Ive long loved country music even if I am at heart a rocker. And it was one of the ingredients that combined with R&B music back in the early 1950s to breed rocknroll. But lately both much of what comes off the Nashville assembly line as well as the alternative country and Americana music does little for me. However, if you like real country music as much as I do, here are three albums you should enjoy.
Stuart is a Music City veteran who is one of the foremost collectors of country music memorabilia, historical artifacts and arcana. But his first volume of a salute to true country music is anything but a museum piece. Rather its a jumping, dancing, sometimes celebrating and at other times weeping slice of what made country music great and much of what calls itself country these days could use more of. Stuart has written new songs is the old school style that stand shoulder to shoulder with the classics, sings em like the dickens, and his aptly named Fabulous Superlatives band smoke up the numbers, with the guitar interplay between Stuart and axeman Kenny Vaughan being a special highlight. Country music dont get no better or mo real than this delightful disc.
I first got acquainted with this new Nashville singer and songwriter when she sent me a friend request on Facebook (we have many musical mutual friends). Both her posts and the occasional clips of her performances convinced me that shes the real deal: 100% Southern country gal with a passel of true talent.
I knew the album she was doing was going to be good, but this set exceeds any expectations I had. In part its due to the production by Texas roots singer-songwriter (and my friend) Ray Wylie Hubbard, who brings his swampy and bluesy ambiance to her backwoods C&W soul. Sounding at times like a cross between Tony Joe White and an Appalachian Lucinda Williams and looking like the illegitimate daughter of Elvis Presley, shes a damn fine songwriter in the Southern gothic tradition and a notable new talent who has arrived and then some on this set thats as potent and intoxicating as a shot of moonshine.
Williams was a staple on the 1970s into 80s country charts with a sound that may be soft and smooth but with a seductive emotional punch. His new album doesnt veer from the form that made him a star back then. Just damn good songs sung so well and sincerely that they become fine quality popular art.
From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2012
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