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Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey

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BUZZ BUSBY Starday 0123 Going Home - Greatest Starday Recordings ● CD $9.98
19 tracks, 41 minutes, essential. Simply put, this long-overdue anthology collects the most intense, unrelenting bluegrass ever captured on record. If anything, this music is the antithesis of the meticulously produced, easy-listening sludge that passes for bluegrass in the 21st Century. Imagine Carter and Ralph Stanley or Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin on amphetamines, and you have a pretty fair idea of what Buzz Busby's classic 1956-1959 Starday recordings sound like. Everything is pitched a little higher, played a little faster or sung a little edgier. Busby's aggressive mandolin playing borders on the violent. His songs are a catalog of utter despair: Where Will This End?/ Me and the Juke Box/ Lonesome Wind/ Lost/ The Lonesome Road/ A Cold and Windy Night. Many tracks feature the brilliant, eerie fiddling of Scotty Stoneman, Busby's fellow traveler down that highway of self-destruction. His music is not without humor, though: on Buzz's Ramble he detunes and retunes his mandolin ala Earl Scruggs's Flint Hill Special - no easy feat. "Goin' Home" collects all fourteen of Busby's Starday recordings (three unreleased) plus five tracks featuring his sideman efforts for Bill Harrell and Bill Emerson. Besides Stoneman, Harrell and Emerson, Busby's Bayou Boys included such D.C.-area bluegrass notables as Charlie Waller, Pete Kuykendall, Smiley Hobbs, Porter Church and Carl Nelson. Kudos to Copper Creek Records' Gary Reid, who supervised production, wrote the notes and made sure Gusto-King didn't screw this one up - as they so often do. The only downside: Busby didn't live to see his music reissued. After a long illness, he died in January 2003 at age 69. (DS)

JUNE CARTER Scena 20708 Live Recordings From The Louisiana Hayride ● CD $12.98
15 tracks recorded live at the Louisiana Hayride in 1960, '61 and '62 including several comedy skits. She does a fine cover of Chuck Berry's Thirty Days, some Carter Family favorites including a version of Worried Man Blues with the Wilburn Brothers, a couple of duets with husband-to-be Johnny Cash including Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe and more.

JOHNNY CASH Scena 70506 Live Recordings From The Louisiana Hayride ● CD $12.98
16 tracks, recommended 16 tracks recorded live at the famed Louisiana Hayride between 1955 and 1963. On the earlier sides Johnny is accompanied by the Tennessee Two (Luther Perkins/ gtr & Marshall Grant/ bass) - later on they are joined by a drummer, usually W.S. Holland). Most of the songs were hits for Johnny on Sun and Columbia and the arrangements don't vary much from the stduo recordings though Johnny does some amusing ad-libs on Rock Island Line. Sound quality is a bit disappointing as many of the performances sound pretty muffled - these important performances deserve more of an effort at sound restoration. Booklet has notes by Paul Kingsbury and some great vintage photos. (FS)

TEX COCHRANE Cattle 283 The Complete Canadian Yodel Song Sessions Of Tex Cochra ● CD $18.98
Newly remastered reissue of Cattle LP 68 featuring 16 tracks from this Canadian singer and yodeler.
TEX COCHRANE: Christmas On The Range/ Echo Lullaby Yodel/ Goin' Home In The Twilight/ I Miss You Dear Old Dad/ I Missed A Little Miss In Mississippi/ My Home On The Montana Range/ My Little Prairie Pal/ My Old Cowpony And I/ My Pal Of My Mountain Days/ My Sun Bonnet Girl Of The Prairie/ My Sweetheart Of Yesterday/ Roundup Days In Cheyenne/ Silvery Moon Guide Me Back Homeward/ The Fate Of My Texas Home/ The Roaming Hillbilly/ Twilight Yodel Song

COWBOY COPAS King 0534 20 Song Gospel Collection ● CD $9.98
20 gospel songs recorded by this fine country singer for Starday and King in the 50s and early 60s - I Saw The Light/ A Satisfied Mind/ I'm Glad I'm On The Inside Looking Out/ King Of KIngs/ Family Reunion/ Four Books Of The Bible/ God Put A Rainbow In The Clouds, etc.

