RED FOLEY…TATER PIE…BRITISH ARCHIVE OF COUNTRY MUSIC…BACM CD D 064
This is another gem from the British Archive of Country Music, 21 songs from Red Foley running nearly 61 minutes in total. It opens with a song from 1933 and the 21 tracks cover from then until 1952. The change of quality over the years is noticeable and the sound changes with the improvements made to recording techniques. The vocal difference between the 1931 and the 1941 recording is marked, and one could even say that from then on Red was classed as a “Country Crooner”. The first 2 songs have backing from the Cumberland Ridge Runners, the next 5 feature the sound of WLS Rangers ( from the WLS National Barn Dance), 3 tracks have the Cumberland Valley Boys. There’s songs with the Andrews Sisters, Roberta Lee and Evelyn Knight and 2 with the Nashville Dixie Landers. Some of his hits are included like the oddly named Cincinnati Dancing Pig, Don’t Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes, I’m Throwing Rice, and My Heart Cries For You as well as top ten hits from his Nashville days, recorded with guitarist Hank Garland and steel guitarist Jerry Byrd. There’s also a couple of Big Band tunes showing the way country was moving back then towards the Nashville Sound, and Foley was indeed one of the original performers to dabble there. It’s a great “classic collection” of songs you probably won’t get anywhere else nowadays and it comes well presented as ever. You can check their catalogue at www.bacm.users.btopenworld.com which now runs to nearly 100 titles.

OTHER TRACKS:-Single life is good enough for me-Echoes of my old plantation home-Be honest with me-I don’t care anymore-Is it true?-Pals of the saddle- Someday somewhere sweetheart-I’ll be true to you my darling-Too many blues-I’m waltzing with a broken heart-Just a man and his dog-Somebody’s crying-I want to be with you always-Dixie-Tater Pie-Sugar foot rag square dance-I gotta have you.

LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS…HOT DIGGITY DOG…BRITISH ARCHIVE OF COUNTRY MUSIC…BACM CD D 063
This CD has 25 songs running for over 68 minutes from Little Jimmy Dickens. He co- wrote 8 of the songs, while Boudleaux Bryant contributes 6, Vic Mc Alpine 2, Fred Kirby 2 more, Johnny & Jack another 2 and even one from Hank Williams. The over-riding feature on this CD ( apart from the twin lead guitar intro that became a trademark for Jimmy) is the Novelty Song. Out in California Tommy Collins was the Novelty King of Songwriters but in Tennessee Jimmy Dickens had the upper hand when it came to recording Country Novelty Songs. But Jimmy was more than just a novelty singer, his version of country ballads are always a joy to listen to. Never a chart-topper (apart from the much misunderstood song May the Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose) Jimmy continued to sell his recordings in large quantities, one of the reasons he was with Columbia Records from 1948 to1972 and a Grand Ole Opry Member from 1948 to 1957 (when he left to tour) returning in 1975 . Check out the song titles listed below and I bet you recognise most of them as Dickens Classics. Check out www.bacm.users.btopenworld.com and you can order direct by telephone at 01304205000.

SONGS:- I’ll be back a Sunday-I’m in love up to my ears-Sign on the highway-If it ain’t one thing it’s another-Then I had to turn around and get married - F-o-o-l-i-s-h M-e Me-Walk chicken walk-Just when I needed you-When that love bug bites you-Lola Lee-Lovin’Eyes-Out of business-Cold feet-Bessie the heifer- It may be silly but ain’t it fun-What about you-Galvanised washing tub-I’ve just got to see you once more-Hot diggidy dog-I wish you didn’t love me so much-They don’t know nothing at all-Waitress waitress-Wedding bell waltz-You don’t have love at all-Old country preacher.

