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COUNTRY, BLUEGRASS & OLD-TIMEY

Kathy Kallick  -> Kris Kristofferson

KATHY KALLICK
ROBERT EARL KEEN JR.
TOMMY KENT
THE KENTUCKY COLONELS
DOUG KERSHAW
CLARK KESSINGER
THE KESSINGER BROTHERS
 
BOB KING
CLAUDE KING
JAMES KING
PEE WEE KING
FRED KIRBY
EDDIE KIRK
RED KNUCKLES & THE TRAILBLAZERS
ALISON KRAUSS
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON

KATHY KALLICK Sugar Hill 3820 Matters Of The Heart ● CD $11.98
13 tracks, 46 min., recommended
The longtime lead vocalist of The Good Ol' Persons steps out here in her first solo effort, offering 13 sparkling examples of her songwriting and singing skills. Backed by fellow Persons Sally Van Meter, John Reischman, Kevin Wimmer, and album producer Todd Phillips, Kathy also employs many other notables, among them Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, Nina Gerber, and Scott Nygard. Bakery Window Wedding, a duet with Tim O'Brien, is bound to be recorded by some famous country duo sometime and become a classic, but this version is going to be hard to beat. Other gems include Man In The Moon/ Just Takes Time/ You Were In Love/ Save Everything/ Wish Me Well. Very impressive. (RP)

 
ROBERT EARL KEEN JR. Sugar Hill 1028 West Textures ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, 38 mins., good
This country singer has his rough edges and a somewhat dodgy voice but writes serviceable country songs. Most of the songs here are originals, full of drinking, gambling, bittersweet romance, and all the trappings of the good ole boy country life of trucks, fishing, hard-won paychecks, and honkytonks. With a solid Nashville backing lineup including Jerry Douglas and Roy Huskey, Jr., Keen tells his slice of life stories pretty well. Occasionally he sneaks in a surprise, like his Road Goes On Forever, a tale of a couple of lovable drug dealers, one getting a Mercedes, the other getting the chair. And he saves the best line on the album for toward the end when he sing, "It's the little things... the little things... that piss me off." Play that if you dare, Nashville radio! (DC)

 
ROBERT EARL KEEN JR. Sugar Hill 1037 A Bigger Piece Of Sky ● CD $15.98

 
ROBERT EARL KEEN JR. Sugar Hill 1044 Gringo Honeymoon ● CD $15.98

 
ROBERT EARL KEEN JR. Sugar Hill 1049 No Kinda Dancer ● CD $15.98

 
ROBERT EARL KEEN JR. Sugar Hill 1051 No. 2 LIVE Dinner ● CD $15.98
17 tracks, 67 min., recommended
A generous live set by this country/Americana artist, recorded during 1995 at the Floores Country Store in Helotes, Texas and at the Cactus Cafe Ballroom in Austin. And it should come as no particular surprise that here, on his sixth disc, he performs quite a few of his earlier, well known numbers. Specifically, the program includes Gringo Honeymoon, Merry Christmas from the Family, Five Pound Bass, Sonora's Death Row, Think It Over One Time, Amarillo Highway, The Road Goes on Forever, Dreadful Selfish Crime, Mariano, and I'm Comin' Home. It's a solid set from start to finish; unfortunately the sound is a bit dull. (DH)

 
TOMMY KENT Bear Family BCD 15484 Susie Darlin' ● CD $21.98
Recorded 1958-1964, 26 tracks, w. booklet

 
THE KENTUCKY COLONELS Vanguard VCD 77004 Long Journey Home ● CD $15.98
Recorded live in 1964 at Newport, these recordings capture one of the most exciting 60's bluegrass revival bands. The Colonels' featured the groundbreaking and highly influential lead guitar of Clarence White, also Clarence's brother Roland on mandolin, Billy Ray Lathum on banjo, and Roger Bush on bass. Their repertoire was strictly traditional, as represented here by Roll On Buddy/ A Beautiful Life/ Get On Your Knees And Pray/ Over In The Glory Land/ Sally Ann/ Shady Grove and more. Also included are six numbers with Clarence joining Doc Watson at a guitar workshop; Doc was certainly one of the first to pick fiddle and banjo tunes out on the guitar, and White incorporated that technique into his style quite easily. Their duets on Farewell Blues/ Beaumont Rag/ Lonesome Road Blues/ Footprints In The Snow and two others are very special. The Colonels also back up banjo innovator Bill Keith on four tunes here. All in all quite a package; this disc evokes memories of a time when city folks were discovering bluegrass and these musicians were determining the sound of bluegrass to come. The ambient crowd sounds and applause add to the excitement. (RP)

 
DOUG KERSHAW Warner Bros. 25964 The Best Of Doug Kershaw ● CD $10.98
The "Ragin' Cajun's" best from 3 Reprise Lps. Includes Louisiana Man/ Diggy Diggy Lo, and Jambalaya.

