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COUNTRY, BLUEGRASS & OLD-TIMEY

Mel Tillis  ->  Tony Trischka

MEL TILLIS
PAM TILLIS
FLOYD TILLMAN
AARON TIPPIN
TOM, BRAD & ALICE
MITCHELL TOROK
HARRY TORRANI
TRADITIONAL GRASS
MERLE TRAVIS
RANDY TRAVIS
TONY TRISCHKA

 


MEL TILLIS Curb 77482 Greatest Hits ● CD $10.98
14 hits from various labels, including Coca Cola Cowboy/ Good Woman Blues/ New Patches/ Lying Time Again/ Tall Drink Of Water/ Midnight Love.

 
PAM TILLIS Arista 8642 Put Yourself In My Place ● CD $11.98
Mel's daughter knocked around the business as a singer-songwriter for quite awhile, with an album and some ineffectual singles on Warners about eight years ago. This is her real debut, complete with Highway 101 producers Paul Worley and Ed Seay. It has the snap of 101, and most of the songs are Tillis originals co- written with others. Among the masterpieces are the dark, Irish- flavored, impressionistic Melancholy Child," the sorrowful "Blue Rose Is," witty "Draggin' My Chains" and her first big hit: the Harlan Howard-Max Barnes tune "Don't Tell Me What To Do." She shows her skill with her daddy's shuffle style on "Ancient History. There's but one real goof: "Maybe It Was Memphis," a tune that proves that you gotta do more than mention Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner to conjure up Southern flavor. A minor wrinkle in an album that can only be called a major success. (RK)

 
FLOYD TILLMAN Collector's Choice 68 The Best Of Floyd Tillman ● CD $15.98
A most welcome reissue since there have been practically none of the original recordings of this great Texas honky tonk singer around for many years. This set features 24 tracks recorded for Columbia in the mid/late 40s featuring Floyd's distinctive vocals accompanied by some superb musicians. It includes several Tillman originals that have become country classics like Each Night At Nine/ Slippin' Around & I Love You So Much It Hurts along with with other fine hits and non-hits like Driving Nails In My Coffin/ Go Out And Find Somebody New / Please Don't Pass Me By/ Let's Make Memories Tonight/ I Almost Lost My Mind/ I Don't Care Anymore, etc.

 
AARON TIPPIN RCA 2374 You've Got To Stand For Something ● CD $15.98
 

 
TOM, BRAD & ALICE Copper Creek 179 Holly Ding ● CD $15.98
Entertaining collection of 19 old-time songs and tunes performed by the talented trio of Tom Sauber, Alice Gerrard and Brad Leftwich who accompany themselves on banjo, fiddle and guitar.

 
MITCHELL TOROK Bear Family BCD 15906 Caribbean ● CD $94.98

 
HARRY TORRANI Bronco Buster 9049 Yodelling To You ● CD $18.98
English top yodeler of the 30s and 40s.

 
TRADITIONAL GRASS Rebel 1708 I Believe In The Old-time Way ● CD $15.98
 

 
TRADITIONAL GRASS Rebel 1718 10th Anniversary Collection ● CD $15.98
 

 
TRADITIONAL GRASS Rebel 1721 Songs Of Love & Life ● CD $15.98
 

 
MERLE TRAVIS Bear Family BCD 15636 Folksongs Of The Hills ● CD $21.98
24 tracks, 79 min. essential
Both of Travis's acoustic albums are reissued on one CD with the beautiful color artwork from the 1947 Capitol 78 rpm album Folk Songs of the Hills reproduced on the cover. This reissues on one CD all of Merle's mining songs, many based on his boyhood of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. From that first album came Dark As A Dungeon That's All and of course, his original recording of Sixteen Tons. mixed with other traditional songs like Nine Pound Hammer and John Henry. Though the album meant little to country fans at the time and sold modestly to urban folkies. Travis returned to mining songs in 1963 with his less well-known LP Songs of the Coal Mines, again sung with just acoustic guitar, these songs dealing in greater detail with the miner's life in tunes like Miner's Strawberries, (a term for beans), Black Gold, Pay Day Come too Soon and Bloody Brethitt County. The original liner notes, inexplicably omitted here, were written by Merle's brother John. Vintage shots of Muhlenberg County coal country provide atmosphere. Labor song authority Archie Green's notes are enthusiastic, but deal more with labor issues than music. (RK)

