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Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey
Les Paul & Mary Ford  -> Mac Wiseman





LES PAUL & MARY FORD Proper BOX 134 In Perfect Harmony ● CD $26.98
4 CDs, 108 tracks, 290 mins, highly recommended
There are a lot of odd-ball Les Paul & Mary Ford collections out there, but Proper has put all of the right tracks together in one big fabulous package. Starting in 1936 with tracks featuring Les Paul accompanying Georgia White or under his pseudonym Rhubarb Red; all the way up to the peak of Les Paul & Mary Ford's popularity in the early '50s with tracks like How High The Moon, Mockin' Bird Hill, etc; and ending things with fantastic tracks from 1956 like Say The Words I Want To Hear and San Antonio Rose. Along the way you get the best of Mary Ford's sweet harmonizing and tons of Paul's experimental instrumental greatness like Brazil, Sleep, and Goofus, just to name a few. Sparkling clear audio that captures all of the dynamics and sounds just beautiful. Accompanied by a nice booklet with informative notes and extensive recording information. If you are going to pick up one LP&MF collection, then this one is hands-down the one to get. Don't think that 108 tracks by them is too many; the diversity and creativity of their work throughout these two decades was outstanding and certainly never boring. Also included is a fun four-song segment from The Les Paul Show circa 1949-50. (JM)
THE DELTA RHYTHM BOYS WITH LES PAUL TRIO: A One Sided Affair/ LES PAUL: Alabamy Bound/ Amukiriki (The Lord Willing)/ Auctioneer (I'll Buy That Dream)/ Avalon/ Baby, What You Do For Me/ Blues/ Brazil/ Caravan/ Cimmarron (Roll On)/ Cinco Robles (Five Oaks)/ Cindy/ Cryin'/ Deep Elem Blues/ Deep In The Blues/ Don'cha Hear Them Bells/ Drifting And Dreaming (Sweet Paradise)/ Dry My Tears/ Farewell (For Just Awhile)/ Goofus/ Hawaiian Paradise/ Hawaiian War Chant (Leleichaku)/ Hip-Billy Boogie/ Hummingbird/ I Wished I'd Never Seen Sunshine/ I'll Keep Sittin' On It (If I Can't Sell It)/ I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)/ I'm Movin' On/ It's Been A Long, Long, Time/ Jazz The Blues/ Jingle Bells/ Just Because/ Just One Of Those Things/ King's Serenade/ Lies/ Lover/ Magic Melody/ Mammy's Boogie/ Meet Mister Callaghan/ Moritat/ Mr. Sandman/ My Future Just Passed/ New Dupree Blues/ No Letter Today/ Nola/ Nuevo Laredo/ On The Sunny Side Of The Street/ Rumors Are Flying/ San Antonio Rose/ Say The Words I Love To Hear/ Send Me Some Money/ Sleep/ Some Of These Days/ Someday Sweetheart/ Song In Blue/ South/ St. Louis Blues/ Sweet Leilani/ Take Me In Your Arms And Hold Me/ The Best Things In Life Are Free/ The Carioca/ The Filipino Hombre/ The Les Paul Show (medley)/ The World Is Waiting For The Sunshine/ Tiger Rag/ To You, Sweetheart, Aloha/ Trouble In Mind/ Twelfth Street Rag/ Walkin' And Whistlin' Blues/ What Am I Gonna Do About You ?/ What Are You Doing New Year's Eve ?/ What Is This Thing Called Love/ What Would It Take?/ Where Or When/ LES PAUL & HIS TRIO: Begin The Beguine/ Blue Skies/ Dark Eyes/ Dream Dust/ Guitar Boogie/ Song Of The Islands/ Steel Guitar Rag/ LES PAUL & MARY FORD: Aloha Oe/ Black Rider/ Bye Bye Blues/ Chicken Reel/ How High The Moon/ I Just Want Your Stingaree/ I Really Don't Want To Know/ I'm A Fool To Care/ I'm Sitting On Top Of The World/ In The Good Old SummerTime/ Johnny (Is The Boy For Me)/ Josephine/ Just One More Chance/ Lady Of Spain/ Little Rock Getaway/ Mandolino/ Mockingbird Hill/ My Baby's Coming Home/ Smoke Rings/ Tennessee Waltz/ The Kangaroo/ Three Little Words/ Vaya Con Dios/ Whispering/ Whither Thou Goest/ Whose Dream Are You?/ THE LES PAUL TRIO: My Isle Of Golden Dreams

LEON PAYNE B.A.C.M. 225 Lost Highway ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, recommended
Fine collection of songs from this Texas born performer who is best known as a songwriter - renowned for the album's title song Lost Highway, I Love You Because and others. Though Payne's greatest strength is his writing he is certainly an appealing singer as is heard on these songs recorded between 1941 and 1957 - most of them making their first appearance on CD. It includes three interesting tracks from his first session in 1941 where he is accompanied by his own guitar only, there are two tracks recorded for Bullet in 1948 including his original recording of Lost Highway which became a big hit for Hank Williams a year later and five tracks recorded for Capitol in 1950 and '51 including the patriotic Great American Eagle with an overdubbed narration by Tex Ritter. 11 tracks are from 1951 LangWorth radio transcriptions where he mostly covers other artist's songs and returns the favor and does fine versions of two Hank Williams songs - I'm Sorry For You MY Friend and You Win Again and the set ends with three very fine tracks recorded for Starday in 1956 and '57 including his original recording of Lumberjack which became one of Willie Nelson's first recordings. Fine sound and informative note by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
LEON PAYNE: A Prisoner's Diary/ Baby Boy/ Call Her Your Sweetheart/ Don't Just Stand There/ Doorstep To Heaven/ Gentle Hands/ Great American Eagle/ He Is The Light Of The World/ I Need Your Love/ I'm Gonna See My Baby Tonight/ I'm Sorry For You My Friend/ Let It End This Way/ Little Girl In My Home Town/ Lost Highway/ Lumberjack/ My Daddy/ Neath The Old Pine Tree/ Please Please/ Relax And Take It Easy/ Silver And Gold/ Streamlined Cannonball/ Ten Thousand Tomorrows/ That's Me Without You/ You Win Again

