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Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey
Shelley Lee Alley -> The York Brothers




NOTE: Unless otherwise noted all DVDs offered are in NTSC format which means that they will not play on a European DVD players unless you have a multiple format player.
THE FLATLANDERS New West 8003 Live From Austin, Texas ● DVD $17.98
DVD, 17 tracks, 75 min. highly recommended
The old cliché about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts comes to mind here, even though the parts (Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore) are pretty amazing individually. This June 21, 2002, Austin City Limits performance (expanded from the original broadcast) catches our trio of Texas heroes at the top of their games, seasoned and confident, with an obvious love for the music. The show opens with I Had My Hopes Up High, originally off an Ely solo record, but on most of the songs here the three share song writing credits as well as mic time because The Flatlanders really are a group and not merely a marketing concept, a group that has clearly logged thousands of hours playing in each other's company. Highlights include Now It's Now Again, My Wildest Dreams Grow Wilder Every Day, Gimme A Ride To Heaven and Yesterday Was Judgment Day, and the lead guitar work of Rob Gjersoe. Most of these songs come from their 2002 release Now Again, also worth picking up. Extra points for opening a song with the line, "Yesterday was judgment day--how'd you do?" (JC)

MERLE HAGGARD New West 8018 Live From Austin, Tx. ● DVD $17.98
15 tracks, 46 mins, highly recommended
Merle Haggard has appeared on the Austin City Limits show a number of times and with the high caliber of live performances for which Merle has been known for decades, it must have been hard picking this show, October 30th 1985, as the most exemplary. This is a great show; Merle and his ten-piece band are razor-sharp and deliver a dynamic performance. They start with Okie From Muskogee's Comin' Home, then commence to tear through a fantastic set of all the right songs: Mama Tried, Take Me Back To Tulsa, Misery and Gin, Ida Red, I Wish That Things Were Simple Again, I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink, and eight more. This is thoroughly enjoyable. No extras on this one, just the original show in its entirety. (JM)

WAYLON JENNINGS New West 8019 Live From Austin, Texas ● DVD $17.98
17 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
Waylon in top form in 1989 with his fine band including the great Ralph Mooney on steel guitar plus Jerry BRidges on lead guitar, Barry Walsh on piano and others. All your Waylon favorites are here - I'm A Ramblin' Man/ Rainy Day Woman/ Amanda/ Me And Bobby McGee/ Mamas Don't Let Your baby's Grow Up To Be Cowboys/ Bob Wills Is Still The King/ Good Hearted Woman and best of all Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way. Waylon's wife, Jesse Colter, joins him for a couple of songs but doesn't really add a lot to the proceedings. No real surprises here - just a solid set of fine music. (FS)