SLOW HORSES…MOVE ON ...AGR Television /UNIVERSAL RECORDS…AGR2006
4 talented musicians, plus one great female vocalist make up Slow Horses and this is their 3rd Cd release. Gaby Schmidt is the lead vocalist and co-songwriter on 3 of the songs, while drummer /accordion player organist and pianist, percussionist and back ground vocalist Tom Dyba co-writes 7 songs. Christian Ulrich Schulz plays bass and mandolin, sings back-up, sings lead on 3 songs, writes 2 and co-writes 4 more. Marc Hothan plays all the guitars, co-writes one songs and also sings backup. The 4th musician is Lutz Lagemann on steel guitar. They added 2 songs co-written by Nashville singer Sherrie Austin “I’m still falling” (recently No 1 on the Hot Disc Top 20) and “Three Times Over You” to great effect. The first thing to catch your attention is the outstanding vocals from Gaby, her voice sits on top of the instrumentation and harmony vocals and its crystal clear. The first class instrumentation is excellent and never overshadows the vocal. The song writing is excellent and any of the songs stand beside anything out of the states nowadays. This is not another broken-English-copy- cat-country-album that regularly appear here from across the continent, but an album that deserves to win the awards its nominated for in Europe. Its up-to-date positive country that deserves great success and I’m sure success is just around the corner. The band are also touring in the UK for selected dates in 2004 so look out for them. The Cd is available here in the UK through [email protected] or telephone 0208 968 1232, or you can also check the web at www.slowhorses.com

SONGS: I'm Still Falling-Slow Horses-I Missed A Chance -Blue Train-Three Times Over You-What Took You So Long -Lovers 'Til The End-That's Why I Got To Be With You- Shelter -Long Gone-Follow That Road-The Past-All I Ever Need-Day By Day.

ROYAL WADE KIMES ... .A DYIN’ BREED ..... WONDERMENT RECORDS…RWK888
From the opening strains of the guitars on this CD you know you’re in for real country. Unashamedly western country, this is white hats and long coats, but surprising with a “today” country sound, similar to what we got from Moe Bandy, Randy Travis and Gene Watson in their day. He wrote “Bury the Hatchet” for Garth Brooks and “Calling All Hearts” and for Brooks and Dunn. This is his 3rd CD release and on the strength of this CD I’ll be looking out for his earlier offerings. Wade writes 5 songs himself and co-writes one each with Sheb Wooley, Larry Holden, Louise Parker, Larry Crowley, Kent Blazey, and one with Leslie Easterbrook and Larry Crowley. So there’s 11 songs on the CD plus a hidden bonus track “In My Land” a patriotic offering post 11th September . Wade writes the songs and sings while Mike Noble also sings on “Ball & Chain” and plays acoustic, lead and B3. George Bradfute plays bass, lead, cello and strings. Delightful musical runs and arrangements and all well produced by the trio of Wade, Mike and George . Jimmy Mattingly is on fiddle, Jim Hoke on harmonica, Rick Seratt plays keyboards and Steve Ward on drums and percussion. They play with great finesse, a group of talented players who certainly deserve more than just passing comment. The overall sound is a delight and the story songs tell how is was and how it is nowadays in the life of a cowboy. The other bonus is the great duet “Night Birds” with Garth Brooks guesting. I particularly enjoyed “Mile High Honey” ( s recent Top ten Single hit across Europe), “A Dying Breed” “Good Guys” and “Night Birds”. Look out for it you won’t be disappointed. His web site is at www.royalwadekimes.com

OTHER SONGS :- Puttin’ On - Ball & chain- Senorita-There ain’t enough miles-Boogie man-Gunslinger-Where have all the cowboys gone

JOSH LOGAN…GENTLE RAIN…EARTH WIDE MUSIC SERVICES
Fiddles, steel guitar, good songs and a great voice all make up this 13 track collection from Josh Logan. Not a newcomer to the scene, Josh found chart successes with Curb Records back in 1989, and has continued with a steady string of charting singles over the years, both in the US and across Europe laterally with songs from his last releases. This one is co- produced by Milan Bogdan and Benny Quinn in Nashville. Josh co-writes 5 songs with Charles Miracle and Michael Shipley writes 4 plus one with Josh and Charles. Thelma Wilson writes another 2 and there’s one each from Renee Coale Willis and Ladonna Brewer. As this is a compilation of songs previously released the musicians are not listed but certainly make the CD an interesting listen, with lovely steel and fiddle licks and great arrangements. My songs picks include “Drinking Overtime”, “Gentle Rain” and “I passed over Georgia”. Josh has a memorable voice akin to his influences and all his CDs and more information is available on his web site at www.joshlogancountry.com.

