Tag: Country

1988, Music

Copperhead Road (1988) by Steve Earle

I have a weird bone to pick about records that weren’t recorded with the same group of musicians throughout. This doesn’t necessarily apply to guest vocalists, but it does apply to guests on other instruments. I guess my argument would be that I want a record to have a consistent sound and recording with different …

1973, Music

Sweet Revenge (1973) by John Prine

Many years ago – 15? – I was watching Austin City Limits as usual and John Prine came on. I had never heard of him before but I was blown away. ‘Who was this songwriter I’ve never heard of?’ I thought. I was blown away by his stage demeanour as much as his songs, probably, …

1973, Music

Shotgun Willie (1973) by Willie Nelson

The evolution of country music has been, needless to say, very different from the evolution of pop rock music. That evolution, which began later, and which is still very much ongoing, is something I am only partially familiar with, and it is an evolution that is often measured in very slight deviations and innovations, compared …

1973, Music

A White Sport Coat and Pink Crustacean (1973)

I gave a listen to Down to Earth recently, as I figured that I should give the infamous Jimmy Buffett a listen for the podcast, given his longevity, his popularity and his notoriety. But I read that he had essentially disowned that album – it is a pretty conventional singer-songwriter album that does not give …

1968, Music

Safe at Home (1968) by International Submarine Band

This record invented country rock. As such, it’s one of the milestone records of the 1960s. (Country infected popular music in the 1970s and the country rock phenomenon of the late 1960s and early 1970s and Safe at Home is a big reason why.) But with the benefit of hindsight I am tempted to criticize the …

1951, 1952, 1953, Music

Memorial Album (1953) by Hank Williams

I try not to listen to compilations unless I have a really good reason. The reason I try not to listen to them is simply because, especially with “Greatest Hits” compilations, someone other than the artist has decided what is on the record.

1968, Music

Sing Me Back Home (1968) by Merle Haggard and the Strangers

The way I think about music is dominated by the idea of artistic progression: did this artist improve or change from the last album. But country music poses a challenge to this outlook (just like soul does) because, for much of the genre’s history if not all of it, stasis or consistency has been deemed …

1987, Music

At My Window (1987) by Townes Van Zandt

Though I know of the legend of Townes, I’ve seen the documentary and I’ve heard a fair number of songs through covers, this is only the second album of his I’ve ever managed to get to. And so I cannot evaluate it against his other records,except for the one I’ve heard. That one, his debut, …

1970, Music

Workingman’s Dead (1970) by the Grateful Dead

If you had been aware of the Dead in Spring 1970 but you didn’t live in San Francisco, you would have no way of knowing the band was birthed by a folk band in the mid ’60s. If you caught them live, you would have been familiar with how they were the first ever jam …

2010, Music

…Featuring Norah Jones (2010)

This is a compilation of some – though apparently far from all – of Norah Jones’ guest appearances after she became a star. (Though some feel more like duets.) I guess it’s a way for people to see what else she’s doing? I don’t know. Because the thing about this is that there’s a lot …

1999, Music

Mendocino (1999 Compilation) by Sir Douglas Quintet

Throughout the history of recorded music, there have always been these silly little labels who try to profit off loopholes in music contract regulations, by releasing records or compilations of music that is somehow exempt from copyright protection. This is one of those releases. And I fell for it.

2009, Music

Townes (2009) by Steve Earle

I can’t say that I am much of a fan of Steve Earle at this point, as most of his stuff I’ve heard I’ve found underwhelming. And I can’t say I am much of a fan of Townes Van Zandt either; the only album of his I’ve ever heard was horribly – perhaps even offensively …

1995, Music

Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995 American) by the Jayhawks

It sort of boggles my mind that these guys had already been around for a decade when this came out. It just goes to show you that sometimes we excessively labeling, critical types are a little slow on the uptake. When this was released it was supposed to be the heyday of alt-country but really …

2009, Music

Genius: the Ultimate Collection by Ray Charles (Concord 2009)

Ray Charles was a very important musician in the history of soul music but you don’t really get that here. Instead you get many of his hits, some of which are in an altogether different genre (which is fine). But it’s really hard to tell he’s a great innovator from this selection. He sounds rather …

1994, Music

American Recordings by Johnny Cash (American 1994)

Though I absolutely appreciate the production for this album, I must say that I find his song selection got better as the series went on (even though they moved away from the concept of Cash by himself). At the time I guess this seemed novel, but now that we have six of these albums I …