THE NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS/ GREENBRIAR BOYS Shanachie DVD 608 Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest ● DVD $16.98
DVD, 32 "tracks," approx. 2 hours, highly recommended
Seeger and his show share a simple philosophy: in his words, "Music can bring people together." Seeger's thought are never very far away from labor movements and politics and the downtrodden, whoever and wherever they may be. In the first episode, Seeger's is joined by the New Lost City Ramblers, one of the first groups to bring old-time string band music to a wide (urban) and diverse audience. One of the trio members, Mike Seeger, is Pete's younger brother, and another, John Cohen, is his brother-in-law. Fiddler Tracy Schwartz makes three. Mike Seeger spends most of his time on autoharp, but he and Cohen trade instrument as a regular and impressive practice. Include their bluegrass version of the old ballad Soldier And The Lady among the finer moments from the group. Big brother Pete shares three short film clips just for fun: one of country musician Jimmy Driftwood playing an unusual instrument called the mouthbow, one of a Japanese country band called the Wagon Wheels playing (donning cowboy hats) in Japan, and one of little brother Mike playing banjo while he rides a unicycle. The second episode features the Greenbriar Boys, made up of Frank Wakefield on mandolin, John Herald on guitar, the newly added Jim Buchanan on fiddle, and the widely admired Bob Yellin on banjo. Their repertoire includes a fiery version of Sally Goodin, Bear Creek Hop, Danville Girl, Little Birdie, and others. Not many groups are as talented and unassuming, and they too helped to revitalize old time sting band music. Wonderful. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Imortal 940045 Melody Ranch, Vol. 1 ● DVD $19.98
First in a series of volumes featuring highlights from the Melody Ranch TV show broadcast in the late 60s and early 70s. Artists on this compilation include Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens, Billy Mize & Johnny Bond, Merle Haggard & Bonnie Owens, The Melody Ranch Band & gang, Billy Mize, Cathie Taylor, The Halloran Singers Quartet, Roy Clark and Barbara Mandrell. "Guests" Haggard, Owens and Mandrell are lip synching to their recordings - the rest by the regular cast is live.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Immortal 940064 Happy Rovin' Cowboy ● DVD $19.98
28 performances by western stars from 1960s T.V. shows - The Sons Of The Pioneers, Tex Ritter, Johnny Bond, Rex Allen, Jimmy Wakely, Pee Wee King, Eddie Dean and Tex Williams.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Stomper Time DVD 3 Hillbilly Rockabillies On T.V. ● DVD $27.98
50 performances, 102 mins, color, essential
Fabulous selection of mostly up tempo rocking honky tonk country performances from mid-50s T.V. shows. Just about every major artist from the period is featured including Marty Robbins, Webb Pierce, Moon Mullican, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Ernest Tubb, Faron Young, Chet Atkins, Carl Smith, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ray Price, Jim Reeves and Gordon Terry. There's also a trio of Webb Pierce, Red Sovine & Teddy Wilburn doing In The Jailhouse Now and Pierce, Marty Robbins & carl Smith doing Why Baby Why and Ray Price's band The Cherokee Cowboys doing a great Silver Lake Blues with three fiddles! Performances are consistently superb and video and sound quality are fine. A real treasure trove of great music. (FS)
CHET ATKINS: Frankie And Johnny/ Mr Sandman/ THE CHEROKEE COWBOYS: Silver Lake Blues/ "LITTLE" JIMMY DICKENS: Blackeyed Joe/ Hillbilly Fever/ You Betta Not Do That/ HAWKSHAW HAWKINS: Borrowing/ Car Hoppin' Mama/ MOON MULLICAN: 12th Street Rag/ Blue Tears/ Rock'n'roll Mr. Bullfrog/ Shine On Harvest Moon/ There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder/ WEBB PIERCE: I'm Gonna See My Baby Tonight/ I'm Walking The Dog/ Love Love Love/ Teenage Boogie/ Why Baby Why/ In The Jailhouse Now/ RAY PRICE: Crazy Arms/ Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes/ I'll Be There/ JIM REEVES: Caribbean/ Mexican Joe/ Railroad Steamboat/ Then I'll Stop Loving You/ MARTY ROBBINS: At The End Of A Long Lonely Day/ Call Me Up And I'll Come Calling On You/ I Can't Quit/ I Couldn't Keep From Crying/ Pretty Mama/ Pretty Words/ Singing The Blues/ Sugaree/ That's Alright Mama/ Time Goes By/ You Don't Owe Me A Thing/ CARL SMITH: Go Boy Go/ If You Want It, I've Got It/ GORDON TERRY: Keep Talking/ ERNEST TUBB: I Know My Baby Loves Me/ Kansas City Blues/ So Doggone Lonesome/ Tomorrow Never Comes/ Walking The Floor Over You/ You Nearly Lose Your Mind/ FARON YOUNG: Goin' Steady/ I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night/ Just Married/ Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young

DWIGHT YOAKAM New West 8012 Live From Austin, Texas ● DVD $17.98
DVD, 14 tracks, 59 min., highly recommended
Ah, the 1980s. If the clothes don't give the decade away, the hair styles always do. Yoakam's in his skin-tight jeans and an appropriately gaudy jacket (in the great country tradition of folks like Wynn Stewart), and of course he's hiding beneath his two-gallon cowboy hat. In this show he looks like the kid he was, spinning around as usual and driving the ladies to hoot and holler. His set is mostly originals (Guitars, Cadillacs, What I Don't Know, I Sang Dixie, This Drinkin' Will Kill Me) peppered with songs by Johnny Cash (Home Of The Blues), Lefty Frizzell (Always Late With Your Kisses), Johnny Horton (Honky Tonk Man), and others. On Streets Of Bakersfield Buck Owens and Flaco Jimenez join the band, and Dwight and Buck trade verses. Jimenez even hangs around for another number. Sometimes on the slower songs, Mr. Yoakam occasionally overdoes the signature nasal twang--a minor complaint about a hugely talented performer and songwriter who seems more genuine than most people in similar shoes. (JC)




SHELLEY LEE ALLEY Krazy Kat 34 Alley Stomp ● CD $16.98
Great collection of sides recorded between 1937 and 1941 by this superb Western Swing band. Band members included Cliff Bruner, Ted Daffan, Deacon Evans, Leon Selph, and future Cajun star Harry Choates.

GENE AUTRY Bear Family BCD 15944 That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine ● CD $209.98
Bear Family does it again with this nine CD box set with 225 tracks featuring all the surviving recordings made by Autry made between 1929 and 1933 starting as a Jimmie Rodgers imitator and gradually developing his own style. About half the track are solo - just Autry and his guitar - others feature the steel guitar of long time associate Frankie Marvin as well as other musicians. It includes previously unissued songs and alternate takes. Most of these tracks have not been reissued on CD before and many have never been heard since their original 78 rpm release. Includes hardcover book with an essay by Packy Smith, discography by Tony Russell and many rare pictures and illustrations.

