the uptempo “Cowboy’s Sweetheart” with her own, Swiss-tending yodels, while the rhythm guitarist enjoys working at “Harold’s Super Service”, except for the big guy who always wants like the sign says for a little bitty amount of gas, even at the Pearly Gates). Mostly we get Reader’s Digest editions of mostly original early highlights, some already classic, all quite fresh, as is the Hag’s voice, yodeling and all—the more striking after last year’s collab with Willie, Django and Jimmie, where his always right but economizing sometimes ragged delivery made it not that much of a shock when he checked out with respiratory problems. (Not in 2016, anyway…) But the basically deft terseness of his final round is accentuated here too, making the candid pictures, cards from life’s “other” side. cut just right: ain’t that it, often as not. “Okie From Musgokee” and “Fightin’ Side of Me” have yet to show up, but/and “A Soldier’s Letter” certainly works as a sign-off. 16 songs, 30 minutes.