ROBERT EARL KEEN Audium 8191 Farm Fresh Onions ● CD $16.98
Newest from this popular gritty alternative country singer features 11 original songs plus one song from James McMurtry performed with a hard edged band.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Capitol 37378 Satan Is Real ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, 32 mins, essential If you like old-fashioned hellfire and brimstone fundamentalist music, this may be the best Capitol Louvin gospel album. Kicking off with the Louvin original Satan Is Real, complete with a stomping re-creation of a wild-eyed sermon. The music is more primitive than a lot of their later gospel works. And as such it's a lot more authentic than you'd expect, with plenty of mouthwatering Atkins/Travis guitar, probably from their regular guitarist Paul Yandell. There's A Higher Power has the kick of the old Carlisles sides and The Christian Life is the original version of the song the Byrds later recorded on their Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea has to be heard to be believed. I do have to admit that though SATAN may be real, the construction paper rendering of him that was done for the cover looks like some fifth-graders did it. However, the notes indicate that the Louvins nearly scorched themselves posing for the cover photo, complete with real fire. Note the nervous smiles on Ira's and Charlie's faces. Maybe Satan was getting back at them for the portrait! Reissue of Capitol ST-1277 from 1960. (RK)

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0103 Sing The Great Roy Acuff Songs ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Capitol 2827 from 1967. 12 tracks including Wait For The Light To Shine/ WE Live In two Different Worlds/ Branded Wherever I Go/ Wabash Cannonball/ Great Speckled Bird/ Lonely Mound Of Clay/ Stuck-Up Blues, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0104 Weapon Of Prayer ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Capitol 1721 from 1962. 12 gospel songs with a military flavor - there's A Grave In the Wave Of The Ocean/ I Died For The Red, White & Blue/ There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving/ A Seaman's Girl/ Robe Of White/ Mother, I Thank You For The Bible You Gave, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0105 Tragic Songs Of Life ● CD $9.98
12 tracks, 36 mins, essential This remains remains one of their finest moments on record, with the rich Louvin harmonies against an all-acoustic backing (except for Paul Yandell's lead guitar.) If their In The Pines doesn't send chills down your spine, see a doctor. It also includes Kentucky/ Let Her Go, God Bless Her/ A Tiny Broken Heart/ Alabama/ My Brother's Will/ Take The News To Mother, etc. Reissue of Capitol T-769 from 1956. (RK)

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0106 Christmas With ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Capitol 1616 from 1961. O' Come All ye Faithful/ Away In A Manger/ While Sheperds Watched Their Flocks/ It Came Upon A Midnight Clear/ O Little Town Of bethlehem/ Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0107 The Family Who Prays ● CD $9.98
This album of gospel material, originally released in 1958 (Capitol 1061), features some great songs (almost all originals) and only a couple of recitations. Although more heavily produced than their secular recordings from the same period, Charlie & Ira's strong harmony singing more than compensates. Born Again/ Just Rehearsing/ Preach The Gospel/ If We Forget God/ LOve They Neighbor As Thyself/ Just Rehearsing, etc. (WC)

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0108 A Tribute To The Delmore Brothers ● CD $9.98
12 cuts, 33 min; essential Reissue of Capitol T-1449 from 1960, a classic album featuring a tribute from the last great brother duet in country music to their counterparts from the 30s and 40s. The Louvins, like the Delmores natives of Alabama, here acknowledge their musical debt to their musical forebears, with heartfelt renderings of 12 classics from the Delmore's repertoire. Ira Louvin, he of the trademark achingly pure and wild tenor voice, normally played mandolin on the Louvin's records, but here he plays Rabon Delmore's tenor guitar, loaned by surviving Delmore brother Alton especially for the session. The haunting melancholy melodies and syncopated guitar rhythms lend themselves particularly well to the Louvin sound. Their instrumental work here is augmented by guitarist Jimmy Capps, and every track is a delight. Songs included are Weary Lonesome Blues/ Blues Stay Away From Me/ Southern Moon/ Brown's Ferry Blues/ Freight Train Boogie/ The Last Old Shovel, etc. (RP)