LUKE SIMMONS B.A.C.M. 230 I Like My Music Country Style ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, recommended
Nice set of recordings from this country singer from New Zealand who was originally from Canada where he first started performing country music but didn't start recording until he moved to New Zealand in 1953. Simmons is a decent singer, very much in the Wilf Carter vein and his band provides some solid accompaniments with some nice steel guitar and fiddle. Many of his songs are covers of American hits originally recorded by the likes of Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Johnny Horton, Don Gibson and others though Luke does give them an individual touch. There are a number of originals which are also quite good. Luke also ventures into rockabilly with a cover of Buddy Knox's Party Doll and Elvis's treatment of Bill Monroe's Blue Moon Of Kentucky. Most entertaining. (FS)
LUKE SIMMONS: Anniversary Of Our Last Goodbye/ Blue Moon Of Kentucky/ Can't Win Can't Place Can't Show/ China Doll/ Everything's OK/ Geisha Girl/ High Bird On A Totem Pole/ Honky Tonk Man/ Hummingbird Special/ I Like My Music Country Style/ I Miss My Swiss/ Just Waitin'/ Lady's Man/ Little Buddy/ My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You/ Night Train To Memphis/ Oh Lonesome Me/ Old Shep/ One Time Too Often/ Party Doll/ Take These Chains From My Heart/ The Gold Rush Is Over/ Too Blind To See/ Wabash Cannonball/ Your Cheatin' Heart

LARRY SPARKS & THE LONESOME RAMBLERS Gusto 0694-02 Ramblin' Bluegrass ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, 31 mins, highly recommended
Back in print with a new number. Larry Sparks is one of the great bluegrass singers. He served his apprenticeship playing guitar with The Stanley Brothers and subsequently singing with Ralph after Carter Stanley died. The Stanley influence is strong both in the incredibly soulful vocals and the choice of material. This was his first solo album with his own band which includes such great musicians as Mike Lilly on banjo and Wendy Miller on mandolin. Songs include Dark Hollow/ A Life Of Sorrow/ Just Lovin' You/ Memories & Dreams/ Long Journey Home and others plus a couple of fine instrumentals (FS)

THE STANLEY BROTHERS Gusto 0635 With George Shuffler - Hymns Of The Cross ● CD $6.98
12 tracks, 32 mins, highly recommended
Here we have a short, simple batch of soul-saving music preformed by the fabulous brothers Stanley and their frequent recording partner from their Starday and King sessions George Shuffler, recorded in two sessions from 1964 shortly before brother Carter's untimely passing. Among the lovely country gospel tracks presented here are fine versions of John, Three: Sixteen/ Oh Death/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken/ No Burdens Pass Through, and Building on That Rock. Magnificent, soaring vocal performances as expected, with some fine Bluegrass pickin' and playing accompanying featuring Shuffler's trademark cross-picked guitar style. (JM)

THE STONEMANS Gusto 0697-2 28 Classics ● CD $10.98
28 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
The Stoneman name has been intertwined with Country music pretty much since its beginning. Ernest "Pop" Stoneman started his recording career in the early 1920's and had his first hit (a million seller, no less) with The Sinking Of The Titanic in 1924. He assisted Ralph Peer in the famous Bristol Sessions that discovered the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. By the mid '30s it was estimated that Stoneman had recorded over 200 songs. That wouldn't be all he produced, he also fathered 14 children with his wife Hattie. Enough of these offspring would be good enough performers in their own right that by the 1960's the Stoneman family band would be a popular act. Featuring "Pop" as well as Patsy, Scotty, Donna, Jimmy, Roni and Van. They would host their own popular syndicated TV show which at it's peak would be carried by over 50 stations as well as releasing many albums for the Starday record label in the early - mid 1960's. From those albums Gusto has assembled this fantastic collection, featuring songs as old as their remake of The Sinking Of The Titanic, all the way through current numbers written during the time. This is a CD that gets better as it goes along, with some of my favorite numbers on here like the two stellar instrumentals It's Rain and Girl From Galax coming towards the end of the CD. There are plenty of fine tracks throughout, featuring some white-hot playing by this multi-talented family. (JM)

THE STONEMANS Omni 109 In All Honesty ● CD $16.98
28 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
"In All Honesty" is a rather ironic title considering how the Stoneman crew are captured on the cover looking incredibly uncomfortable all dolled up in Hippie fashions of the day; upon reading the liner notes you find out that the younger Stonemans were responsible for the update in image, trying to be hip like their rock contemparies. The Stoneman Family were basically the second family of Country music, with Pop Stoneman's career dating back to pre-bristol sessions country stardom with his big hit The Sinking Of The Titanic. The group--The Stoneman's--evolved from the family band and after Pop died they tried to widen their repertoire by including covers of current hits, while keeping the old songs around as well. This collects the three albums that they put out in 1970: "In All Honesty," "California Blues," and "Dawn Of The Stonemans" on RCA/ Victor. Fans of "Cowboy" Jack Clement will be happy to see his production credit on all and that he was their manager; you can pick up his quirky sense of making records on occasion. Besides the requisite cover of Me & Bobby McGee and some Creedence Clearwater Revival hits, the covers tend to be a bit more obscure for the time, with two covers of Towns Van Zant songs I'll Be Here In The Morning, and Tecumseh Valley, pretty damn hip for 1970, but then again there's that Jack Clement connection. Among the new and old Stoneman compositions are covers of Rod McKuen, Tom T. Hall, Mickey Newbury, Red Smiley, and--just to confuse the casual listener--a rendition of Carter Family staple: Wildwood Flower. A few clunkers over the course of the three albums, but mostly really good, with some phenomenal playing, as to be expected, although the amazing playing of Scotty Stoneman is not featured here since he left the band after Pop died and was playing with other outfits at the time. (JM)

CARL STORY Gusto 0615 The Complete Atteiram Collection ● CD $7.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection of bluegrass gospel by one of the great pioneers recorded in 1971 for the Atteiram label and originally available on two Atteiram LPs. Carl is in fine voice and is accompanied by a solid unidentified group with fiddle, banjo, mandolin, bass and harmony vocals. Songs are mostly new recordings of songs Carl had originally recorded in the 50s and include Mighty Close To Heaven/ Precious Memories/ When He Reaches Down His Hand For Me/ Don't You LOve Your Daddy, Children?/ Life's Railway To Heaven/ Take Me In The Lifeboat/ Pass Me Not/ Why Do You Weep, Dear Willow/ What A Wonderful Savior Is He and others including the sublime Mother Is Old). If you like bluegrass gospel you won't go wrong with this. (FS)