 
CLARK KESSINGER County 2713 The Legend Of Clark Kessinger ● CD $15.98
Reissue of mid 60s album, originally on Kanawha Records featuring superb old time fiddle player from West Vifginia. With Gene Meade on guitar and Wayne Hauser on banjo.

 
THE KESSINGER BROTHERS Document DOCD 8010 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 : 1928-1929 ● CD $15.98

 
THE KESSINGER BROTHERS Document DOCD 8011 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1929 ● CD $15.98

 
THE KESSINGER BROTHERS Document DOCD 8012 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 : 1929-1930 ● CD $15.98

 
BOB KING Bear Family BCD 15718 Songs That Tell A Story ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, 77 min., good
From the point of view of the artist's chronology, this is the second disc from Bear Family to review the Rodeo Records performances of Canadian artist Bob King, this time covering the years 1962-1963. Here too, King performs a mix of original material and covers of American hits in a easy but rather uninspired style. Featured numbers include I'm Just Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail/ The French Song/ When the Work's All Done This Fall/ Rockin' Alone in an Old Rockin' Chair/ Mary Ann Regrets, and Jimmie Brown the Newsboy. Accompaniment is usually limited to King's guitar, and two numbers feature assistance from his wife Marie. Otherwise, sound, graphics and notes are all excellent. (DH)

 
BOB KING & THE COUNTRY KINGS Bear Family BCD 15719 Bob King & The Country Kings ● CD $21.98
26 tracks, 63 min., good
Canadian artist Bob King spent most of his professional career in the Ottawa Valley country music scene, performing original material and covering American hits in a easy, lighthearted style - but never quite gaining recognition in the illusive US market. This disc features his Rodeo label recordings from 1958-1963. Featured tracks include Give My Love To Rose/ If the Things They Say Are True/ Let's Make a Fair Trade/ My Son Calls Another Man Daddy, and a remake of Bill Parson's (actually Bobby Bare's) The All American Boy, called here The All Canadian Boy. All in all, more pleasant than compelling. Production values are otherwise up to Bear Family's usual standards with fine sound, graphics, and notes. (DH)

 
CLAUDE KING Bear Family BCD 15619 More Than Climbing This Mountain ● CD $125.98

 
CLAUDE KING Collectables 6041 Wolverton Mountain ● CD $13.98
16 Columbia including his biggest hits like Wolverton Mountain/ Big River, Big Man/ The Burning Of Atlanta/ The Comancheros/ I'm Building A Bridge and more.

 
JAMES KING Rounder 0305 These Old Pictures ● CD $15.98

 
JAMES KING Rounder 0350 Lonesome And Then Some ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 36 min; essential
James's first Rounder album, "These Old Pictures" (Rounder 0305 - $15.98), brought him to the attention of many bluegrass enthusiasts for the first time, and was justifiably regarded as perhaps the finest new traditional album to emerge last year. This second Rounder album is a more than worthy follow-up, revealing Virginia born James King to be among the finest traditional bluegrass lead vocalists on the current scene. Influenced by the best of his predecessors, James has frequently sung with Ralph Stanley as lead vocalist, and the influence of the late Carter Stanley is discernable in his style, and the intensity of his vocal approach, along with his fierce, conviction drenched delivery, reminds me of Dave Evans, but James is his own man. His reading of Hazel Dickens'classic These Old Pictures is hair-raising stuff, and he wrings every drop of emotion from Vince Gill's hit When I Call Your Name. James is ably abetted here by members of The Johnson Mountain Boys, including Dudley Connell on harmony vocals, Tom Adams, David McLaughlin, and Marshall Wilborn, plus Mike Compton and Tinm Smith as he cuts loose on a repertoire of old and new bluegrass numbers and honkytonkers. (RP)

