Let’s just cut right to some of the brightest news so far in 2013: Merle Haggard just got an honorary doctorate from Cal State University Bakersfield. So from now on, that’s Dr. The Hag to you—and that’s also some welcome academic recognition for the guy who not only brought the Bakersfield sound to the whole wide world, but whose voice and heart pretty much established a sub-genre of country music all by themselves. Hag has as many classics behind him as he does teenage jailbreaks—dozens, if not more for both, he was quite the young escape artist! And at 75, he’s lost none of his vigor or wit. Next time you put on “If We Make It Through December,” remember that sometimes people can actually make it through, and get a Ph.D for their trouble, too.
Thu., April 11, 8 p.m., 2013