ELDON BAKER B.A.C.M. 145 And His Brown County Revelers ● CD $13.98
26 tracks, 69 mins, essential
Fabulous collection of country swing by this obscure but utterly superb group from Kentucky. Led by Eldon Baker who took ocassional vocals it featured his brother Floyd on guitar and Wade who also played guitar and took most of the vocals. Joining the Bakers were two incredible musicians - Charlie Linville on fiddle and Harry Baker on guitar - this duo perform in a jazzy style that is in the same vein as Hugh & Karl Farr. The bulk of the recordings here (10 of them originally unissued!) are from a lengthy 18 trcak session recorded over two days and includes a varied selection of material including including traditional numbers, Western flavored songs, religious songs, novelty songs and blues. Additionally there are two rare sides from 1945 by Wade Baker as well a song by him from a radio transcription that same year. Rounding out the set are six fabulous sides from 1952 from guitarist Harry Adams who now plays electric guitar and also occasionally sings on five rocking numbers that proves he had lost none of his instrumental chops. An exemplary release from B.A.C.M. with notes from the knowledgeable Kevin Coffey. (FS)
ELDON BAKER & HIS BROWN COUNTY REVELERS: Arkansas Traveller/ Bile Em Cabbage Down/ Chokin' The Reeds/ Come Along Down To The Old Plantation/ Dear Old Dixieland/ Don't Hang Around Me Anymore/ Don't You Want To Go/ Froggie Went Acourtin'/ Giving Everything Away/ Happy Cowboy/ I Know There Is Somebody Waiting/ I Will Meet You/ In The Hills Over There/ It's Hard/ Little Bonnie/ Long Gone From Bowling Green/ Lost John/ Milk Bucket Boogie/ One Eyed Sam/ Plodding Along/ Roll Along Jordan/ Sittin' Round The Fireside/ Vine Street Stomp/ When The Roses Bloom In Dixieland/ You Can't Do Wrong And Get By/ You Can't Make Me Cry Anymore

CARL BUTLER & THE WEBSTER BROTHERS Bear Family BCD 16699 I Wouldn't Change You If I Could ● CD $19.98
A sequel to Bear Family 16118 ("A Blue Million Tears" - $21.98) this features 30 sides by this fine honky tonk singer recorded for Okeh and Columbia between 1954 and 1958 including tracks with the fine Webster Brothers.

JUDY CANOVA Collector's Choice 1061 Ozark Nightinagle ● CD $11.98
14 tracks from 40s radio transcriptions by stage and film comedienne and occasional country singer - I can't Give You Anything But Love Baby/ Too Late To Worry/ No letter Today/ Stuff Like That There/ Some Of These days/ Just Because/ After You've Gone, etc.

CAROLINA COTTON Kit Fox 1 Yodeling Blonde Bombshell, Vol. 1 ● CD $13.98
19 tracks, 58 mins, highly recommended
A fine collection of sides recorded between 1946 and 1956 by fine singer and top yodeler Helen Hagstrom aka Carolina Cotton. The set was compiled by her daughter Sharon Marie and features performances drawn from commercial recordings, radio transcriptions and a film soundtrack. She is accompanied by the likes of The Hank Penny Orchestra, Desuce Spriggins Orch. (she was briefly married to Spriggins), Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys and others. Songs include Three Miles South Of Cash (In Arkansas)/ Singing On The Trail/ Mama Yo Quiero/ Cattle Call/ Rancho Grande/ I'm Gonna Round Up My Blues/ Nola (a yodelled version of the old standard) and more. Sound quality is superb and eight page fold out booklet has detailed notes on her career by Sharon Marie and some vintage photos. (FS)

WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER B.A.C.M. 154 On The Banks Of The River ● CD $13.98
22 tracks, 60 mins, essential
Fabulous collection of old time singing and playing by this superb duo recorded between 1949 and 1955. The incredible Wilma Lee Cooper takes most of the leads with her emotion drenched soulful vocals joined by husband Stoney on fiddle and harmony vocals. They are usually accompanied by Dobro, mandolin, bass and acoustic guitar though their version of Hank Snow's Golden Rocket (a rare solo by Stoney) features some hot electric guitar. There are two all time country gospel classics Thirty Pieces Of Silver and Walking My Saviour Up Calvary Hill plus lots of great secular songs like No One Now/ Faded Love (a stunning version of the Bob Wills favorite)/ All On Account Of YouYou Tried To Ruin My name/ Bamboozled/ Just A While/ This Crazy, Crazy World, and more. Traditional country doesn't get much better than this. (FS)
WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER: All On Account Of You/ Bamboozled/ Can You Forget/ Each Season Changes You/ Faded Love/ Golden Rocket/ How It Hurts To Cry Alone/ I Cried Again/ I've Been Cheated Too/ Just A While/ Moonlight On West Virginia/ No One Now/ On The Banks Of The River/ Stoney (Are You Mad At Your Gal)/ Sunny Side Of The Mountain/ The White Rose/ Thirty Pieces Of Silver/ This Crazy, Crazy World/ Walking My Saviour Up Calvary Hill/ We Make A Lovely Couple/ You Can't Feel The Way I Do/ You Tried To Ruin My Name