SONGS:-Trying to love the hurt right out of me-Provin’ myself wrong-It’s what I see-Gentle Rain- I didn’t see you walk away- 50 dollars-I passed over Georgia- She took everything but me-Drinkin’ overtime-I was your fool-The castle-Tumblin’ down-I’m tired of being something (that means nothing to you).

RANDY THOMPSON …THAT’S NOT ME… JACKPOT- RECORDS…LCD 1105
Randy is another new name to European audiences thanks to the Country Hot Disc and his recent single “Sound of the Rain” hit No 1 at the end of February for 2 weeks. He’s one of the new breed of singer-songwriters seeking his fame and fortune in Nashville, outwith and within the structures and boundaries created by the music industry there. Independence rings across this CD, this is how it is, take it leave it, its what he does and if you enjoy it great, if not…. its still what he does. What he does is write great songs, sings them with attitude, stays within the musical boundaries of recording a great album and still holds your attention, because its all done so well. Reminds me of Guy Clark, Joe Ely, Steve Earl and others of that ilk, who made it their way and who still make it today. Giving this a “country tag” is not enough, as it crosses the borders outwith just country. Randy writes 8 of the songs ( one co written with Jim Junkala and one with Bill McGinnis), it opens with Steve Young’s “The whole world” and the 9 tracks run for 35 minutes. If you like your country Cds with the edge heres one for your collection. “Sound of the rain”, “Dance until dawn” and “Only one way” sums it up for me…. Impressive.. www.randythompson.net for more details and to order a copy.

OTHER SONGS:-That’s not me-The lovin’ shown-If love is what you want-Unknown zone-If that wasn’t love.

LAURA GAUTHIER…CABIN FEVER…LITTLE BOOTS MUSIC…LBM 001.
Canadian Laura Gauthier is listed as a singer-songwriter-actress and this is her 2nd Cd release in a career that spans 30 years. To label her music in one genre would be a dis-service to her, as once again heres a singer who crosses boundaries outwith country music. This one is produced by Richard Bell with a host of top Canadian session players. Its poetry set to music with Laura writing all the tracks herself except “Memory of the dance” which she co-writes with Richard Bell. The songs move through many moods and tempos with the ballads getting a fair share of the CD. Laura’s voice is haunting at times like on “You bring out the best in me” “Memory of the dance” and “The year of goodbyes” and takes a raunchier style on the up-tempo songs like “I’m Late” ( a recent European single release), and ”I can feel you thinking ‘bout me”. The folk and jazz influences in her earlier career shine through at times and overall this is a most enjoyable listen. As I said its not strictly country but I’m sure country radio will be generous to Laura and play this CD. It runs for 42 minutes. More info from her web site is at www.lauragauthier.com

OTHER SONGS:-I’m in love with a man-Go ahead-Bye bye I gotta go-Change-Cabin fever.