 
MERLE TRAVIS Bear Family BCD 15637 1943-1955 ● CD $124.98
5 CDs, 144 tracks, 6 hrs 28 mins, essential
This monumental box presents most of the early studio recordings of guitarist Merle Travis, whose refinement of the thumb and finger style picking favored by his fellow Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, guitarists Mose Rager and Ike Everly made him world famous and among the most influential country instrumental stylists ever. "Travis style" guitar is universally understood to identify the uniquely syncopated, loping style which influenced everyone from Chet Atkins to Doc Watson. This set brings together recordings from as early as 1943 when he recorded with Grandpa Jones as The Sheppard Brothers, to his many recordings cut for Capitol Records on the West Coast up to the time just prior to Tennessee Ernie Ford's recordings of his classic composition Sixteen Tons, which made both their names household words. As Rich Kienzle demonstrates in the amazing 80 page book accompanying this set, Travis was far more than "just" a universally admired and imitated guitarist. He was great songwriter, uniquely at home with the American vernacular of the day; he wrote many hits for himself and others, including Cincinatti Lou/ Divorce Me C.O.D./ Dark As A Dungeon/ I Am A Pilgrim (adapted from an old religious song)/ Sweet Temptation/ So Round! So Firm! So Fully Packed!/ Fat Gal/ Kentucky Means Paradise/ Kinfolks In Caroline (all included here) and Smoke, Smoke, That Cigarette, written for Tex Williams and included. All of Merle's hits fro Capitol in the 40s are here featuring his engaging singing, great guitar along with the cream of west coast session players - Cliffie Stone, Tex Atchison, Speedy West, Joe Maphis, Joaquin Murphy, and more. They also included a ubiquitous accordion and muted trumpet sound, unique to west coast country recordings, which gave them a hybrid quasi-pop feel. More successful to these ears were the many classic guitar oriented instrumentals here, including such numbers as Blue Smoke/ Cannonball Rag/ The Shiek Of Araby/ Walking The Strings and Black Diamond Blues, along with superb country boogies such as Louisiana Boogie, reminiscent of the sound of Merle's friends The Delmore Brothers, a style at which he excelled. There are many oddities from Merle's career at Capitol here, including a session featuring vocals by Capitol boss and pop songwriting great Johnny Mercer, comedian Jerry Colonna, and others. Also included is Merle's classic rendition of Reinlistment Blues, which he sang in the movie "From Here To Eternity", and a session with the western swing vocal group The Whipporwills. All is all, this set and accompanying book represent a remarkable feat of research by producer Rich Kienzle. The music and packaging here represent a fascinating look at a unique period in recorded country music, seen through the life, times and music of one of its great originators. The book contains many vintage photos of Travis and his contemporaries, a healthy sampling of his drawings (Travis was a talented cartoonist), writings, and remembrances of friends, as well as a helpful discography. (RP)
MERLE TRAVIS: A Fool At The Steering Wheel/ A Little Too Fer/ A Too Fast Past/ A Too Fast Past/ Ain't That A Cryin' Shame/ Alimony Bound/ Any Old Time/ Bayou Baby (A Cajun Lullaby)/ Be On Your Way (& WESLEY TUTTLE)/ Beer Barrel Polka/ Black Diamond Blues/ Blue Bell/ Blue Smoke (remake)/ Blues Stay Away From Me/ Boogie In Minor (& THE WHIPPOORWILLS)/ Boogie Woogie Boy (PORKY FREEMAN TRIO)/ Boogie Woogie Boy (alt.) (PORKY FREEMAN TRIO)/ Bugle Call Rag/ Cane Bottom Chair/ Cannon Ball Rag/ Cincinnati Lou/ Crazy 'Bout You/ Crazy Boogie/ Cuddle Up A Little Closer, Lovey Mine/ Dance Of The Golden Rod/ Dapper Dan/ Dark As A Dungeon/ Deck Of Cards/ Deep South (& THE WHIPPOORWILLS)/ Divorce Me C.O.D./ Dry Bread/Lost John Boogie (& WHIPPOORWILLS)/ El Reno (& GEORGIA BROWN & JUDY HAYDEN)/ Faithful Fool/Love Must Be Ketchin'/ Fat Gal/ Fat Gal (false start)/ Follow Thru/ Gambler's Guitar/ Get Along Blues/ Give Me Your Hand (& WESLEY TUTTLE)/ God Put A Rainbow In The Clouds (& W. TUTTLE)/ Green Cheese/ Guitar Rag/ Guitar Rag/ Hominy Grits/ Honey Bunch/ Honey Bunch (alt)/ Hunky Dory/ I Am A Pilgrim/ I Can't Afford The Coffee/ I Got A Mean Old Woman/ I Like My Chicken Fryin' Size/ I Used To Work In Chicago (& TIN EAR TANNER)/ I Used To Work In Chicago (DUSTY WARD)/ I'll Have Myself A Ball/ I'll See You In My Dreams/ I'm A Natural Born Gamblin' Man/ I'm All Thru Trusting You (DUSTY WARD)/ I'm Knee Deep In Trouble/ I'm Pickin' Up The Pieces Of My Heart/ I'm Picking Up The Pieces Of My Heart/ I'm Sick And Tired Of You, Little Darling/ If You Want It, I've Got It/ Information Please/ It May Be Too Late (& WESLEY TUTTLE)/ John Henry/ Jolie Fille (Pretty Girl)/ Kentucky Means Paradise/ Kinfolks In Carolina/ Kinfolks In Carolina/ Knee Deep In Trouble/ Lawdy, What A Gal/ Lazy River/ Leave My Honey Bee Alone/ Let's Settle Down(&WHIPPOORWILLS)/Done Rovin'/ Little Miss Sherlock Holmes/ Louisiana Boogie/ Memphis Blues/ Merle's Boogie Woogie/ Merle's Boogie Woogie (alt.)/ Merle's Buck Dance (& HANK PENNY)/ Missouri/ Muskrat/ Muskrat/ Nine Pound Hammer/ No Vacancy/ Oh Why, Oh Why Did I Ever...(& JERRY COLONNA)/ On A Bicycle Built For Two (Daisy Belle)/ Out On The Open Range (& W.TUTTLE & S.FISHER)/ Over By Number Nine/ Petticoat Fever/ Philosophy/ Rainin' On The Mountains (& WESLEY TUTTLE)/ Rainy Day Feelin'/ Re-Enlistment Blues/ Ridin' Down To Santa Fe (SHUG FISHER)/ Rockabye Rock/ Saturday Night Shuffle/ Saturday Night Shuffle/ Seminole Drag/ Shut Up And Drink Your Beer/ Sioux City Sue/ Sixteen Tons/ Sixteen Tons (false start)/ Sleepy Time Gal/ So Long, Farewell, Goodbye (& GRANDPA JONES)/ So Round! So Firm! So Fully Packed!/ Spoonin' Moon (& GEORGIA BROWN & JUDY HAYDEN)/ Start Even/ Steel Guitar Rag/ Steel Guitar Rag/ Steel Guitar Rag (alt)/ Steel Guitar Stomp (& HANK PENNY)/ Sunshine's Back In Town/ Sweet Temptation/Don't Hang Me That Old Line/ T For Texas (Blue Yodel #1)/ That's All/ That's All/ The Covered Wagon Rolled...(& JOHNNY MERCER)/ The Devil To Pay/ The Sheik Of Araby/ The Steppin' Out Kind (SHEPPARD BROS)/ The Waltz You Saved For Me/ This World Is Not My Home/ Three Times Seven/ Too Much Sugar For A Dime (& BROWN & HAYDEN)/ Trouble, Trouble (& THE WHIPPOORWILLS)/ Tuck Me To Sleep In My Old `Tucky Home/ Turn My Picture Upside Down/ Two Is A Couple (And Three Is A Crowd)/ Two Time Annie (BOB McCARTHY)/ Wabash Cannon Ball (& KAY STARR)/ Walking The Strings/ Weary Lonesome Me/ What A Shame/ What Will I Do/ When Mussolini Laid His Pistol Down(McCARTHY)/ When My Baby Double Talks To Me/ When Rosie Riccoola Do The...(&JERRY COLONNA)/ Won't Cha Be My Baby/ You Better Try Another Man/ You'll Be Lonesome,Too(SHEPPARD BROS)