TOM TALL & GINNY WRIGHT Bear Family BCD 16741 Are You Mine ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, 79 min., highly recommended
With Bear Family, the booklet notes, research, discography, and cool photos almost seem at times to be worth the price even without the music. Well, almost. True here, although the music is uniformly fine, featuring Tall and Wright together and apart, recording mostly for Fabor with a couple of Abbott sides and an unreleased cut thrown in for the nearly obsessive attention to detail that one has come to expect and admire from Bear. And yet, they've left off her first three Fabor releases, presumable because they were duets with Jim Reeves, Tom Bearden, and Jerry Rowley, instead of Mr. Tall. The material dates from 1953-56, and includes Are You Mine/ I Want You Yes/ Boom Boom Boomerang/ How To Get Married, and more. In 1955, with Are You Mine charting highly, Wright walked away from the music business in favor of marriage, a surprise to Tall as well as a speed bump for his career. But Tall's talent did not depend on Wright, as his many solo sides (I Gave My Heart To Two People/ Give Me A Chance) make clear. On If You Don't Care (Please Tell Me), Tall turns in a strong performance with Bonnie Guitar, and his two sides featuring The Creel Sisters (Whose Little Pidgeon Are You/ Hot Rod Is Her Name) are also of interest. Solid music all around, great booklet. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS 4 Star 752 Hillbilly Jukebox - 26 Boppin' Country Rarities ● CD $17.98
26 tracks, 62 mins, recommended
Fine collection of upbeat country from the 50s/ early 60s by mostly very obscure performers from the 50s and early 60s - most of it making it's first appearance on CD. The most well known name here is western star Johnny Bond who is featured on two sides including an update on the Hot Rod Lincoln theme called X-15 with great hot steel guitar (Speedy West?). There are two superb sides by the bluegrass flavored Dixieland Drifters with superb Dobro work from a teenage Norman Blake. Other artists incclude Glenn Morris, Smiley Burnette, Lawson Rudd (the very fine and bluesy Shake This Town), Dick Miller, Stan Jr., Tommy Hill (the western swing flavored I Wanta Show My Baby Off), Little Dean & The Twilight Ramblers (the hot rocker Honey, Honey, Honey with the great guitar quote from I Fought The Law), Bob Homan, Benny Martin, Tom Wilson & The Silver Strings, Eddie Bentley (a country flavored cover of the Sanford Clark hit The Fool), Gene Peterson & His Silver Sage Riders, Al Runyan and others. Sound quality is generally excellent. There are no notes but booklet some nice label shots. Most worthwhile. (FS)
KIRBY ALLEN: Mother Don't 'llow Rock-n-roll/ HUBERT BARNARD: Boy She Has Gone/ EDDIE BENTLEY: The Fool/ JOHNNY BOND: The Way A Star Is Born/ X-15/ SMILEY BURNETTE: Chuggin' On Down "66"/ CHRIS CLAY & HIS WEST VIRGINIA BUCKLE BUSTERS: Shot Rod Lincoln/ THE DIXIELAND DRIFTERS: The Trot/ Walk Easy/ THE FOUR FLARES: Riders In The Sky/ TOMMY HILL: I Wanta Show My Baby Off/ BOB HOMAN: Sweet Thing/ LITTLE DEAN & TWILIGHT RAMBLERS: Honey, Honey, Honey/ BENNY MARTIN: Thinking About Love/ DICK MILLER: I'll Take Your Love/ Now I'm Gone/ GLENN MORRIS: I Got The Blues/ RAYMOND PARISH: I'm Packin' Up And Moving Out/ GENE PETERSON & HIS SILVER SAGE RIDERS: Going Nowhere/ LAWSON RUDD: Shake This Town/ AL RUNYON: I'm Moving On/ STAN JR.: Whoops/ HOYT WEBB & RHYTHM RHYTHMAIRES: Baby Won't You Slow It Down/ ANDY WILSON: Hillbilly Boogie/ Lonesome For My Baby/ TOM WILSON & SILVER STRINGS: Lost Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1185 The Golden Age Of American Popular Music - The Country ● CD $18.98
28 track collection of big country hits from the mid 50s through the early 60s that crossed over and also became pop hits though often not very big pop hits.
BILL ANDERSON: Mama Sang A Song/ EDDY ARNOLD: Tennessee Stud/ BOBBY BARE: Shame On Me/ JOHNNY CASH: Don't Take Your Guns To Town/ ROY CLARK: The Tip Of My Fingers/ PATSY CLINE: She's Got You/ FLOYD CRAMER: San Antonio Rose/ SKEETER DAVIS: My Last Date (With You)/ ROY DRUSKY: Three Hearts In A Tangle/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: Saginaw, Michigan/ DON GIBSON: I Can't Stop Loving You/ CLAUDE GRAY: I'll Have Another Cup Of Coffee (Then I'll Go)/ BOBBY HELMS: Fraulein/ JOHNNY HORTON: Honky Tonk Man/ FERLIN HUSKY: Wings Of A Dove/ STONEWALL JACKSON: Why I'm Walkin'/ GEORGE JONES: Tender Years/ CLAUDE KING: The Comancheros/ HANK LOCKLIN: Geisha Girl/ JIMMY NEWMAN: A Fallen Star/ PATTI PAGE: Mom And Dad's Waltz/ RAY PRICE: Invitation To The Blues/ JIM REEVES: Blue Boy/ MARTY ROBBINS: Don't Worry/ HANK SNOW: I've Been Everywhere/ MITCHELL TOROK: Caribbean/ LEROY VAN DYKE: If A Woman Answers (Hang Up the Phone)/ FARON YOUNG: Alone With You

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 224 Sunset Valley Barndance ● CD $14.98
Pleasant, if rather tame, selection of recordings drawn from radio transcriptions made for the Sunset Valley Barn Dance broadcast over Minneapolis radio station KSTP in the 1940s. The program used local performers only - most of whom were unknowns outside the local area. The artists featured here are western style singer Chuck Mulkern accompanying himself on accordion with a small group, duo Frank & Esther who also perform with a small group and, most interestingly, Al & Hank who do old time songs accompanying themselves on guitar and mandolin. Most of these artists repertoir are versions of songs made famous by other artists and includes Sun Will Shine Again/ Ships From O'er The Blue/ Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine/ Old Macdonald Had A Farm/ Answer To REd River Valley/ Song Of The Blind, etc.
AL & HANK: A Prisoner's Dream/ Answer To Red River Valley/ Bury Me Beneath The Willow/ Freight Train Blues/ Lonely Valley/ Old Macdonald Had A Farm/ Silver Threads Among The Gold/ We Sat Beneath The Maple On The Hill/ Yellow Rose Of Texas/ FRANK & ESTHER: Close To My Heart/ It Makes No Never Mind/ Little Old Rag Doll/ Mellow Mountain Moon/ My Daddy Was A Cowboy/ My Pretty Quadroon/ Ships From O'er The Blue/ Someday Somewhere Sweetheart/ Sun Will Shine Again/ Sunny San Antone/ You're No Longer Mine/ CHUCK MULKERN: Birmingham Jail/ Cowboy Jack/ Dear Old Western Skies/ Keep A Light In Your Window Tonight/ Marcheta/ Range In The Sky/ Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine/ Sing Me A Song Of The Saddle/ Song Of The Blind