SPEED LIMIT … NOWHERE TRAIN … MJ MUSIC…MJMCDSLO8
This is Speed Limits 10th anniversary year as professional musicians and to celebrate, they are treating their many fans to a 17 track CD. They return to the Mervyn J Futter “Oasis” Studio and use the same set-up as for their previous CDs. So that means Mervyn produces and engineers and even plays guitars on one song. Apart from that Wayne Golden plays the acoustic and lead guitars, Scott Newstead keyboards and all other backings, Tony plays steel and Angie sings all lead and harmony vocals. The 17 songs run for 50 minutes and are all covers of well known and lesser known successful songs in the US and across Europe. The songs cut across the years from Ray Price’s “I’ll be there” and Roger Miller’s “Don’t we all have the right” to Hal Ketchum’s “He’s still in Dallas” and the Matraca Berg-Harlan Howard song “98.6 and falling”. In between they give us “Rose Coloured Glasses”, “I’ve cried me last tear for you”” Battle Hymn of Love” & “One beat at a time “ all favourites with country fans and country dancers over the years. They also add some newer songs like Clint Black-Hayden Nicholas compositions ”The Gulf of Mexico”, “This Nightlife“, “Walkin’ Away” and “Muddy Water”, Rodney Crowell’s “Loving You makes him a better man”, Wood Newton’s “Cowboy Up” Byron Hills “Joe’s Place”, the title track Carlene Carter’s “Nowhere Train” and Joan Besson’s “Will I do Till the real thing comes along “.They stay true to the originals but add their own special flavour to each song. Angie’s voice is steady and distinctive but never over-stretched and Tony’s steel playing must rank with the best in Britain. Overall production and arrangement is outstanding and once again full marks to all concerned for another winner.

Its available from Speed Limit (Tel No:- 01354 660603) at their gigs, or you can buy on-line at www.mjmusic.co.uk.

PAUL RUTTER…ANYTHING IT TAKES…MASTERSONG MUSIC… MSM 010
Paul Rutter is new name to me and among his earlier career credits is writer of the song “Heaven Can Wait” recorded by Paul Young in 1991 (Paul own version is included here).His biography states he is UK based, but currently working the acoustic scene in New York with his band. The 11 songs are all written by Paul and the arrangements vary from stone country to the heavier sound with the rock beat and from the full band sound to the acoustic guitars and bass accompaniment on band 11 “Lover for life“. It’s a modern sound with occasional throw backs to earlier country sounds making good use of steel guitar and fiddles even banjo and harmonica. I have to say that it’s a songwriters album with the lyrics being the major factor on this recording. The basic thread is lost and found love across the album, apart from 2 songs, “Tastin’ the music” and “On the tracks to Tennessee”. Among the musicians theres Steve Emms on a variety of guitars, Kenny Byng and Tommy Bannister on steel, Stuart Reid on fiddle, James Cole banjo, and Paul plays piano, drums, keyboards and all percussion. Check out www.paulrutter.net for more details.

OTHER SONGS:-The water comes rushing in-The best of me-Stronger than before-Won’t cry for love-Fool’s Gold-Anything it takes-Hungry Eyes.



SOULSCRIPT…THERE BY NOW…NOBODY BIG RECORD

SOULSCRIPT is made up of Chris Williams, Eric Whittenburg and Tommy Bowden who discovered a mutual interest in home recording and soon began playing and writing music together. This led to their debut CD “There by Now” which features 11 original songs written by the band. The songs have since been played in over a dozen countries. The single “Lead me Home” charted at No 8 in Europe in June last year in the ECMA Chart . Chris is the lead vocalist and primary keyboard player, an impressive lead guitarist, equally at home on electric or acoustic or slide guitar. Eric is a multi-talented multi-instrumentalist who plays bass, banjo, mandolin, drums, harmonica and percussion on the CD. Tommy plays rhythm guitars and does vocal harmony, as well as engineering and mixing the album. The sound is well within the boundaries of country, leaning towards the rock side of the genre. While radio would probably not play all the tracks here, a little steel guitar or even dobro would make the songs more country radio friendly and transpose a basic guitars album. But then do the band want to go there?, probably not. It is an enjoyable listen with some strong songs from a very tight trio. Their web pages are at www.soulscript.com

SONGS:-Heavy-Blink-Wannabe-Pollyanna-There by now-Rough-Better days-Kansas City-Lead me home-Movin’ On-Welcome back.

© 2004 Country Music & Dance Scotland