NOKIE EDWARDS & THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS Art Greenhaw Productions 2007 Adventure In Country Swing ● CD $13.98
13 track instrumental set featuring former lead guitarist from The Ventures, Nokie Edwards with the current incarnation of The Light Crust Doughboys (Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery, Tom Brumley, etc). The perform mostly country standards including Welcome To My World/ I Love You Because/ faded Love/ A Fool Such As I/ Orange Blossom Special, etc.

DALE EVANS B.A.C.M. 153 The Rage Of the Sage ● CD $13.98
24 tracks from the 40s by Mrs. Roy Rogers. Dale started her musical career as a pop vocalist with the Anson Weeks Orchestra and mucvh of the material here is very strongly pop oriented with a few western songs thrown into the mix and some nice steel guitar on some of the pop songs.
DALE EVANS: A Heart Of Stone/ A Two Seated Saddle And A One Gaited Horse/ Besame Mucho/ Chihuahua Song/ Frankie & Johnny/ Havaii Na/ His Hat Cost More Than Mine/ I Wear A Saddle On My Heart/ I'm Gonna Lock You Out Of My Heart/ If You Ever Come To Texas/ Iím The Rage Of The Sage/ Kiss, Kiss Kissin' In The Korn/ Lock Stock And Barrel/ Nothin' In My Letter Box/ Out California Way/ Put All Your Kisses In An Envelope/ San Angelo/ San Fernando Valley/ Snow On The Mountain/ Strawberry Tears/ Under A Texas Moon/ Welcome To My Heart/ What Fer Didgee/ When The White Roses Bloom

EZRA & HIS BEVERLY HILL BILLIES B.A.C.M. 147 Ezra & His Beverly Hill Billies ● CD $13.98
35 tracks, highly recommended
Fine collection of wetern songs by this excellent group recorded for MacGregor transcriptions in 1939 and 1940. The group's earlier recordings with a different line up are available on B.A.C.M. 022 and are pretty tame but this material is much more exciting with powerful lead vocals from Ezra Paulette and Charlie Slater. The group featured two fine fiddlers - Lem Giles and Matt Linville and some tracks feature some nice duet fiddle work. Songs include Rocky Mountain Express/ Git On the Golden Trail/ Ridin' Old Paint/ Texas Plains/ I Picked Up the Trail When I Found You/ Sky Paint Paint and more. (FS)
EZRA & HIS BEVERLY HILL BILLIES: At The End Of The Lane/ At The End Of The Santa Fe Trail/ Climbin' Up The Golden Stairs/ Covered Wagon Rolled Right Along/ Ezekiel Saw De Wheel/ Girl Who Played Injun With Me/ Git On The Golden Train/ Give Me A Home On The Plains/ Happy Rovin' Cowboy/ I Long For The Hills Of Wyoming/ I Only Want A Buddy Not A Sweetheart/ I Picked Up The Trail When I Found You/ I'm Dreaming Tonight Of My Darling/ Indian Stomp (instr.)/ Just Come On Back/ Keep A Light In Your Window Tonight/ My Little Cow Pony And I/ Nancy Till/ Old Corral/ Ride 'em Ride 'em Cowboy/ Ridin' Down The Canyon/ Ridin' Home/ Ridin' Old Paint/ Rocky Mountain Express/ Santa Fe Trail/ Sky Ball Paint/ Texas Plains/ Uncle Noah's Ark/ Wagon Train/ Wait For The Wagon/ We'll See The Hard Times Through/ When It's Prayer Meeting Time In The Hollow/ When Pay Day Rolls Around/ When The Moon Shines Down On The Mountains/ When The Wild Flowers Are In Bloom

