JONES - THE ROCK: STONE COLD COUNTRY 2001 - BNA RECORDS
Every George Jones CD release nowadays is eagerly awaited. When it comes
to market leaders his is still No 1 and few have a shelf life as long as George.
The CD is divided into three sets or groupings, 8 songs, 3 songs, & 1 song. The main group of 8 songs is produced by Emory Gordy
Jr., featuring one set of 22 musicians, including 8 string players, and
8 backup singers in different studios. In this set there's "The Rock"
the title track (a Russell Smith song), the Patriotic "50.000 Names"
(written by Jamie O'Hara) Karen Staleys lovely "Half Over You",
Stewart Harris's "I Am" and the catchy "Honey Hush"
from new writer Dillon Dixon. The CD is rounded off with "Tramp On
The Street" from Billy Joe Shaver's pen given a slow waltz tempo.
These are all ballads where George shines, but some of the arrangements
are overdone to my mind. "The Man He Was" (a Harley Allan song)
is uptempo and very catchy while "Around Here" is a veritable
tongue twister at times. Keith Stegal produces this 3 song section, with
musicians and one backup singer (John Wesley Ryles). "Wood &
Fire" is another stone country song, "I Got Everything"
is punchy while "What I Didn't Do" is Jones at his finest, lovely
fiddle & steel from Stuart Duncan & Paul Franklin. Jones knows
how to pull at the heartstrings and does every chance he gets on this
outing. That leaves the one song that is the much-hyped duet with Garth
Brooks. Oh it does work a Cajun feel to "Beer Run" which was
to do so much for both careers (and still could). Produced by Garth Fundis with
8 musicians, it's a real go-er. It is a great album, but somehow for me it just
doesn't gel like other great Jones Albums. Maybe they are just trying too hard
to gain airplay and have somehow lost the plot along the way. Jones is singing
better than ever, the songs are all outstanding, and on the strength of this
he should be around for more great albums for years to come.
BEST OF COUNTRY 2001 VARIOUS ARTISTES SSHR RECORDS
Once again Stuart Cameron takes the Best of British tracks from his Country
Hotdisc over the last 12 months and he has a wealth of talent to
choose from. This CD has 21 tracks from 19 different artistes. (Dave Sheriff
and Clive John have 2 tracks each). It runs for 75 minutes, featuring
tracks that made the heights on the EMS European Independent Country Charts over
the last year. In the main the artistes sing their own songs 16 of the tracks
are written by British artistes. This CD has now become an important part of
the British Country Scene, and is regarded by many as the "Seal of Approval" to
the success of British Country. This is the 3rd year that the CD has been available
and is much sought after by country collectors. Its available from the artistes
at their gigs, or direct from [email protected] or on 0771201 8467.
Blue Blue Memory-Plain Loco; Born Survivor-Dean Foster; Playa Survivor-Dave
Sheriff; In a Whisper-Clive John; It's All Over Now-The Drive; Halley
Came To Jackson-Lucy Monroe;
Don't Play Faded Love-Gerry Ford; For Hank's Sake Keep It Country-Dane
Stevens; Honey-Marston Ferry; Everything I Ain't-Sean Kenny;
'Scuse Moi My Heart-John McCane; Jerusalem Syndrome-Susan Hedges; Big
Rig Blues-Tom Lambert;Won't Look Back Again-Chris McLernon; Sweat Child
Of Mine-Jenny Sinclair;
He'll Never Hurt That Way Again-Dixon J. Scott; Left Hand Drive-Left
Hand Drive; So Alive-Paul Copstake; The Wolves Cry-Clive John; "24/7/52"-Dave
Sheriff; She Sure Makes Leaving Look Easy-Kyle Esplin.
OF HANK WILLIAMS Sr. VOLUME 2, B.S.W. RECORDS - LARRY BUTLER/ WILLIE NELSON
Back in June/July 2000 I received Volume 1 and I said then "If you
like Hank Williams songs or Willie Nelson singing or traditional country
music you'll certainly love this CD". The same applies here, great
sound, great songs, great singers, and great production. 9 of the 10 songs were
written by Hank (No 10 by Joseph Mercer
Window Shopping). This is the second part of the session that made Volume
one, same musicians, same production team and same quality production.
David Zettner produces, and plays steel, lead, acoustic and bass guitars.
Tony Pickens plays fiddle while Ron Knuth plays fiddle and mandolin, Bobby
Bowman on steel also and Charlie Lindsey additional lead. If you got Vol
1 you'll have to get Vol 2, if not get both now. They are both available
here in Britain direct from JWH promotions on Tel No 01653 658135 or by
E-mail: [email protected]
DANIEL O'DONNELL - LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE. ROSETTE RECORDS
Daniel's first CD marks many changes at this point in his career. There's
a new record company and label, a return to the style that launched his career,
and his debut as a songwriter. The CD has 16 songs, and runs for 52 minutes.
The song mix is varied, new songs, old favourites, and country, Irish, slow ballads,
uptempo and waltzes. "Among The Wicklow Hills",
"Belfast", and "Roads of Kildare" are the Irish content.
