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COUNTRY, BLUEGRASS & OLD-TIMEY

Vern Gosdin -> Jack Guthrie

VERN GOSDIN
OTTO GRAY'S OKLAHOMA COWBOYS
GRAYSON & WHITTER
THE GREENBRIAR BOYS
BOBBY GREGORY & HIS CACTUS COWBOYS
 
NANCI GRIFFITH
DAVID GRISMAN
GIG GUILBEAU & GENE PARSONS
BONNIE GUITAR
HARDROCK GUNTER
JACK GUTHRIE

VERN GOSDIN Columbia CK 45409 10 Years Of Greatest Hits ● CD $7.98
11 songs including new recordings of some older songs by this superb singer - If Your Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do Me Right)/ That Ain't My First Rodeo/ Way Down Deep/ Friday Night Feelin' / I Can Tell By The Way You Dance/ Was It Just The Wine?, etc.

 
VERN GOSDIN Edsel 2120 Till The End/ Never My Love/ You've Got Somebody ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 30 racks, 94 mins, highly recommended
When we lost Vern Gosdin a couple years back, Country music lost one of its great voices. This fine collection gathers up three of Vern's albums from the late 1970's, when Vern Gosdin came out of his early retirement and got his solo career going strong, achieving some of his biggest commercial and critical success with these albums. "Till The End" features .the hits Till The End, and Mother Country Music, as well as two, great, well-charting songs, Yesterday's Gone and Hangin' On with Emmylou Harris, the later of which being a remake of the Gosdin Brothers classic. "Never My Love" features the great title track as well as J.D. Loudermilk's Break My Mind and the lovely Forget Yesterday. Janie Fricke sings fine harmony and duet on these first two albums. Finishing up the set, "You've Got Somebody" again has a fine, high charting title track, as well as stand-out tracks, like He Must Be Lovin' You Right, and Fifteen Hundred Times A Day. Some might consider these albums a bit too commercial and I say sure it's commercial, but it ranks up there with the best of the commercial Country stuff of the late 70's - '80s, the Randy Travis, Lyle Lovitt and the like and, if you are thinking along those lines, then you will like this one. (JM)

 
OTTO GRAY'S OKLAHOMA COWBOYS B.A.C.M. 139 Early Cowboy Band CD $14.98
21 tracks recorded between 1926 and 1931 by this group who are generally acknowledged to be the first professional western band and very influential in the spread of western music. Gray was the leader and guitarist with the group and also took a number of the vocals. The group also usually included a second guitar, banjo and fiddle and, on one track, steel guitar. The repertoire is dominated by novelty songs as well as other material including including two fine versions of Midnight Special. Includes Cowboy's Dream/ Coon Hunt/ Tom Cat Blues/ Plant A watermelon On My Grave/ Down Where The Swannee River Flows/ Cat Came Back/ 4,000 Years Old, etc.
OTTO GRAY'S OKLAHOMA COWBOYS: 4,000 Years Ago/ Adam And Eve/ Be Home Early Tonight My Dear Boy/ Bury Me On The Lone Prairie/ Cat Came Back/ Coon Hunt/ Cowboy‘s Dream/ Down Where The Swannee River Flows/ Gathering Up The Shells From The Sea Shore/ I Can‘t Change It/ I Had But Fifty Cents/ It Can‘t Be Done/ Mammy‘s Little Coal Black Rose/ Midnight Special/ Pistol Pete‘s Midnight Special/ Plant A Watermelon On My Grave/ Suckin‘ Cider/ The Terrible Marriage/ Tom Cat Blues/ When You Come To The End Of The Day/ Who Stole The Lock On The Henhouse Door

 
GRAYSON & WHITTER County 3517 The Recordings Of Grayson & Whitter ● CD $15.98

 
THE GREENBRIAR BOYS Vanguard 206/207 The Best Of The Vanguard Years ● CD $17.98
Two CDs, 35 tracks, 92 mins. recommended
Originally formed in 1958 The Greenbriar Boys were one of the first "urban bluegrass" groups. This collection features almost their entire output for Vanguard recorded between 1961 and 1966 including tracks from their three solo albums as well as their tracks from the "New Folk" compilation and two tracks where they back up Joan Baez on very fine versions of Band Of The Ohio and pal Of Mine. The earlier recordings featured John Herald/ lead vocal & guitar, Bob Yellin/ banjo, mandolin & harmony vocals and Ralp Rinzler/ mandolin and harmony vocals. For the last album Rinzler was replaced by singer and mandolinist Frank Wakefield. Their material is mostly traditional and classic country along with a few more recent (as of the 60s) country songs and a handful of original compositions. Some fine music with excellent harmonies. (FS)

 
BOBBY GREGORY & HIS CACTUS COWBOYS Cattle CCD 232 The Golden Age Of Bobby Gregory & His Cactus Cowboys ● CD $18.98
24 tracks from this performer whose career dates back to 1924 and who recorded over 350 songs and wrote over 1500 though he is pretty much unknown to most country fans.