FLEMING & TOWNSEND B.A.C.M. 151 Little Home Upon The Hill ● CD $13.98
Enjoyable collection of 20 sides recorded between 1930 and 1934 by Reece Fleming and Respers Townsend. Although practically unknown today they were quite popular and prolific in their day with their collection of sentimental songs, blues and more with harmonies very much in the vein of the popular brother duos of the time like The Delmore Brothers. Fleming was the lead singer and guitarist while Townsend sang harmony and played harmonica, kazoo and mandolin and both would yodel from time to time. Songs include Little Home Upon The Hill/ She's Just That Kind/ I'll Tell You About The Woman/ Me, The Moon & My Gal/ Lookin' For A Mama/ I Feel So Blue/ Come And Drift With Me, etc. Interestingly in the 40s and early 50s Fleming worked with Mac Sales (aka Yelvington) and plays piano on Yelvington's classic Sun recording of Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee. Disc features notes by early country expert Tony Russell.
FLEMING & TOWNSEND: Bad Reputation/ Come And Drift With Me/ Gonna Quit Drinking When I Die/ I Feel So Blue/ I Wanta Be Where You Are/ I'll Tell You About The Woman/ I'm Blue And Lonesome/ I'm Leavin' This Town/ Little Home Upon The Hill/ Lonesome (I Need You)/ Lookin' For A Mama/ Me, The Moon And My Gal/ My Baby Can't Be Found/ She's Just That Kind/ Something's Got To Change Somewhere/ The Blues Have Gone/ The Gambler's Advice/ The Ramblin' Boy/ Unlucky Me/ Yes, I Got Mine

RED FOLEY Bear Family BCD 16578 Sugarfoot Rag ● CD $21.98
30 track, 79 mins, highly recommended
Red Foley had a lengthy career dating back to 1935 and Bear Family will shortly be issuing a box set of all his early recordings. This wonderful collection features 30 sides recorded between 1947 and 1958 and concentrates on his recordings of country boogie, rocking country and even a rocking gospel number A Wonderful Time Up There. The set opens with his fine attempt at straight rock 'n roll on his 1958 recording of Crazy Little Guitar Man, then jumps back to 1947 with his hit cover of the Delmore Brothers' Freight Train Boogie. Joined by fine musicians like Zeb Turner, Jerry Byrd, Grady Martin, Hank garland, Dale Potter and others he performs songs like Rockin' Chair Money/ Tennessee Border/ Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy/ Hillbilly Fever #2 (a great duet with Ernest Tubb)/ Real Chicken Reel/ Salty Dog Rag/ The Hoot Owl Boogie/ Pin Ball Boogie/ Deep Blues and more. Two 1950 tracks feature the great blues singer and piano player Cecil Gant including Gant and Foley duetting on the previously unissued Paging Mister Jackson. Usual high quality Bear Family production with superb sound and CD comes with a 32 page booklet with extensive and revealing notes by Rich Kienzle and full discographical info. (FS)

RED FOLEY Proper BOX 107 Hillbilly Fever ● CD $26.98
This replaces the two CD set on Proper Pairs 105. Four CD set with 101 tracks featuring a retrospective of this fine and important artists from his first session in 1933 through to his 1955 recording of Frosty The Snowman. Includes all his 40s and early 50s hits like Smoke On The Water/ That's How Much I Love You/ Freight Train Boogie/ Tennessee Saturday Night/ Tennessee Polka/ Gotta Have My Baby Back/ Sugarfott Rag/ Birmingham Bounce/ Cincinnati Dancing Pig/ Hobo Boogie/ Milk Bucket Boogie/ Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes/ Shake A hand and loads more including duets with Betty Foley, Roy Ross & His Ramblers, Kitty Wells and more.

FAIRLEY HOLDEN B.A.C.M. 146 I've Got Blues To Spare ● CD $13.98
Fine collection of 25 sides by obscure honky tonk singer from Georgia recorded between 1946 and 1948. Although Farley was verly fond of novelty songs there's some fine singing here along with excellent instrumental accompaniment which is thought to include, at times, Moon Mullican, Homer & Jethro, Tommy Covington, Chet Atkins and others.
FAIRLEY HOLDEN: Coo-se-coo/ Don‘t Monkey íround My Widder/ From Lexington To Louisville/ Graveyard Light/ Heartbroken, Lonesome And Blue/ I Know You Don‘t Love Me Like You Used To/ Intoxicated Rat/ It‘ll Make A Change In Business All Around/ I‘m A Married Man/ I‘ve Got Blues To Spare/ Keep Them Cold Icey Fingers Off Of Me/ Keep Them Cold Icey Fingers Off Of Me/ Keep Them Cold Icey Fingers Offa Me/ Little Maggie/ Long Long Dresses/ Move It On Over/ Oh That Naggin‘ Wife Of Mine/ Papa‘s Getting Old/ Port To Portal Pay/ Put Some Meat On Them Bones/ She‘s Some Daisy For 19 Years Old/ That‘s Why I‘m Crying In My Sleep/ The Lady And The Soldier/ There‘s More Than One Way To Skin A Cat/ You‘ve Been A Bad, Bad, Bad Little Girl

WAYLON JENNINGS New West 6091 Live From Austin, Texas ● CD $16.98
Same as the DVD (see above) but without the visuals!