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 231 Country Music On MGM ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, recommended
A fine and varied selection of country music plus some rock 'n' roll recorded for the MGM label between 1951 and 1957 - some of it very good, some not so good. Includes sides by Jerry & Sky (a fine rendition of the old favorite Sparkling Brown Eyes), Little Rita Faye (9 years old and she sounds it - good band though), Bud & Betty Bryant (rather lame novelty), George McCormick (superb honky tonker), Bob Riley (the hot rocker Midnight Line), Ted West (nice western swing flavored tune), Floyd Cramer, Randy Atcher (the goofy Indian Rock), Dickson Hall, Billy Jack Wills, Jimmie Walker (fine honky tonk with what sounds like The Drifting Cowboys accompanying), The Drifting Cowboys (the fine instrumental Mud Hut), Jimmy Swan, Tom Anderson, Bood & Fileece Bryant (sic), Charlie Carson (fine honky tonk, strongly influenced by Hank Williams) and others. Sound is decent but notes by Brian Chalker are pointless. (FS)
TOM ANDERSON: No More Blues From You/ THE ANDREWS BROTHERS: Hot To Trot/ RANDY ATCHER: Indian Rock/ BUD & BETTY BRYANT: Pepper Pickin'/ BOOD & FILEECE BRYANT [sic]: Overweight Blues/ CECIL CAMPBELL: I'm On The Right Road Now/ CHARLIE CARSON: I'll Sure Come A Runnin'/ SLIM CARTER: A Penny Post Card/ FLOYD CRAMER: Good Time Cake Walk/ KEN CURTIS: Call Of The Faraway Hills (From The Film Shane)/ THE DRIFTING COWBOYS: Mud Hut/ LITTLE RITA FAYE: Rock City Boogie/ DON GIBSON: Ah Ha/ DICKSON HALL: Billy The Kid/ HANK HORNSBY: Cotton/ JERRY & SKY: Sparkling Brown Eyes/ GEORGE MCCORMICK: Blues Moved In This Morning/ SAM NICHOLS: You'll Live To Regret It/ BOB RILEY: Midnight Line/ AL ROGERS: Blues Won't Ever Leave Me/ RED SOVINE: Okey Dokey/ JIMMY SWAN: Frost On My Roof/ JACK VALENTINE: Song Of The Bandit/ JIMMIE WALKER: Look What Followed Me Home Tonight/ TED WEST: Wrong Side Of The Road/ JIMMIE WILLIAMS: Throwing My Life Away/ BILLY JACK WILLS: Hey Mr Mailman

