"Kern River Blues" pre-release materials
Embargoed until 12:00pm PT on Friday 11/4

Merle Haggard's last farewell to Bakersfield might just restore the river he loved. Haggard, the legendary singer/songwriter that helped define the Bakersfield Sound, recorded "Kern River Blues" in 2016, where he lamented that the Kern River's water had been stolen and the river had been dried up. Now "Kern River Blues" has become the rallying cry of Bakersfield's environmental justice movement for restoring flowing water to the river that Merle loved. On November 4st, a newly released version of Merle's powerful lyrics are being sung by artists of all generations, genres, and musical backgrounds in hopes of unleashing a deluge of additional public support for the Kern. The song and video release includes Gregory Porter (2 Grammy awards), Zacari, and 7 other featured nationally recognized Bakersfield musicians. These musicians are giving voice to the people of Bakersfield, who want lasting protections on their river to ensure agricultural interests can no longer dry up the entirety of the river's flows. These musicians are giving voice to a community who wants to see agricultural water diversions balanced with the needs of the ecosystems dependent on the river and half a million people living near the river.

The collaboration video and press materials are below. The video is available for viewing by media contacts who have agreed to the media embargo terms. The embargo will lift at 12:00pm Pacific Time on 11/4, at which time the video will be posted publicly to YouTube. For media contacts wanting to have access to a downloadable video or audio file to play for your coverage of the story, please email contact@bringbackthekern.org to receive access. 

Project Press Release

Musician Bios

More About the Kern River

Media Resources