 
MERLE TRAVIS Country Routes RFD 14 Hoedown Shorts & Films ● CD $16.98
27 tracks, recommended
Yet another of Country Routes' exploration of Travis's California radio career, one with both strengths and flaws. 14 Travis performances come from for Armed Forces Radio's Country Hoedown show, four soundtracks from late forties "soundie" films and six from his 1951 Snader Telescriptions. He performs Merle's Boogie Woogie (not Boogie Woogie Feelin') with the fiery guitar of Joe Maphis nearly equals the Capitol version, on which Merle overdubbed multiple guitar parts. Just as exhilarating are his live versions of Knee Deep In Trouble, Bayou Baby and his slow, bluesy Midnight Special. Backed by members of Tex Williams's Western Caravan, he tears through Louisiana Boogie, Cincinnati Lou and Fat Gal. The four soundtracks from Soundies (film jukeboxes of the 40's) are inferior to the 1951 Snader tracks, which include solo acoustic performances of Lost John, Nine Pound Hammer and Dark As A Dungeon. Of the band tracks, Travis sang two numbers with then-wife Judy Hayden. The backup band mixes Hometown Jamboree band members including Speedy West and Harold Hensley with other L.A. sidemen. Lackadaisical production and programming mar the set. You'd Better Be There and Talking Boogie by Tex Williams and Answer The Phone by Ernest Tubb are excellent, but don't belong on a Merle Travis compilation. California collector Lou Curtiss's notes are enthusiastic but sometimes speculative and inaccurate. (RK)