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0109 Country Love Ballads ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Capitol 1106 from 1959. 12 gems - Are You wasting My Time/ If I Could Only Win Your Love/ Read What's My Heart/ Memories And Tears/ My Heart Was Trampled On The Street/ Red Hen Hop, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0110 Sing And Play Their Current Hits ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Capitol 2091 from 1964 - Broken Engagement/ I Can't Keep You In Love With Me/ Love Turned To Hate/ I'm Glad That I'm Not Him/ Give This Message To Your Heart/ What A Change One Day Can Make, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0111 Keep Your Eyes On Jesus ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Capitol 1834 from 1963. Includes Keep Your Eyes On Jesus/ He Set Me Free/ You'll Meet Him In The Clouds/ Too Soon/ O Why Not Tonight?/ If Today Was The Day, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0112 Ira And Charlie ● CD $9.98
This is a reissue of Capitol T-910 from 1958 and concentrates more on covers of other artists' hits with an emphasis on ballads. There's their own tune Are You Teasin' Me (a hit for Carl Smith), songs by Jimmie Davis (Nobody's Darling But Mine), Jimmy Work (Making Believe), and Pee Wee King (Tennessee Waltz ). The Louvin "sound" of acoustic instruments and brushed snare drum, and a single electric guitar, is intact. (RK)

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0113 Country Heart & Soul ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Tower 5122 from 1968 - 10 songs including Here Today & Gone Tomorrow/ Nobody's Darlin' But Mine/ In The Middle Of Nowhere/ I Cried After you Left/ We Could, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0114 My Baby's Gone ● CD $9.98
12 tracks, essential Reissue of Capitol T-1385 from 1960. This album includes funky Blue From Now On and the exquisite When I Loved You and She Didn't Even Know I Was Gone, a truly underrated ballad. Remember when Nashville didn't let anyone play drums? On their superb You're Running Wild , the "drum" is Ray Edenton's rhythm guitar. Capitol did some great album covers in the late 50s and early 60s and this is one of their classics. (RK)

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0115 Two Different Worlds ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Tower 5038 from 1966 - 10 tracks including Why Not Confess/ Have I Stayed Away Too Long/ Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die/ When I Stop Dreaming/ We Live In Two Different Worlds, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Gusto GTCD 0116 Encore ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Capitol 1547 from 1961. 12 songs including Childish Love/ If You LOve Me, Stay Away/ The New Partner Waltz/ Ruby's Song/ What A Change One Day Can Make/ You're Learning, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS King KSCD 0100 I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Pickwick album featuring 11 of their greatest including the title song plus Alabama/ When I Loved You/ Blues Stay Away From Me/ Mary Of The Wild Moore/ Are You Teasing Me, etc.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS King KSCD 0101 Thank God For My Christian Home ● CD $9.98
Reissue of Capitol 2331 (1965). 12 gospel songs including the title song plus The Price Of The Bottle/ Oh Lord My God/ Keep Watching The Sky/ I'll Never Die/ What Would You Give In Exchange For Your Soul and more.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS King KSCD 0102 Nearer My God To Thee ● CD $9.98
12 tracks, highly recommended A reissue of Ira and Charlie's first Capitol gospel LP, reflecting the same sound as their secular material from the mid-50s. The brothers are in excellent voice, backed by the standard acoustic Louvin "sound" of the 50s. This mix of Louvin originals like I Can't Say Now, Thankful and I Steal Away And Pray is balanced with better known traditional tunes as This Little Light Of Mine/ Nearer My God To Thee and the old Southern gospel favorite Are You Washed In The Blood along with Hazel Houser's Praying and Wait A Little Longer, Please Jesus. Reissue of Capitol T-825 from 1957. (RK)

EARL SCRUGGS Vanguard VCD 79706 Classic Bluegrass Live 1959-1966 ● CD $15.98
The great bluegrass banjo pioneer recorded live at the Newport Folk Festival . Includes 8 tracks from 1959 with Hylo Brown & The Timberliners, 3 from 1960 by Flatt & Scruggs and 6 from 1966 by Flatt & Scruggs. Includes a couple of previously unissued tracks.

CARL T. SPRAGUE Bear Family BCD 15979 Cowtrails, Longhorns, And Tight Saddles ● CD $21.98
24 track collection recorded for Victor between 1925 and 1929 by this fine and important early purveyor of cowboy songs. Includes When The Work's All Done This Fall/ Following The Cowtrail/ If Your Saddle Is Good And Tight/ O Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie/ Boston Burglar/ Cowman's Prayer/ two Soldiers/ Cowboy's Meditation/ Mormon Cowboy and more.