 
PEE WEE KING Bear Family BCD 15727 And The Golden West Cowboys ● CD $145.98
6 CD box set, 153 tracks, recommended
It's Bear Family, it's everything and it starts with King's earliest recordings for the tiny Nash label (later reissued on Bullet). From their, it picks up his entire 1946-1958 RCA Victor output, plus one recorded spoken autobiography by Pee Wee. Don't expect a slew of hot western swing. The listener who prefers hotter swing should also expect a substantial number of novelties and the occasional sticky-sweet ballads. For sure, King and the boys could cook when they wanted to. Throughout its existence, the Cowboys had excellent musicians in steel guitarist Bobby Koefer and fiddler Shorty Boyd. They didn't particularly stand out on the big hits like Tennessee Waltz and his 1952 crossover smash Slow Poke. Yet they did record some exciting swing like Forty Nine Women, Oh Monah! Ten Gallon Boogie and the 1950's instrumentals Flying Home and Woodchopper's Ball. Nor were they slouches on their white bread cover version of LaVern Baker's Tweedlee Dee. It wouldn't be fair to judge King by conventional standards of Western Swing. Unlike Bob Wills, who played Southwest dancehalls for decades, King & Co. toured the entire nation, concentrating on stage shows (not dances) in auditoriums and theaters in the South, the East Coast and Midwest. Stage shows required a wider variety of material than dances, which at least partly explains the schlock. Enough cannot be said about the quality of the booklet. The photos are particularly outstanding. The usual complete discography is included and Otto Kitsinger's outstanding research sheds new light on many areas of King's career. The downside is Kitsinger's convoluted, dull writing (noticeable even in the chapter titles), which makes reading his wonderful research tough going. (RK)

 
FRED KIRBY Cattle 252 The Original "Atomic Power" ● CD $18.98
26 tracks from the 30s through early 50s - Atomic Power/ Home (Answer To Home On The Range)/ My Carolina Home/ I've Been A Fool Too Often And Too Long/ My Red Hot Potato/ My Little Dog Loves Your Little Dog/ When It's Reveille Time In Heaven/ Get Along Old Paint, etc.

 
EDDIE KIRK Cattle 270 The Gods Were Angry With Me ● CD $18.98
25 tracks by fine California singer recorded in the 40s.
EDDIE KIRK: A Petal From A Faded Rose/ An Armful Of Heartaches/ Blue Bonnet Blues/ Blues Stay Away From Me/ Born To Lose/ Candy Kisses/ Careless Kisses/ Dear Hearts And Gentle People/ Four Hearts/ Honey Costs Money/ How Do You Mend A Broken Heart/ I'd Rather Hear Most Anything (than Hear You Say We're Through)/ No Tears Tomorrow/ Promise Me/ Saturday Night Time Blues/ Save The Next Waltz For Me/ Solitary Blues/ Sowing Teardrops/ Sugar Baby/ The Gods Were Angry With Me (with Recitation By Tex Ritter)/ The Gods Were Angry With Me (without Recitation)/ The Two Years We Were Married/ Unfaithful One/ You Drove Me To Another's Arms/ You Little Sweet Little You

 
PEE WEE KING King 3800 Hall Of Fame, Inducted 1974 ● CD $9.98

 
RED KNUCKLES & THE TRAILBLAZERS Sugar Hill 3767 Shades Of The Past ● CD $15.98

 
ALISON KRAUSS Rounder 0235 Too Late To Cry ● CD $15.98
The teenaged Ms. Krauss is a smooth fiddler with the traditional chops (demonstrated here on Dusty Miller ) to win national contests and an emotive singing style that's very effective. Not much traditional fiddling here, but some nice honky tonk singing and hot picking by Sam Bush, Russ Barenberg, Roy Huskey, Jerry Douglas, Tony Trishka, John Schmaltz and Lonnie Meeker. 9 originals here, 6 by a songwriter named John Pennell, plus a new age Scottish fiddle tune by Trishka & a very nice rendition of Rodney Crowell's Song For Life . A mite stylized for some tastes perhaps, and not enough of that great fiddling we've been hearing about (Strachwitz is a big fan), but the girl is a real talent. (RP)