 
NANCI GRIFFITH Elektra 61464 Other Voices, Other Rooms ● CD $13.98
17 tracks, 62 min., recommended. Call her the folk music missionary, bringing songs from her favorite folkies to a new audience. She covers John Prine, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Townes Van Zandt, Kate Wolf, Malvina Reynolds, Jery Jeff Walker, and others, in a straight ahead way, and gets away with it because she chooses great songs that haven't been covered to death yet. Three of the best are Buddy Mondlock's Comin' Down In The Rain, Janis Ian's This Old Town, and Vince Bell's Woman Of The Phoenix. The album also features vocal and instrumental support from Dylan, Prine, Arlo Guthrie, Frank Christian, Emmylou Harris, Carolyn Hester, and other acoustic luminaries. A pleasant if predictable affair. (JC)

 
NANCI GRIFFITH MCA MCAD 42255 One Fair Summer Evening ● CD $8.98

 
NANCI GRIFFITH Philo 1109 Last Of the True Believers ● CD $16.98
Has success spoiled Nanci? Naw, her three previous LPs have had their collective moments, but this is the first album that bears up to repeated listening for me. The direction she has taken is toward the bluegrass/ country fields. Will she be the next Emmylou Harris? Comparisons will no doubt be made, especially on the tunes that have a beat - Fly By Night, Banks of the Pontchartrain, Lookin For the Time (Working Girl) and Believers . Griffith, a fine songwriter, has assembled a great supporting cast; guitarists Phillip Donnelly and Pat alger, Bela Fleck on banjo, Mark O'Conner, mandolin, violin and pedal sttel/ dobro player Lloyd Green. Her voice is in the same register as Dolly Parton's, high and kinda thin, but producer Jim Rooney (a collaborator of Peter Rowan's) has brought the absolute best out of his musicians, and the songs arrangements are well-suited to Nanci's somewhat limited range. I believe her real success will come when she completely crosses over into the C/W field. (SG)

 
DAVID GRISMAN A&M 75021 3292-2 Hot Dawg ● CD $9.98
Early Grisman release, a groundbreaking fusion of bluegrass and swing jazz known as "Dawg Music". With Tony Rice, Darol Anger, Stephane Grappelli, Mike Marshall and more - 8 tracks from the late 70's.

 
DAVID GRISMAN Acoustic Disc 1 Dawg '90 ● CD $17.98
The man who has brought the mandolin further to the forefront of American popular music than anyone imagined possible is at it again with a new collection of his patented "dawg" music. There are ten originals here, all instrumental, and they tend to lean toward the Hot Club Of France and gypsy swing rhythms Grisman has been known for in recent years. Needless to say, this disc swings like mad, due in part to some wonderfully uninhibited fiddle from Mark O'Connor, the nicest stuff on a recording I've heard from him in years. The other musicians, all outstanding, are Joe Carlini (guitar), Matt Eakle (flute), Matt Glaser (fiddle), James Kerwin (bass), and Joe Craven, Grisman's utility man these past few years, who contributes imaginative percussion, as well as second mandolin, fiddle and mandola. RP)

 
DAVID GRISMAN Rounder 0069 The David Grisman Rounder Compact Disc ● CD $17.98

 
DAVID GRISMAN Rounder 0251/2 Home Is Where The Heart Is ● CD $26.98
Mandolin virtuoso David Grisman has returned to his first love, and here proves that for tone, touch, feel and speed, he is as good as any bluegrass mandolin player anywhere, equally adept at hot leads or sympathetic back-up to his famous and talented friends (of whom there are many) on this 2 CD set. This is pure bluegrass, in instrumentation, approach and feel, and every cut is a gem. Some high points - his old boss Red Allen, sings and plays guitar on 4 cuts, joined on tenor harmony by his son Harley on 3 of them - Highway Of Sorrow/ My Aching Heart/ Sad & Lonesome Day/ Teardrops In My Eyes . Members of the Nashville Bluegrass Band also appear on 4 cuts incl. Dawn In The Willow garden/ Little Willie/ Leavin' Home/ Pretty Polly , and Stuart Duncan's fiddling appears on other cuts. Sophronie is done by a stellar group incl. Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe & Roy Husky, Jr. in addition to Grisman. Feast Here Tonight features an incredible trio incl. Doc Watson and Ricky Skaggs. The great tenor singer Curly Seckler & Doc Watson sing a killer version of My Long Journey Home . Every cut is a classic. Highest recommendation. (RP)

 
DAVID GRISMAN Sugarhill 3713 Early Dawg ● CD $16.98

 
DAVID GRISMAN & OTHERS Rounder 0169 Here Today ● CD $17.98

 
GIB GUILBEAU & GENE PARSONS Big Beat CDWIKD 219 Louisiana Rain ● CD $18.98
First in a series of albums drawn from the archives of Gary S. Paxton's Bakersfield International label features Gilbeau & Parson's legendary 1967 sessions for the label which was a mix of country, rock, folk and a bit of cajun. This set includes unissued songs from these sessions along with demos and obscure releases on the Strawberry, Starfire and Boomer labels.