GRANDPA JONES Ace CDCHD 1098 Steppin' Out ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine collection of sides drawn directly from original King acetates this time featuring the fine singer and banjo player Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones. Although only 30 when he started recording he sounder much older, hence the pseudonym. Jones was the very first artist to record for King, along with his associate from Cincinatti's radio station WLW, Merle Travis and because of their contract with WLW the first single featuring Jones was issued as by The Sheppard Brothers and the second by Travis as Bob McCarthy. The two Bob Mccarthy sides are included here and Travis provides lead guitar on eight of the earliest sides by Jone here. Jones is featured on a diverse and appealing selection of material with varying arrangements and he is also featured in duets with The Delmore Brothers (one of their songs is a version of the traditional British folk song Darby's Ram) and Cowboy Copas.Consistently entertaining music with fine sound and detailed notes. (FS)

PEE WEE KING Bear Family BCD 16190 Blue Suede Shoes ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
Though best known for his slower numbers like Tennessee and Slow Poke, Pee Wee King could also turn on the heat on country boogies, western swing and rocking country as this excellent collection of 30 tracks cuts between 1947 and 1958 shows. The title song features a fine vocal by fiddler Walter Hayes and this set also includes Steel Guitar Rag/ Woodchopper's Ball/ Catty Town (fine rockabilly with vocal by Dick Glasser)/ Ricochet/ Ten Gallon Boogie/ Tweedle Dee/ Birmingham Bounce/ Railroad Boogie/ Half A Dozen Boogie and more. Usual spectacular sound from Bear Family and 32 page booklet has notes by Rich Kienzle, some great photos and full discographical date.

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON New West 6088 This Old Road ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 37 min., highly recommended
If you've always thought of Kristofferson as a first-rate songwriter without the vocal chops to match, this album is not likely to change your mind on either count. Often criticized for his rough delivery, KK at nearly 70 years old has not suddenly become Tony Bennett, but on "This Old Road" his voice and rudimentary-sounding guitar work actually compliment the songs (and each other), lending them an honesty which they had already anyway. This maybe his finest album in 30 years, or ever. His subject matter includes children, drugs, war, love and freedom (in various forms) in touchingly personal songs that remind one of why he was so influential to country music in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His unique perspective feels earned and not merely put on. Producer Don Was gives K. the minimalist treatment here with outstanding results. Points for writing "I want justice, but I'll settle for some mercy." (JC)

UNCLE DAVE MACON JSP JSPCD 7769 Volume 2: Classic Cuts, 1924-1938 ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 100 tracks, highly recommended, but ...
Complemnting JSP 7729 this is the second volume devoted to this magnificent old time performer and features all the rest of Uncle Dave's commercially issued recordings. Uncle Dave was so good that if you can afford it then you should get the Bear Family box set (BCD 15978 - $239.98) which has everything that is on the JSP set plus unissued test pressings, home recordings, a DVD featuring the 1940 movie "Grand Ole Opry" with two songs by Dave and a 1876 page hard cover book with newly researched biography, rare photos and full discographical info. If you can't afford it the two sets on JSP make for a great alternative featuring Uncle Dave's vast repertoire of traditional ballads, string band numbers, minstrel songs, gospel songs and some wonderful topical numbers all of it suffused with Uncle Dave's irrepressible good humor and enthusiasm featuring spoken asides and chuckles that are a delight. About half the tracks are just Dave and his banjo or with Sam McGhee/ guitar and the rest feature various accompaniments including some truly wonderful sides with vocal and instrumental accompaniments from Sam & Kirk McGhee and Mazy Todd that were issued as by Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers or (for the gospel songs) as The Dixie Sacred Singers. There are also tracks with fiddler Sid Harkreader. Rounding out this set are 19 tracks featuring Sam McGhee or the McGhee Brothers who were long time close associates of Dave. Note that a number of tracks feature derogatory racial epithets which seem particularly prevalent on disc 2. (FS)

ERNEST MARTIN & HIS GOSPEL MELODY MAKERS B.A.C.M. 152 Hillbilly Gospel From The Blue Grass Hills ● CD $13.98
27 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of old time country gospel from the early 50s by this fine but little known artist from Kentucky recorded for his own Martin label. Martin was a fine and powerful singer with an emotion charged vocal style who accompanies himself on blugrass style banjo on some of the cuts. He is accompanied by acoustic and electric guitars and string bass and the electric guitarist provides some brief hot Travis flavored licks. All but two of the songs are Martin originals and there some fine compositions here and, hopefully, this CD will them greater recognition. (FS)
ERNEST MARTIN AND HIS GOSPEL MELODY MAKERS: Faded Flowers/ Gabriel Blow Your Silver Trumpet/ Heaven Bound Excursion/ Heaven's Highway 66/ I Want To Live Humble/ I'll Be Shouting Over On The Other Side/ Let It Shine On Me/ Let's Be Friends/ My Long Journey Home/ My Vine Covered Cabin On The Hill/ Revelations 1:18/ River Of Time/ Rose Among The Thorns/ Scarlet Cord/ Shine On/ Sugar Coated Religion/ Swing Wide The Golden Gates/ The Golden Crown/ The Golden Rule/ The Little Graveyard/ The Valley Of Death/ They Were Leading My Lord From The Garden Of Prayer/ When The Flowers Of God Shall Bloom/ When The Wrath Of God Comes Down/ White Dove Of Peace/ White Winged Angel/ Who Was That Man