 
ALISON KRAUSS Rounder 0275 I've Got That Old Feeling ● CD $15.98

 
ALISON KRAUSS Rounder 0325 Now That I've Found You ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 44 min., recommended
Long time fans of this delightful lady need to know that this issue is a compilation of tracks from her earlier releases going back to 1987, plus three very nice previously unreleased numbers. On the other hand, if you are new to Krauss and Union Station, her backup ensemble, this disc makes a terrific introduction to a major country talent. Of the unreleased tracks, I think that Atlanta is my favorite, but it's a close call. This set is Grade A from start to finish. Among the previously released gems are Every Time You Say Goodbye, Tonight I'll Be Lonely Too, Sleep On, When God Dips His Pen of Love in My Heart, and I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby. If you like gentle, mostly acoustic country music, led by a plaintive voice, this is a must-buy. (DH)

 
ALISON KRAUSS & THE COX FAMILY Rounder 0307 I Know Who Holds Tomorrow ● CD $15.98

 
ALISON KRAUSS & UNION STATION Rounder 0265 Two Highways ● CD $15.98
Alison Krauss is still in her teens, but she is making a lot of noise in contemporary bluegrass circles. Her fiddling is good enough to have won her a spot on the touring Masters of the Folk Fiddle show, and her singing voice reveals a honky tonk worldliness that belies her tender years. Union Station is an excellent comtemporary bluegrass band, but Ms. Krauss is clearly the reason for their existence. Bassist John Pennell is a talented composer and contributes three originals. The other members are Mike Harman on banjo and Jeff White on guitar. Highlights:the fiddling on Beaumont Rag and Wild Bill Jones and Alison's singing throughout. She has quite a set of pipes and a singing style that will be reminiscent to real bluegrass aficionados of the vocal style of Rhonda Vincent. (RP)

 
ALISON KRAUSS & UNION STATION Rounder 0285 Every Time You Say Goodbye ● CD $15.98
A real phenomenon in bluegrass music, Alison's previous album, "I've Got That Old Feeling", won the Bluegrass Grammy, sold over 100,000 copies, and received a fair amount of top 40 country airplay. Her popularity is due in part to her evolving vocal style (more country or even pop at times than bluegrass) and her fondness for contemporary song writers (Shawn Colvin and Karla Bonoff are both represented here). But, she is a wonderful bluegrass fiddler, a great harmony singer, and her band includes some of the hottest players in bluegrass. Guitarist Tim Stafford's playing is wonderful, and his vocals on Another Night, Another Day, Another Dollar are among the finest on the album. Tunes include Every Time You Say Good-bye/ Last Love Letter/ Cluck Old Hen/ Who Can Blame You/ It Won't Work This Time/ Cloudy Days/ Shield Of Faith and Jesus Help Me To Stand. (RP)

 
ALISON KRAUSS & UNION STATION Rounder 0365 So Long So Wrong ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 48 min., highly recommended Well, even though there's a slimmer, straight-haired, and blond Alison Kraus starring back at me from the cover photo here, the music being made by the remodeled singer is thankfully very much in the newgrass/country mode that has made both her and her delightful supporting cast musically famous. Among the highlights here are the title track, featuring Kraus on lead vocal; No Place to Hide, with Adam Steffey handling the lead; The Road Is a Lover, featuring Dan Tyminski on lead; Little Liza Jane, an uptempo instrumental; and the wistfully forlorn It Doesn't Matter, with Kraus again singing lead. Splendid music from a reliable, multi-talented acoustic ensemble, well worth the price of admission for both new-comers and long-time fans. (DH)

 
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON Sony Music A2K 48621 Singer/ Songwriter ● CD $21.98
A nifty 2-CD box of Kristofferson's best-loved songs. Disc 1 issues his own recordings of Jody & The Kid/ Me And Bobby McGee/ Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down/ Help Me Make It Through The Night/ Loving Her Was Easier/ They Killed Him and more (17 songs). The second disc contains many of the same songs, and a few more, as performed by Roy Drusky, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., Janis Joplin, et. al.

 
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON Sony Music AK 52415 Live At The Philharmonic ● CD $9.98
24 tracks, 78 min., good. Maximum-length reissue of Monument recordings, featuring Kris and friends Willie Nelson, Rita Coolidge and Larry Gatlin. Late John Garfield Blues/ Loving Her Was Easier/ For The Good Times/ Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down/ Okie From Muskogee/ Funny How Time Slips Away/ Night Life/ Me And Bobby McGee and more.

 

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