"All I Want Is You" and "I Will Think Of You" are
the original songs co-written by Daniel with Marc Roberts. These songs
show great potential for a strong songwriting partnership. "Live,
laugh,love" from Allan Shamblin, the Paul Overstreet/Don Schlitz
hit "On The Other Hand", Conway's "I Can't See Without
You" "Rosa Rio" (Cindy Walker), Raymond Froggatt's "Somewhere
Under The Sun" and "Only This Moment Is Mine" all get a
lovely country arrangement. The rest, all country classics stand alone,
"Green Green Grass Of Home", "Waltz Across Texas",
"Don't Say Love", "Thank You For Loving Me", and "One
More Time". If ever anyone suggests that Daniel is not country, play
"One More Time" and let him or her repeat the suggestion in
all honesty. To my ear I found this CD the best COUNTRY album Daniel has ever
recorded (with the exception of the last two tracks, Belfast and Roads to Kildare).
I'm sure his legion of fans and many others will agree. Top marks all round to
producer John Ryan, Engineers Phillip Begley/Daire Winton and the great team
of top musicians. Recommended.
JOHN WAYNE - ROPIN' DREAMS - B.S.W. RECORDS
BLACK - BENEATH THE SHELTERING SKY - SOUTHBOUND RECORDS
13 year old John Wayne Schultz makes his recording debut with this CD
(10 songs/30 minutes).
He's been playing the local country scene around Karnes City, Texas,
with the occasional guest spot at Oprys and Fairs outside the state. He's won
a few showcase/talent shows along the way. On this outing he's surrounded by
7 talented musicians, and 3 backup singers. Frank Wilson co-produces with Wink
Tyler in Austin Texas. It's another stone country CD from BSW, with a great sounding
country band, never overstated, always right behind the voice, as they should
be. Texas style two steps, shuffles, ballads, swing, a waltz, a honky tonk, with
fiddle and steel guitar, piano, bass, acoustic, lead, & drums. Good songs too, all sung with ease, showing
a remarkable maturity for one so young the odd note falter on songs 8,9,10
are quite acceptable at this stage in his career and "Angel Things",
"Playboy" "Texas Man" & "Queen of My Sole" are
standout tracks for me. Available on Tel No 01653 658 135 or E-mail [email protected]
Karyn's debut album is a electric mix of folk and country, with a little
MOR added to appeal to a wider audience. Her influences include Bob Dylan and
Leonard Cohen and songwriter Jacque Brel, but now that she's moved to Nashville
and recorded there, the country influence is shining through. Singer songwriter
she writes 6 of the songs on this 10 - song/33 minutes disc. Some are with co
writers including Clay Mills who also plays acoustic guitar, sings BGV's and
co produces with Karyn. Theres a little fiddle, lap steel and mandolin, but in
the main it's a keyboard/guitars/drums album. It's a sensitive performance of
a good singer singing good songs. The backing is very tight, and so positively
in-tune with the performer. It's certainly not a country album but the content
could gain airplay on some country programme. The other 4 songs include the Mick
Jaggar/Keith Richard song "As Tears Go By"/ David Wilcox's "Eye Of The
Hurricane"/ Lucinda Williams' "I Just Wanted To See You So Bad"
and the Clay Mills song "Alabama Rain". Good quality recording
well worth a listen or two. [www.southboundrecords.com/]
BATY - ALL THE MUSIC - THATCH RECORDS (UK)
came to notice through the Country HotDisc, and he's done well on the European
Independent Charts. His new single is on a recent HotDisc, and this CD "400
Horses" (A trucking song). Theres 14 songs
here all written by Danny and recorded at various sessions with a variety
of musicians (14 in all). It's another stone country album, lots of steel
guitar and fiddles, but too many slow ballads, too much lost love and
broken hearts for a CD. (Even the Christmas song "I Still Believe
in Santa Claus" has a little girl with tears in her eye's etc).
It's a well produced collection of songs, many of them well written and in
the main well sung. The new single "400 Horses", "This
January" and "Old Memories Die Hard" are my pick. It runs
for 52 minutes and it's available through Country on Broadway. [website]
BIG BILL CAMPBELL - ROCKY MOUNTAIN RHYTHM -BRITISH
ARCHIVE OF COUNTRY MUSIC
Now there a blast from the past, for all those who like their music pre-hillbilly,
back when country was western. I'm talking 30's 40's and early 50's when a country "band" was
a big orchestra, and non - electrified.
Clarance Campbell was born in 1891 in Alberta Canada, came to England
for World War 1, and went back home wounded and returned to England in 1930.
He took the stage name of "Zeke Winters" and broadcast
for Radio Luxemborg, before he joined the BBC (Light Programme) as Big
Bill Campbell and his Rocky Mountain Rhythms. Bill hosted the programmes,
wrote the scripts, led the orchestra and occasionally narrated or sang
the odd song. The ensemble included Peggy Bailey "The Sweet Voice
of The West" (from Brighton), Buck Douglas "The Old Cowpuncher",
Ronnie Brohn and his Ole Squeezebox. Other vocalists included Jack Curtis
(Chief White Eagle) and Pat Cross and his Mounties. The shows were broadcast
from "The Old Log Cabin" and were among the most popular on
the BBC until his death in 1952. Bill and company made many recordings over the
years and it's these recordings (not the radio shows) that are here. 20 tracks,
63 minutes featuring all the above individually and in company. The songs include
Strawberry Roan, Rocky Mountain Rhythm, Covered Wagon Lullaby, Hillbilly Jamboree,
Red Hills, Old Cowboy, Sourdough Dan, Cowboys Sweetheart and the Old Red Barn.
While the accents are typically English Music Hall, and Bill the only Non-English
on the recordings, I found them a real blast of nostalgia, not that I remember
the period myself I'll have you know.
Available direct from The British Archive of Country Music, 163 The Gateway,
Marine Parade, Dover CT16 1 LJ. £10.00 inc P&P. (Tel No: 01304