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 16863 Let Me Be Your Sidetrack ● CD $129.98
6 CDs, 159 tracks, 457 mins, highly recommended
This is a mini-box set, CD shaped and deep--very deep--in more ways than one. Of the 110 songs that Jimmie Rodgers recorded in his brief six year professional career, 108 of them have been recorded by other artists many times each (to say the least), which leads to the begging question: Why the hell hasn't anybody recorded the other two songs? This set will help shine a light on such questions. So how many artists can you think of that could have a 6 CD set of their music, without any of the original artist's versions, that can be totally compelling and entertaining throughout? You could do it for Bob Dylan, you could maybe do it with Hank Williams. You can ponder that one while you listen to this wonderful collection. Since the tradition of covering Jimmie Rodgers songs started in the late 1920's you get not a few years of versions, but a few generations worth. Early gems by contemporaries and early fans: Gene Autry, Bill Boyd, Cliff Carlisle, Bob Wills, Monroe Brothers, Brown's Musical Brownies etc, etc. Then we go through the '40s and '50s country boom with versions by Webb Pierce, Hank Snow, Lefty Frizzell, Patsy Montana, Red Foley, Pete Seeger and pretty much anybody else from that era you can think of except Hank Williams. There is of course a little Merle Haggard off of his Rodgers tribute record, the hit rock 'n' roll version of Muleskinners Blues (Blue Yodel #8) by the Fendermen, and it keeps on going, all the way up to recent tracks by Bono, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, Aaron Neville, and so many more. For the most part the material is so rich and the coverage so diverse, that you can easily listen to several of these CDs in a row without it seeming too repetitive at all. Being Bear Family, and Bear Family being out of Germany, they showed us a hint of the broader worldwide appeal of Rodgers in 4 tracks from German artists interpreting his work in German, as well as versions from France and Australia. Listening through this collection, I found myself especially enjoying some of the more obscure tracks that you wouldn't expect to stand out but did, one instance being Elton Britt from 1968(!) doing When It's Peach Picking Time In Georgia. I don't know what it is about it, but it was just kind of special and there are lots of little surprise moments on here. I guess that Rodgers tends to bring the best out in people. This is truly an exhaustive work and an impressive achievement. If all that doesn't sell you, it also includes a massive 188-page booklet with rare pics and detailed notes. (JM)
ROY ACUFF & HIS SMOKY MOUNTAIN BOYS: Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel #8)/ PETER ALEXANDER & BILL RAMSEY: Missouri Cowboy (Blue Yodel No. 8 Muleskinner Blues)/ GENE AUTRY: Blue Yodel No. 5/ High Powered Mama/ Hobo Bill's Last Ride/ In The Jailhouse Now, No. 2/ Pistol Packin' Papa/ DAVID BALL: Miss The Mississippi And You/ HARRY BELAFONTE: Muleskinner (Blue Yodel No. 8 - Muleskinner Blues)/ DICKEY BETTS: Waiting For A Train/ ROY BLEDSOE: She's In The Jailhouse Now (In The Jailhouse Now)/ BONO: Dreaming With Tears In My Eyes/ BILL BOYD: The Wind Swept Desert (Desert Blues)/ BRENDA BOYKIN & HOME COOKIN': Blue Yodel No. 1 (T For Texas)/ ELTON BRITT: (When It's) Peach Pickin' Time In Georgia/ BROWN'S MUSICAL BROWNIES: The One Rose (That's Left In My Heart)/ DWIGHT BUTCHER: Nobody Knows But Me/ Old Love Letters (Bring Memories Of You)/ No Hard Times/ THE CALLAHAN BROTHERS: T. B. Blues No. 2 (T. B. Blues)/ RICK & THEL CAREY: She Was Happy Till She Met You/ CLIFF CARLISLE: Blue Yodel No. 6/ Memphis Yodel/ MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER: Somewhere Below The Mason Dixon Line/ WILF CARTER: Cowhand's Last Ride/ Whisper Your Mother's Name/ JOHNNY CASH: The Mystery Of Number Five/ JESSIE CLIFTON: Long Tall Mama Blues/ BILL COX: California Blues (Blue Yodel No. 4)/ My Rough And Rowdy Ways/ DICK CURLESS: Waiting For A Train/ DARBY & TARLTON: Once I Had A Sweetheart (Soldier's Sweetheart)/ GLENN DAVIS: Let Me Be Your Sidetrack/ JIMMIE DAVIS: Roll Along Kentucky Moon/ IRIS DEMENT: Hobo Bill's Last Ride/ LONNIE DONEGAN: Blue Yodel #8 (Mule Skinner Blues)/ TOMMY DUNCAN: Never No' Mo' Blues/ SLIM DUSTY: Any Old Time/ BOB DYLAN: My Blue Eyed Jane/ STEVE EARLE: In The Jailhouse Now/ JACK ELLIOTT: Whippin' That Old T. B./ THE FENDERMEN: Blue Yodel #8 (Mule Skinner Blues)/ HARMONICA FRANK FLOYD: Blue Yodel No. 6/ RED FOLEY: I'm Sorry We Met/ CONNIE FRANCIS & HANK WILLIAMS, JR.: Blue Yodel #8 (Mule Skinner Blues)/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: Blue Yodel, #2 (My Lovin' Gal Lucille)/ I'm Lonely And Blue/ Sleep, Baby, Sleep/ Why Should I Be Lonely/ JERRY GARCIA, DAVID GRISMAN & JOHN KAHN: Blue Yodel #9/ ROY GONZALES: Anuiant et blue (Lonely And Blue)/ REX GRIFFIN: Sweet Mama Hurry Home/ JACK GUTHRIE: Blue Yodel, #3 (Evening Sun Yodel)/ When The Cactus Is In Bloom/ MERLE HAGGARD: Down The Old Road To Home/ Train Whistle Blues/ GEORGE HALL: The One Rose (That's Left In My Heart)/ HANK, THE YODELING RANGER: Polka Dot Blues (Gambling Polka Dot Blues)/ THE HAWKING BROTHERS: Old Pal Of My Heart/ ROLAND HEINRICH: Und jetzt ist er im Knast (In The Jailhouse Now)/ Das Land meines Kindheitstraums (Land Of My Boyhood Dreams)/ Ich such mir eine neue Frau (I'm Looking For A New Mama)/ TAL HENRY: My Little Old Home Down In New Orleans/ HARRY HILLARD: Blue Yodel No. 9/ I'm Looking For A Brand New Mama (Looking For A New Mama)/ JESS HILLARD: Blue Yodel No. 10 (Ground Hog Rootin' In My Baxk Yard)/ JIMMY HINCHEE: Rock All The Babies To Sleep/ DOC HOPKINS: Mother The Queen Of My Heart/ JACK & LESLIE: Mississippi River Blues/ JOHN JACKSON: T.B. Blues/ BUDDY JONES: Any Old Time/ GRANDPA JONES: Brakeman's Blues (Yodeling The Blues Away)/ Lullaby Yodel/ GENE KARDOS: In The Jailhouse Now/ BUELL KAZEE: Gambling Blues (Those Gambler's Blues)/ HOWARD KEESEE: My Little Old Home Down In New Orleans/ HOWARD KEESSE & LOY BODINE: A Sailor's Plea/ BOB KING: You And My Old Guitar/ CLAUDE KING: Pistol Packing Papa/ ALISON KRAUS: Any Old Time/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: Waiting For A Train/ LUMMIE LEWIS & HIS MERRYMAKERS: Travelin' Blues/ THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS: Prairie Lullaby/ REG LINDSAY: Jimmie The Kid/ BEVERLY LONG: The Soldier's Sweetheart/ FRANKIE MARVIN (FRANKIE WALLACE): Away Out On the Mountain/ CLAYTON MCMICHEN: Prohibition Blues (Prohibition Has Done Me Wrong)/ JOHN MELLENCAMP: Gambling Bar Room Blues/ THE MEMPHIS SHEIKS: In The Jailhouse Now/ DEAN MITCHELL: Blue Yodel #11/ I'm Lonesome Too/ I've Only Loved Three Women/ Take Me Back Again/ That's Why I'm Blue/ What's It/ Yodeling My Way Back Home/ BILL MONROE: Blue Yodel No. 7/ Sailor's Plea/ THE MONROE BROTHERS: In My Dear Old Southern Home (Dear Old Sunny South By The Sea)/ The Old Man's Story (Why There's A Tear In My Eye)/ PATSY MONTANA: Treasures Untold/ VAN MORRISON: Mule Skinner Blues/ TEX MORTON: Dreaming With Tears In My Eyes/ RICK NELSON: Big Chief Buffalo Nickel (The Desert Blues)/ WILLIE NELSON: Peach Picking Time In Georgia/ AARON NEVILLE: Why Should I Be Lonely/ THE NITE OWLS: Frankie And Johnny (You'll Miss Me In The Days To Come)/ EDDIE NOACK: My Old Pal/ W. LEE O'DANIEL & HIS HILLBILLY BOYS: Yodeling Ranger/ MOLLY O'DAY: (15) Years Ago/ KING OLIVER: Everybody Does It In Hawaii/ DOLLY PARTON: Blue Yodel #8 (Mule Skinner Blues)/ PIE PLANT PETE (CLAUDE MOYE): Waiting for the Railroad Train (Waiting for A Train)/ WEBB PIERCE: In The Jailhouse Now/ THE RAYNE-BO RAMBLERS: Dor, baby, dor (Sleep Baby Sleep)/ RED RIVER DAVE (DAVE MCENERY): Daddy And Home/ JIM REEVES: Waiting For A Train/ SLIM RHINEHART: For The Sake Of Days Gone By/ THE RHYTHM WRECKERS: Never No Mo' Blues/ THE RICE BROTHERS GANG: My Carolina Sunshine Girl/ SLIM RINEHART: Mississippi Moon/ MARTY ROBBINS: My Mother Was A Lady/ ROY ROGERS: Hadie Brown (My Little Lady)/ ROSS' RHYTHM RASCALS: Tuck Away My Lonesome Blues/ PETE SEEGER: Blue Yodel #1 (T For Texas)/ JOHN SELLERS: Let Me Be Your Sidetrack/ THE SHELTON BROTHERS: She Was Happy Till She Met You/ NAT SHILKRET AND THE VICTOR ORCHESTRA: Away Out On The Mountain/ Blue Yodel No. 1 (T For Texas)/ JIMMIE SKINNER: I Miss The Mississippi And You/ Jimmie Rodgers' Last Blue Yodel/ Moonlight And Skies/ Somewhere Down Below The Mason Dixon Line/ HANK SNOW: Blue Yodel, #12 (Daybreak Blues)/ Everybody Does It In Hawaii/ Home Call/ I've Ranged, I've Roamed, I've Traveled/ Land Of My Boyhood Dreams/ My Good Gal's Gone Blues/ Ninety Nine Years Blues/ Southern Cannon Ball/ THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS: The Yodeling Cowboy/ JOE STEEN: Ben Dewberry's Final Run/ TEXAS RUBY: Blue Yodel No. 1 (T For Texas)/ MERLE TRAVIS: Blue Yodel #1 (T For Texas)/ ERNEST TUBB: I'm Free (From The Chain Gang Now)/ The Drunkard's Child/ The Wonderful City/ Why Did You Give Me Your Love/ THE TUNE WRANGLERS: Sweetest Girl in the World (My Blue Eyed Jane)/ BUDDY WILLIAMS: Dear Old Sunny South By The Sea/ GARY WILLIAMS: Gambling Bar Room Blues/ Hobo's Meditation/ In The Hills Of Tennessee/ Jimmie's Texas Blues/ My Time Ain't Long/ BOB WILLS: Mississippi Delta Blues/ Never No More Hard Times Blues (No Hard Times)/ Mean Mama Blues (Jimmie' Mean Mama Blues)/ DWIGHT YOAKAM: T For Texas