 
MERLE TRAVIS Country Routes 20 Turn Your Radio On ● CD $16.98
30 previously unissued transcriptions - six from 1944 with Merle as a member of Wesley Tuttle & His Coonhunters, 12 from the famed Town Hall party 1959/60, four duets with one of Merle's early influences Mose Rager, four from "Country Hoedown" (1956), two from Cal's Corrall (1961) and three from "melody Ranch" (1965)

 
MERLE TRAVIS Razor & Tie 82214 Sweet Temptation - Best Of Merle Travis, 1946-1953 ● CD $15.98
20 track collection of some of Merle's all time classics - Cincinnati Lou/ Divorce Me C.O.D./ Sixteen Tons/ Blue Yodel No. 1/ Three Times Seven/ Sweet Temptation/ Dry Bread/ Lawdy, What A Gal/ Deep South/ Kinfolks In Carolina, etc

 
MERLE TRAVIS Rounder 0451 In Boston 1959 ● CD $15.98
Previously unissued live concert recorded by Mike Seeger featuring one of the greatest and most influential guitar players. Merle is in top form playing solo on an acoustic guitar performing some of his most well known tunes Nine Pound Hammer/ Dark As A Dungeon/ Re-Enlistment Blues/ Sixteen Tons/ Muskrat/ Lost John/ Memphis Blues/ I Am A Pilgrim and others. Also includes some brief spoken interludes where he talks about his work in the film "From Here To Eternity", childrens songs, hollywood and more.