SAM & KIRK MCGEE Spring Fed 103 Outstanding In Their Field - Live, 1955-1967 ● CD $15.98
26 tracks, 62 min., highly recommended
The Brothers McGee played with Uncle Dave Macon in the 1920s, and Sam's first solo recording (Buck Dancer's Choice) dates to 1926. They joined Fiddlin' Arthur Smith is the early 1930s to form The Dixieliners, but despite being one of the most respected bands on the Grand Ole Opry, the brothers did not record during those golden years, which is a shame. In 1957 Sam and Kirk launched a comeback (although they hadn't been away) and eventually recorded three albums for Folkways and Starday. These recordings come from three live sessions, the first from a 1955 show at the New River Ranch (a show that also featured Grandpa Jones). Recorded by Mike Seeger, the set includes a cover of Tennessee Ernie Ford's Milk 'Em In The Morning Blues, Kokomo Arnold's Milk Cow Blues, Sam's own Railroad Blues, and three others. The next 16 tracks (from a 1966 show in Bean Blossom, Indiana) spotlight the brothers on a typically eclectic set of tunes, including John Henry, Tiger Rag, Blackberry Blossom, When The Wagon Was New, and others. The final four tracks (two of them under one minute) were again recorded by Seeger, this time in 1967 as part of the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife. Issued by a small label to grateful fans of old-time country music, this CD is unlikely to remain in print forever. (JC)

THE PRAIRIE RAMBLERS B.A.C.M. 149 Back To My Mountain Home ● CD $13.98
The third volume of sides on B.A.C.M by this fine string band from Kentucky. This volume focuses on the group's early years from 1935 to 1938 when the group was basically Chick Hurt on mandolin & tenor banjo, Tex Atchison/ fiddle, Salty Holmes/ guitar and Jack Taylor/ bass with other musicians occasionally substituting for Atchison and Holmes and various other musicians added from time to time.

JACK RIVERS B.A.C.M. 150 There's A New Star In Heaven ● CD $13.98
25 western songs sung by West Coast singer & guitarist Rivers with a group of Hollywood western stalwarts accompanying him instrumentally and vocally. 24 of the tracks were recorded for MacGregor Radio transcriptions around 1947 and the final selection is a 1948 radio show.
JACK RIVERS: A Lie Can't Mend A Broken Heart/ AFRS MELODY ROUNDUP (Radio broadcast 1948)/ Am I Foolish/ Apache Trail/ Arkansas/ Arkansas Traveller-Soldier's Joy (instr.)/ Baby I'm Still In Love With You/ Darling Nellie Gray (instr.)/ Don't Lay The Blame On Me/ Hang Your Head In Shame/ Hi-e Hi-o/ I've A Feelin' I'm Losing You/ Lazy River (instr.)/ Little Brown Jug (instr.)/ Little Liza Jane/ Little Sweetheart I Miss You/ My Old Kentucky Home (instr.)/ Pig Ankle Rag (instr.)/ Playin' Games With Me/ Ridin' Down To Santa Fe/ Someday You'll Want Me To Want You/ Texas Tornado/ There's A New Star In Heaven/ Timber Trail/ You Waited A Little Too Long

ROY ROGERS Country Stars 55491 Stampede - 26 Classic Recordings ● CD $10.98
26 galloping tracks corralled in at just under 73 minutes, good
This CD has a great batch of songs that should easily satisfy the novice western fan and then some. If you are a Roy Rogers collector, the sparse booklet won't offer you anything new, but there maybe a couple of tracks that are obscure enough to merit picking this up. The sound quality is great; they definitely could have done a little more with the packaging, there are only 2 pictures of Roy and one of them gets used 3 times. (JM)
ROY ROGERS: (there'll Never Be Another) Pecos Bill/ A Little White Cross On The Hill/ Along The Navajo Trail/ Blue Shadows On The Trail/ Born To The Saddle/ Don't Fence Me In/ Hawaiian Cowboy/ Headin' For Texas And Home/ Hold That Critter Down/ Home In Oklahoma/ Home On The Range/ I'm Restless/ Listen To The Rhythm Of The Range/ My Chickashay Gal/ My Heart Went That-away/ One More Ride/ Ride Ranger Ride/ Ridin' Down The Trail/ Roll On, Texas Moon/ San Fernando Valley/ Stampede/ That Pioneer Mother Of Mine/ Tumbling Tumbleweeds/ Way Out There/ Yellow Rose Of Texas/ You Can't Break My Heart