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 3566 Chime Bells - The Best Of Country Yodel, Vol. 3 ● CD $12.98
27 tracks including several examples of European yodeling. Includes sides by Elton Britt, Wilf Carter, Patsy Montana, Kenny Roberts, Rosalie Allen, Les Wilson, Carolina Cotton, Alberta Slim, Skeeter Bonn, "Texas Kitty" Prins, Harry Torrani, Leo "Little Slim" Celsie, Jimmy Williams, Yodeling Slim Cark and more.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 3583 Hillbilly Bop, Boogie & The Honky Tonk Blues, Vol. 3 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 48 tracks, very highly recommended
The third set in this great series (previous volumes are Jasmine 3560/61 - 1948->1950 and Jasmine 3562/3 - 1951->1953) covers the years 1954 and 1954 and mostly features Texas artists recording for Starday. Selected by country expert Al Turner who also provides the informative notes in the accompanying booklet. Most of the artists here are pretty obscure but all are excellent and most of the tracks are making their first appearance on CD. Includes sides by Fred Crawford, George Jones, Dick Stubbs (two hot steel guitar instrumentals which also features great fiddle), Peck Touchton, Earney Vandagriff (superb honky tonk with a real Hank Williams feel), Al Petty (three hot steel guitar instrumentals including the steel guitar duet Twin Steel Ride), Hoot & Curley, The Country Gentlemen (not the bluegrass group but a hot instrumental group with tough electric guitar and steel on the rockin' Country Style Boogie), Joe Price, Cotton Henry, Pat Patterson, Biff Collie, The Western Melody Makers (featuring rockabilly legend Sid King on a version of Who Put The Turtle In Myrtle's Girdle), Les Chambers and others. Music is consistently fine and frequently superb and sound quality is exceptional. (FS)
SONNY BURNS: Another Woman Looking for a Man/ LES CHAMBERS: Lonesome/ Too Much Pride/ LESTER CHAMBERS: Kiss Like That/ Everybody Else Does (Why Can't I)/ BIFF COLLIE: What This Old World Needs/ COTTON HENRY: Alibying Sweetie/ THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN: Country Style Boogie/ FRED CRAWFORD: Each Passing Day/ First on Your List/ I Just Need Some Lovin'/ Never Gonna Get Married Again/ You Gotta Wait/ ARLIE DUFF: Back to the Country/ Courtin's Here to Stay/ Fifteen Cents a Sop/ Let Me Be Your Salty Dog/ EDDIE EDDINGS: Smoochin'/ RED HAYES: Doggone Woman/ R. D. HENDON: Steel Guitar Special/ R.D. HENDON: You Traveled Too Far/ DEWAYNE HIGDON: Take Your Time (Cause Every Minute Counts)/ HOOT & CURLEY: Hurry, Hurry/ SMILING JERRY JERICHO: Lovin' Up a Storm/ BOB JONES: You'd Beter Behave Baby/ GEORGE JONES: No Money in This Deal/ Play It Cool Man, Play It Cool/ CHUCK MAYFIELD: Washing on the Line/ BILL NETTLES: Gumbo-Mumbo (Papa Had to Go)/ Wine-O Boogie/ PAT PATTERSON: First You Buy the Beer/ Mister Hillbilly/ AL PETTY: Steel Guitar Special/ Steeling the Boogie/ Twin Steel Ride/ Country Saturday Night/ JOE PRICE: It Makes Me Happy/ Keep the Wolves Away/ Pay Attention Please/ HOYT SCOGGINS: Trudy/ DICK STUBBS: Hillbilly Swing/ Wired for Sound/ PECK TOUCHTON: Let Me Catch My Breath/ JACK TUCKER: I Was Only Fooling Me/ EARNEY VANDAGRIFF: Alabama Blues/ Where You Been/ JIMMIE WALTON: High as a Georgia Pine/ WESTERN MELODY MAKERS: Who Put the Turtle in Myrtle's Girdle