WYNN STEWART Audium 8186 After The Storm - The Playboy Sessions ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, 35 mins, highly recommended. A most welcome reissue of the 1976 recordings made for Playboy by this wonderful West Coast country singer. Wynn was a truly superb honky tonk singer and a great songwriter and these recordings find him in fine form. It includes several remakes of Challenge and Capitol hits like Wishful Thinking/ Big, Big Love/ Playboy and It's Such A Pretty World Today as well as several fine new songs like his 1976 hit After The Storm, the tongue in cheek I'm Gonna Kill You and the powerful Just Now Thought Of You which I think is his finest performance here with a truly spine chilling vocal. There is also a stunning cover of George Jones's Season Of My Heart. Wynn was so good that it is a real shame that more of his material is not available on CD - just one collection on Varese or the mammoth Bear Family box (BCD 15886 - $189.98). (FS)

CLIFFIE STONE Cattle 282 The Versatile Country Performer ● CD $18.98
Due end of month. 20 tracks from mid to late 40s with vocals from The Oklahoma Sweethearts, Merle Travis, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Judy Hayden and others. Sidemen include Speedy West, Billy Liebert, Porky Freeman and many more.
CLIFFIE STONE: Domino/ Don't Do It Darlin'/ He's A Real Gone Oakie/ Here Comes Santa Claus/ I Don't Believe Them At All/ If You Knew Susie (like I Knew Susie)/ Knock On Wood/ Let Me Call You Sweetheart/ My Little Girl/ Philosophy/ Ragtime Doughboy Joe/ Red, White And Blue (over You)/ So Long To The Red River Valley/ Strummin' On The Old Banjo/ T-n-teasin' Me/ The Christmas Waltz./ There's A Gold Moon Shining/ There's A Silver Moon On The Golden Gate/ Wabash Blues/ Westphalia Waltz

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family DVD 20026 Halloween At Town Hall Party ● CD $31.98
DVD A complete show of the Town Hall Party recorded October 31, 1959 featuring performances by Joe Maphis, Billy Mcneill, Fiddlin' Kate Warren, , Skeets McDonald, Tex Ritter, The Browns and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family DVD 20101 American Folk & Country Music ● CD $31.98
DVD 14 rare performances of traditional music of Cousin Emmy, Roscoe Holcomb, Carter Stanley, The New Lost City Ramblers and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Goldies 25417 Wings Of A Dove - Country Gospel ● CD $15.98
Budget priced 3 CD set of country and bluegrass gospel ranging from the 30s through the 70s including tracks by Ferlin Huskey, Claude Gray, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, David Houston, Windy Bagwell, Hoyt Axton, Patsy Cline, The Southern Singers, The Blackwood Brothers and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Stomper Time 18 Nashville Bluegrass ● CD $18.98
35 tracks, 78 mins, recommended Though Nashville is not usually associated with bluegrass this collection of 35 tracks recorded by entrepreneur Murray Nash between 1959 and 1964 shows that there was a small but active scene going on. The earliest tracks from 1959 by The Dixeland Drifters features a young Norman Blake on dobro as well as some unexpected but effective piano work. The same group, without Blake, show up later as the Bluegrass Lookouts with a selection of mostly bluegrass gospel tunes. There are ten tracks by the duo the Webster Brothers who perform in old time style along the lines of the Louvin Brothers and fifteen tracks by the Cumberland Mountain Boys who were Nash's most successful group and the set is rounded out by the obscure Johnny Varnell & Jim Pipkins. No real classics here but a whole heap of fine singin' and pickin'. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Varese 66461 The Hank Williams Songbook ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, fair A collection of recordings from the 50s and 60s of songs written by the greatest country songwriter of them all. Among the most impressive performances here are, surprisingly, Del Shannon who does heartfelt versions of Ramblin' Man and Honky Tonk Blues. There are four tracks by Jerry Lee Lewis and three by Johnny Cash from their Sun years which are fine but have been out many times before. Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper do a fine version of The Singing Waterfall but the rest is pretty forgettable - Don Gibson's attempt to update Move It On Over is a mess, Roy Acuff is not at his best and Rusty & Doug are pedestrian. The performances by Sue Thompson and B.J. Thomas are wretched - an object lesson in how NOT to interpret a Williams song. (FS)


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