 
RANDY TRAVIS Warner Bros. 25435 Storms Of Life ● CD $11.98
`Storms Of Life' was my vote for the best new country record of 1986 (and '85 and '84 too). Travis is an incredible singer with a warm, rich and amazingly expressive voice. Here he has some of the best songs written in the 80s with beautiful and sympathetic arrangements. This CD brings home all the warmth of his vocals and clarity of the arrangements. (FS)

 
RANDY TRAVIS Warner Bros. 25568 Always & Forever ● CD $11.98
Randy Travis is one of the great country discoveries of the mid 80s and his first Warner Brothers album "Storms Of Life" was one of the best country albums in a long time. In fact that album was so good that it was almost inevitable that the follow up album would be a disappointment. And, unfortunately, that is the case with this new release. Randy still sings better than almost anyone - he could probably sing the alphabet and it would sound good! He is let down somewhat by the material which is, for the most part, mushily romantic songs which do not have the strength of the lost love songs on the first album and there are some downright mediocre songs here like the incredibly lightweight Too Gone, Too Long or Anything . There are some very good songs here - Randy's own Good Intentions and the rocking What'll You Do About Me are probably the best. The arrangements here are also a little slicker than on the first album. I have a horrible feeling that Randy is being pitched to a pop country audience which is a shame - he is too great a talent to have it wasted. Don't get me wrong - this is not a bad album - it just could (should) have been much better. (FS)

 
RANDY TRAVIS Warner Bros. 25738 Old 8 x 10 ● CD $10.98
Randy's third album from 1988 is pretty disappointing: four magnificent numbers, two of them Travis originals, may be among his best ever. But they're surrounded by some of the dullest, most uninspired filler heard on anyone's recent album, much like the problem his last album had. Honky Tonk Moon is cute enough, but it's numbers like Old 8 x 10 and Randy's own Promises, sung with a solitary acoustic guitar that rise above chaff. His searing performance of David Lynn Jones's Here In My Heart is nearly as moving, as is another Travis original, It's Out Of My Hands . One of the worst songs, Deeper Than The Holler , which sounds like some Tin Pan Alley bozo's idea of country, was written by, of all people On The Other Hand's Don Schlitz and Paul Overstreet. The Blues In Black And White is as compelling as a Chipmunks record. Don't misunderstand - Randy's not going pop rock, but given his past work, four out of ten ain't good. (RK)

 
RANDY TRAVIS Warner Bros. 25972 An Old Time Christmas ● CD $11.98
Randy caresses us through Christmas with this selection of standards and a few originals, done in his inimitable country style.

 
RANDY TRAVIS Warner Bros. 25988 No Holdin' Back ● CD $10.98
Randy Travis's 1986 debut album, "Storms Of Life" has been universally accepted as a classic and his succeeding albums have maintained the hard-country sound. But they've been dogged with extremes in material. Mixing a few blockbuster tunes with hack jobs penned by current "hot" Nashville songsmiths has given the last two LPs an almost jarring unevenness. This time, they got it right. Travis's lone composition, No Stoppin' Us Now is fine, but the non-originals from the dry-humored Card Carryin' Fool and the sarcastic Have A Nice Rest of Your Life are outstanding. When Your World Was Turning For Me, Mining for Coal and He Walked On Water equal any of his best ballads. Even his cover of the old Guy Mitchell/Marty Robbins hit Singin' The Blues is outstanding, and though his extravagant orchestrated interpretation of Brook Benton's 30 year old R&B hit It's Just A Matter of Time, might scare his fans, it was never represented as a country cut. It first appeared on "Rock, Rhythm and Blues" a 1988 Richard Perry-produced anthology of Warners artists covering R&B classics. The performance works because Travis never tries to be anyone but himself. The result? His best album since that first one. (RK)

 
RANDY TRAVIS Warner Bros. 26310 Heroes And Friends ● CD $11.98
Celebrity duets with Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Vern Gosdin, Loretta Lynn, B.B King, George Jones, Clint Eastwood (!) and more.

 
TONY TRISCHKA Rounder 0171 Robot Plane Flies Over Arkansas ● CD $15.98
 

 
TONY TRISCHKA Rounder 0294 World Turning ● CD $15.98
 

 
TONY TRISCHKA Rounder 11508 Dust On The Needle ● CD $15.98
This CD features 17 of Tony's tunes culled from his six Rounder albums along with three previously unissued tracks. Sidemen include Darol Anger, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, Kenny Kosek, Roger Mason, Todd Phillips, Alan Seanauke and many other

 

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