 
BONNIE GUITAR Bear Family BCD 15531 Dark Moon ● CD $21.98
Does Bonnie Guitar have a brother named "Fender" or a nephew named "Heavy metal?" Nope, and as you probably guessed, it wasn't even her real name (Buckingham). These sides were all cut from 1956-1958 for Dot and include her best known early numbers, Ned Miller's Dark Moon and the bizarre Mr. Fire Eyes (apparently there was no "Mrs. Fire Eyes" . . . ). None of the 60s Dot material, which accounted for most of her hits, is included. Most numbers are mediocre attempts at putting a middling pop singer into a country mold. Despite some genuinely weird numbers like the Johnny Cash ripoff Johnny Vagabond and an oversung Making Believe, the rest is as sleep-inducing as warm milk. The soppy string arrangements and ooh-aah choruses don't help. Some of it doesn't sound all that different from the schlock that passed for country music in the early 80s. Unless you have a real liking for flaccid pop music of the fifties (some of which makes even Patti Page sound ballsy), this won't be your kind of music. It sure isn't mine. (RK)

 
HARDROCK GUNTER Hydra 27108 I'll Give 'Em Rhythm ● CD $21.98
29 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
A fine collection of 29 tracks recorded between 1951 and '62 by this talented Alabama singer. It nicely complements the collection put out some years ago by Roller Coaster (Roller Coaster 3013). The material is a satisfying mixture of honky tonk, western flavored items, novelty songs, rockin' country and country boogie with Gunter backed by fine swingin' bands with sidemen like Grady Martin, Tommy Jackson, Billy Burke, Owen Bradley, Chet Atkins, Dale Potter, Jerry Byrd, Zeke Turner and others. Many of the songs are Gunter originals including the rockin' title song plus I've Done Gone Hog Wild/ Hesitation Boogie/ Honky Tonk Baby/ Naptown, Ind./ Rebel Guitar Picker 60 Minute Man done as duet with Roberta Lee and a Dixieland flavored version of A White Sport Coat. The 24 page booklet has some great and rare photos and other memorabilia, a biography and fascinating commentary on the songs and the sessions by Gunter himself. A very classy production. (FS)

 
JACK GUTHRIE Bear Family BCD 15580 Oklahoma Hills ● CD $21.98
This may be the greatest single CD Bear Family has done, even among the dozens of high-quality single CD's they've done in the past few years. Jack, Woody's cousin, worked with the legendary folksinger in California, but was always more oriented toward straight country music than Woody. In 1944, Jack recorded Woody's Oklahoma Hills for Capitol and in 1945, while Jack was stationed in the Pacific as an Army Special Services entertainer. By the time he left the service, he was still hot and managed another hit in 1947 with Johnny Tyler's Oakie Boogie, a song that's since become a rockabilly standard through Hank Swatley's recording. But Jack, who could have become the West Coast's answer to Ernest Tubb, died in 1948 of tuberculosis. He recorded a total of 33 sides for Capitol and 29 of them are included here. Jack used a small band with lead guitarist Porky Freeman and the swinging fiddling of Billy Hughes or Smokey Fields the dominating instruments. Even with slight surface noise, the remastering is so phenomenal you'd swear you were sitting right in the middle of the group when they were recording. If there has ever been an example of how good a well-mastered compact disc can be, this is it. The notes by Guthrie authority Guy Logsdon are revealing. Indeed, the booklet's so thick it points out another flaw of the CD jewelbox when it comes to reissues. When you have a booklet this detailed, it barely fits into the front tray of the box. The booklet is loaded with rare illustrations and the back cover reproduces--in color--the front and back of a 78 rpm "Memorial Album" issued after Jack's death. One of Bear's finest moments--one we Jack Guthrie fans have long awaited. And there are more Capitol Transcriptions that would make an incredible Volume 2. (RK)
JACK GUTHRIE: Answer To Moonlights And Skies/ Careless Darlin'/ Chained To A Memory/ Colorado Blues/ Dallas Darlin'/ For Oklahoma, I'm Yearing/ I Loved You Once But I Can't Trust You Now/ I Still Love You As I Did In Yesterday/ I Told You Once/ I'm Brandin' My Darlin' With My Heart/ I'm Building A Stairway To Heaven/ I'm Tellin' You/ Ida Red/ In The Shadows Of My Heart/ Look Out For The Crossing/ Next To The Soil/ No Need To Knock On My Door/ Oakie Boogie/ Oklahoma Hills/ Oklahoma's Calling/ Out Of Sight-out Of Mind/ Please, Oh Please/ San Antonio Rose/ Shame On You/ Shut That Gate/ The Clouds Rained Trouble Down/ Welcome Home Stranger/ When The Cactus Is In Bloom/ You Laughed And I Cried.

 

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