country Archive

Short Cuts: July Mini-reviews, Part One

The in-box here at Musoscribe World Headquarters is overflowing once again, thanks in no small part to my focusing on other matters (including my recent move and impending nuptials) in addition to keeping up my reviewing schedule. So here’s the first in another series of shorter-than-usual reviews. All of these albums were worth my time;

Album Review: Lone Justice – This is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983

One of the most enduring characteristics of 80s “alternative” music was the cross-fertilization between country and rock. This 80s variant rocked harder than earlier efforts by The Byrds and/or The Flying Burrito Brothers, and was exemplified by a number of excellent bands. The Long Ryders, The Blasters, Jason and the Scorchers, BoDeans and Lone Justice

Album Review: Various — The Del Shannon Tribute: Songwriter Vol. 1

The history of rock’n’roll is littered with artists who — for one reason or another – never quite got their due. Del Shannon is on that list. Best known as the man who gave the world the 1961 hit “Runaway,” he also achieved permanent trivia question-fodder status as the first American to cover a Beatles

July Capsule Reviews, #3 of 3

Today I present yet four more capsule reviews. Today’s crop includes reissues on the Real Gone Music label. RGM is committed to unearthing long- (and unjustly-) forgotten music, and these four titles — all from the too-often-maligned decade of the 1970s – certainly meet that standard. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150

Album Review: Merle Haggard – The Complete ’60s Capitol Singles

First it was Collectors’ Choice Music, and then when they shuttered their label, it was Real Gone Music. Now Omnivore – another boutique label run (in the best way) by crate-digging types – is following suit and putting together complete collections of a- and b-sides of 45rpm singles form an array of important artists. And

Album Review: Phil Lee – The Fall & Further Decline of the Mighty King of Love

I nearly passed this one by. The cover turned me off, and as I’ve mentioned before, with so many CDs for potential review, an off-putting cover image can sometimes be enough to cause me to just move on. Guy with a hat? Check. Acoustic guitar in hand? Check. Female cover model who I find, well,

Album Review: Wanda Jackson – The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles

If you want a potted history – albeit one from a provocative perspective, and with its own axe to grind – of Wanda Jackson‘s career, I recommend you put your hands on Nick Tosches‘ Unsung Heroes of Rock’n’Roll: The Birth of Rock in the Wild Years Before Elvis. But for the music itself, your go-to

EP Review: Wanda Jackson – Capitol Rarities

Though her recording career began in the mid 1950s, I only discovered Wanda Jackson sometime around 1993. Sometime that year I was in a Wal-Mart (I rarely if ever set foot in one of those these days, but back then I sometimes did) and found myself poring over a bin or “remaindered” books reduced for

Album Review: Clover — Clover and Fourty Niner

Clover doesn’t rank in the top tiers of musical acts in terms of notoriety. Mention their name to most music fans and you’ll earn a blank stare. If they’re known at all, it’s generally for one of two things: the guy who fronted the band in their later days was a singer called Huey Louis

Album Review: Walk the Line (Soundtrack)

Val Kilmer would be proud. The nearest, best antecedent to the soundtrack to the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line is Kilmer’s vocal turn in Oliver Stone’s The Doors. In the Cash film, the decision was made to use new recordings of old classics, rather than having actors lip-synch to other recordings (presumably robbing