ARTHUR "GUITAR BOOGIE" SMITH Membran 223618 Guitar Boogie ● CD $9.98
Budget priced compilation of sides, probably from the late 40s, by this brilliant guitarist who is thought of as a country guitarist though his playing shows a strong jazz influence. There are no notes or discographical data but I would assume that all these tracks are available on the Bronco Buster, Cattle and jasmine reissues of Smith. Still for the price it's a nice chance to hear 22 great guitar instrumentals including the title hit plus Silver Bells/ Blue Boogie/ String Menagerie/ After You've Gone/ Rock And Rye Polka/ Guitar Artistry/ More Guitar Boogie and more. Sound is excellent.

NAT STUCKEY Koch 9889 The Very Best Of Nat Stuckey ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 42 min., recommended
Stuckey recorded for RCA in the late 1960s and early 1970s, using the same producer (Felton Jarvis) that worked with Elvis P., and the Jordanaires for vocal accompaniment. Stuckey, who tasted song-writing success when Ricky Nelson cut Be True To Me, sang other people's stuff at RCA, including tunes by a young Gary Stewart, Tony Joe White, and older hands such as Mel Tillis and Jack Clement. But it was Stuckey's richer-than-fresh-plowed-ground baritone that set him apart from the herd. Here standouts include Is It Any Wonder That I Love You, the humorous novelty number Don't Pay The Ransom, the PG-rated Plastic Saddle, and Whiskey Whiskey, perhaps his finest hour, or 3:23 of it anyway. His reworking of Cut Across Shorty almost works, but the slower stuff (hear I Used It All On You) suits him better. A cowboy crooner--but definitely more crooner than cowboy. (JC)

JAMES TALLEY Cimarron 1001 Go No Bread, No Milk, No Money, But We Sure Got A Lot ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 13 tracks, 33 min. (plus a 56 min. interview disc), essential
Recorded by Talley in 1973 and released originally on his own label in a quantity of 1000 copies, "Got No Bread" sold poorly out of Talley's car trunk until Capitol Records picked it up (for $5000) and issued it in 1975 (as Capital LP #ST 11416). Then the LP received the critical acclaim it so richly deserved and opened a few doors for its creator. This reissue features a second disc containing an interview with Talley that was originally released only to radio stations to promote Capitol's release of the LP. A true classic, "Got No Bread" sounds as fresh today as it did 30 years ago, devoid as it is of the cliches that made Nashville what it is. The music is as honest and heartfelt as could be imagined; the sound would come to be dubbed "Americana," but its working-class folk and country influences are not just put on but flow from Talley's life and times. The album was conceived of as a unified whole, not a series of singles, thus their are no weak songs, no filler. Talley wrote the booklet notes, which include his life story, lyrics, and details about the recording of the LP that only he would know. (He mentions, for example, one young unknown guitarist named John Hiatt wandering into the session to see what was going on who ended up playing the lead acoustic part on No Opener Needed. A model of a reissue. (JC)

VERN & RAY Arhoolie 524 With Herb Pedersen - 1968 ● CD $12.98
Previously unissued live set from 1968 featuring the wonderful traditional style bluegrass duo Vern Williams (vocals & mandolin) and Ray Park (vocals, guitar & fiddle) accompanied by banjo wizard Herb Pedersen with Howard Courtney on bass. Includes 20 Second Rag/ Muleskinner lues/ Leather Britches/ Little Georgia Rose/ The Bottle Let Me Down/ Poor Ellen Smith, etc.

DWIGHT YOAKAM New West 6082 Live From Austin, Texas ● CD $16.98
CD, 14 tracks, 52 min., highly recommended
Recorded as part of the Austin City Limits television series way back in 1988, this set shows off Yoakam's considerable talents as a singer and songwriter. And for all his showmanship, the Kentuky-born Yoakam seems unaffected by stardom--if anything he seems a little embarrassed by it. But as this show demonstrates, his popularity is deserved. Such originals as I Sang Dixie (which he performs solo as an encore here), Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room, and 1,000 Miles will be around a lot longer than any of us. Highlights include the appearance of the great Buck Owens and Flaco Jimenez on Streets Of Bakersfield. Irresistibly likeable. (JC).

THE YORK BROTHERS Ace CDCHD 1103 Long Time Gone ● CD $18.98
Due mid June - more gems drawn from the original King & Deluxe acetates. This one features tracks from fine and influential Detroit based hillbilly duo The York Brothers and includes 10 previously unissued tracks.


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