MERLE HAGGARD, KINGSBURY HALL, Tuesday, June 24, 7:30 p.m., $$35-$45-$55-$65
When you start talking about the Mt. Rushmore of classic country songwriters, the man known to fans as the “poet of the common man” certainly warrants consideration alongside the likes of Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. Merle Haggard helped establish what came to be known as “the Bakersfield sound,” and he wrote no less than 28 No. 1 country hits. He grew up dirt poor and spent some time in prison before he started focusing on music, and his rough-and-tumble background have always informed Haggard’s songs. In the past decade or so, Haggard has established himself as one of country’s most beloved elder statesmen, delivering strong live shows and a series of albums that showcase a rootsy country sound seldom heard anymore on commercial country radio. Consider his show Tuesday an invitation to see a living legend.