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77100 Mountain Frolic ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 101 tracks, essential
Another wonderful collection of old time country music from JSP featuring four CDs with 101 tracks recorded between 1924 and 1927. This set is based around several collections of old timey reissues issued on 78s in the 40s and early LPs from the 50s and early 60s. Star of the show here is the superb Buell Kazee who is featured on 40 tracks recorded between 1927 and 1929 - his entire issued output. Kazee, who was a trained singer, accompanied himself on banjo and recorded seminal versions of songs like Butchers Boy/ East Virginia/ Lady Gay/ Wagoner's Lad/ The Moonshiner and others. This set also features tracks with guitar and violin accompaniment, some duets with Carson Robison and some gospel songs with Frank & James McCravy as The Blue Ridge Gospel Singers. Most of these tracks have been reissued on B.A.C.M. but it is great to have all these together in chronological order. There are also 22 tracks recorded between 1927 and 1931 by the fabulous Carolina Tar Heels. The Carolina Tarheels were a truly wonderful old time group active from around 1927 to 1932. Though there was some change in personnel most of the tracks here feature the trio of Dock Walsh/ banjo & vocal, Clarence Ashley/ guitar & vocal and Garley Foster or Gwen Foster/ guitar, harmonica & vocal. They perform a selection of traditional ballads, mountain songs, blues, religious, ragtime songs and more. Their performances are incredibly melodic and infectious and you'll find yourself singing along and tapping your toes and you're sure to recognize some of the songs which have since become country standards. Their tracks include Bring Me A Leaf From the Sea/ The Bulldog Down In Sunny Tennessee/ When The Good Lord Sets You Free/ There's A Man Goin' Around Takin' names/ Roll On Boys/ Peg And Awl, etc. Although a number of these were previously reissued on Old Homestead the sound quality here is vastly superior. There are also tracks by Tar Heels members Garley Foster & Dock Walsh (as The Pine Mountain Boys) and Dock Walsh. Other artists include Nelstone's Hawaiians (a fine duo from Alabama featuring great steel guitar), Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters (a wonderfully energetic string band who were one of the first string bands on record), the great pioneering ballad singer and collector Bascom Lamar Lunsford and others. Sound quality is generally superb and there are informative notes by Pat Harrison and full discographical data. If you love old time country music this is a must. (FS)
DR. HUMPHREY BATE AND THE POSSUM HUNTERS: Billy in the Low Ground/ Goin' Up Town/ Green Backed Dollar Bill/ THE CAROLINA NIGHT HAWKS: Governor Smith for President/ THE CAROLINA TAR HEELS: Back to Mexico/ Bring Me a Leaf from the Sea/ Bulldog Down in Sunny Tennessee/ Can't You Remember When Your Heart Was Mine?/ Good-Bye My Bonnie, Good-Bye/ Got the Farm Land Blues/ Hand in Hand We Have Walked Along Together/ Hen House Door Is Locked/ I Love My Mountain Home/ I'll Be Washed/ Lay Down Baby, Take Your Rest/ Oh, How I Hate It/ Old Grey Goose/ Peg and Awl/ Roll on, Boys/ Rude and Rambling Man/ There's a Man Goin' Around Takin' Names/ Train's Done Left Me/ Washing Mama's Dishes/ When the Good Lord Sets You Free/ Who's Gonna Kiss Your Lips, Dear Darling/ You Are a Little Too Small/ CHENOWETH'S CORNFIELD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Hot Foot Step and Fetch It/ Last Shot Got Him/ WALTER COUCH & THE WILKS RAMBLERS: Chesapeake Bay/ DAD CROCKET: Sugar Hill/ THE CROCKETT FAMILY: Medley of Old Time Dance Tunes: Sourwood Mountain/Sally in the Garden, etc./ HUGH CROSS & RILEY PUCKETT: Gonna Raise Ruckus Tonight/ AL HOPKINS & HIS BUCKLEBUSTERS: Black Eyed Susie/ Boatin' Up Sandy/ Cluck Old Hen/ Johnson Boys/ BUELL KAZEE: Blind Man/ Butcher's Boy (The Railroad Boy)/ Cowboy Trail/ Cowboy's Farewell/ Darling Cora/ Don't Forget Me Little Darling/ Dying Soldier (Brother Green)/ East Virginia/ Election Day in Kentucky, Pt. 1/ Election Day in Kentucky, Pt. 2/ Faded Coat of Blue/ Gambling Blues/ Hobo's Last Ride/ I'm Rolling Along/ If You Love Your Mother (Meet Her in the Skies)/ In the Shadow of the Pines/ John Hardy/ Lady Gay/ Little Bessie/ Little Mohee/ Married Girl's Troubles/ Mountain Boy Makes His First Record, Pt. 1/ Mountain Boy Makes His First Record, Pt. 2/ My Mother/ Old Whisker Bill, The Moonshiner/ Orphan Girl/ Poor Boy Long Ways from Home/ Poor Little Orphan Boy/ Red Wing/ Rock Island/ Roll on John/ Roving Cowboy/ Ship That's Sailing High/ Snow Deer/ Sporting Bachelors/ Steel a Goin' Down/ Toll the Bells/ Wagoner's Lad (Loving Nancy)/ You Are False But I'll Forgive You/ You Taught Me How to Love You Now Teach Me to Forget/ BRADLEY KINCAID: Cindy/ Old Joe Clark/ BASCOM LAMAR LUNSFORD: Darby's Ram/ Fate of Santa Barbara/ Get Along Home Cindy/ Sherman Valley/ Speaking the Truth/ Stepstone/ Stump Speech in the 10th District/ NELSTONE'S HAWAIIANS: Adam and Eve/ Fatal Flower Garden/ Just Because/ Mobile County Blues/ North Bound Train/ Village School/ You'll Never Find a Daddy Like Me/ CHARLIE PARKER: Rabbit Chase/ RED PATTERSON'S PIEDMONT LOG ROLLERS: I'll Never Get Drunk Again/ THE PINE MOUNTAIN BOYS: Roll on, Daddy Roll On/ She Wouldn't Be Still/ GEORGE ROARK: I Ain't a Drunk/ THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN RAMBLERS: No Business of Mine/ ERNEST THOMPSON: When You're All in Down and Out/ Whistlin' Rufus/ DOCK WALSH: Bulldog Down in Sunny Tennessee

VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper American 06 Always Lift Him Up - A Tribute To Blind Alfred Reed ● CD $17.98
19 tracks, highly recommended
West Virginia singer and fiddler Blind Alfred Reed was one of the greatest artists to record in the late 20s. Although he only recorded 19 songs they were truly unique songs offering witty and meaningful social commentary - many which are just as relevant today as they were 80 years ago. A couple of years ago Reed entered the national consciousness when Bruce Springsteen recorded Reed's masterpiece How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live and now this album features contemporary interpretations of all of Reed's songs as well as the one song recorded by Reed's son Orville The Telephone Girl featuring artists from Reed's home state of West Virginia. Ironically, most of the artists here were unaware of Reed's music before participating in this project but turn in fine and convincing renditions. Artists include Little Jimmy Dickens, Todd Burge, The Michols Family, Larry Groce (a particularly fine folk-rock rendition of You Must Unload, Connie Smith, The Carpenter Ants, Dwight Diller & John Mooris, Bare Bones (a gorgeous acapella rendition of Reed's profound There'll Be No Distinction There), Charlie McCoy, Ray Benson & Asleep At The Wheel, Tim O'Brien and others. Fine performances, much better than I expected but don't forget the originals (Document 8022 Blind Alfred Reed - Complete Recorded Works - $15.98). (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rev-Ola 170 Country Goes Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 2 - The New Breed ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, 75 min., highly recommended
More 1950s rockabilly, rocked-up country or call it what you will. It's the intersection of C&W and rock 'n' roll that Elvis himselvis originally occupied at Sun Records. This compilation offers a wide variety of labels, including RCA Victor, Columbia, Capitol, Mercury, Valley, Starday, Fortune, Trumpet, Sun, Hickory, Decca, Chance, Emerald, Flair, Imperial, Lin, Van, Coral, King, and Arcade. And while Mr. Presley's influence can surely be heard on many cuts (Hayden Thompson's Act Like You Love Me, for one), one wonders if he didn't do some borrowing himself at times. Better tracks include Glenn Barber's Ice Water, the Davis Sisters' Fiddle Diddle Boogie and Christmas Boogie, Gayle Griffith's Rockin' AndA-Knockin', Rudy Gray's You'd Better Believe It, and Frank "Andy" Starr's Dig Them Squeaky Shoes, among others. Johnny Burnette's early Van Records version of You're Undecided is here too, along with tracks by The Five Strings, Lucky Joe Almond, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Ballard, Gene Henslee, Ray Campi, Jimmy Lee, Bobby Lord, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Meyers, Ernie Chaffin, Red Smith, Wanda Jackson & Billy Gray, and others. As might be expected, Texas is heavily represented. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rev-Ola CRBAND 21 Country Goes Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 3 - Rural Royalty ● CD $17.98
33 Tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
The third volume in Rev-Ola's great "Country Goes Rock `N' Roll" series, this one contains thirty-three bona fide Billboard Country & Western chart hits in the 50's. The mix of talent ranges from already-established-by-the-50's stars like Eddy Arnold (a brassy duet with Jaye P. Morgan, Do You Love Me? ), Bob Wills, Webb Pierce, and Pee Wee King to early work from folks who would go on to bigger things in the 60's and 70's: Buck Owens (using the nom de disc Corky Jones), George Jones (as Thumper Jones), Brenda Lee, Wanda Jackson, and Jerry Reed to name a few. In the mid 50's, rockabilly was the rage thanks to Elvis, and everyone was getting a piece of the action with the end result of some amazing singles being created. No one disappoints, the sound quality is great, and the party rarely wanes; marvel to Pierce's Teenage Boogie , Ernest Tubb's cover of Chuck Berry's Thrity Days , Hank Thompson's politically incorrect Rockin' in the Congo , Ferlin Huskey's road song Slow Down Brother , and a rare up tempo single from Patsy Cline, Stop, Look and Listen . Put on your blue suede shoes and dance! (GMC)

TONY JOE WHITE Swamp/ Red 8343 Deep Cuts ● CD $16.98
10 tracks, 51 mins, recommended
The king of Swamp Soul, Tony Joe White is an under appreciated artist having written one of the greatest songs ever ("Rainy Night in Georgia") and created some outstanding music in his 40 years of recording. This follow-up to 2006's "Uncovered," continues that album's gimmick of re-recording his old songs with modern production provided by his son Jody. The earlier CD only had four reworkings of old songs; this album has seven, with three instrumentals rounding out the proceedings. While it's great that Tony Joe is still making records, his voice is still in relatively good shape and his guitar playing is as sharp as ever (especially on Run With the Bulls and Homemade Ice Cream), the 00's production style can be a little jarring (the loud, drums are particularly noticeable) and purists might take exception to the whole enterprise. But Aspen, Colorado is a heartfelt highlight, and Willie and Laura Mae Jones and "Soul Francisco come off pretty well despite their over-length. It would have been nice if Tony Joe had written some new material for the occasion, but for a guy pushing 65 this is quite awesome. (GMC)

BOBBY WILLIAMSON Bear Family 16843 Sh-Boom (Life Could Be A Dream) ● CD $21.98
22 tracks recorded for RCA Victor between 1952 and 1954 by this relatively undistinguished honky tonk singer from Texas. Includes his underwhelming cover of the R&B hit Sh-Boom.

MAC WISEMAN Music Mill 70036 Bluegrass Favorites BY A Master Folk Singer ● CD $9.98
12 tracks, 33 mins, recommended
By 1962 Mac Wiseman had been around for a number of years, was getting pretty well-known, and had a bit of success recording for Dot records; consequently, his jump to Capitol records was seen as a big step forward. His stay at Capitol would last just shy of two years and would yield a grand total of 35 songs recorded. There were a string of fine singles (see next review) and one official record released; here we have a straight re-issue of that one LP. Comprised of a handful of Wiseman originals and many covers, this made for a fine Bluegrass album. Top notch players on hand, Chubby Wise - Fiddle, Buck Trent - 5 String Banjo, Benny Williams - Mandolin and many more deftly accompany Wiseman's soaring vocals. (JM)

MAC WISEMAN Music Mill 70037 The Singles ● CD $9.98
11 tracks, 28 mins, recommended
Fine, albeit brief, collection of singles--A & B sides--from Wiseman's short stay (1962-64) at Capitol records. Good tracks like Footprints in the Snow/ Pistol Packin' Preacher/ Wildfire/ The Scene Of The Crime, etc. Standout attention should be given to 'Tis Sweet To Be Remembered, a lovely song featuring Mother Maybelle Carter and members of The Jordanaires. (JM)


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