Aaron Watson RED BANDANA

Aaron Watson
Red Bandana
Big Label Records

Real Deal Authentic and Thought Provoking Modern Country.

Aaron Watson first graced our pages way back in 2016 when we highlighted a single; then nothing until last year when another single appeared to promote a small UK Tour then nothing until now; and it appears he’s become an overnight star ! Well; I know he’s put a hard shift in over the last 20 years or so ….. but; well ….. you know what I mean!
As I do, I played this album a couple of last week and while a few songs stick in my mind, it wasn’t until Thursday morning when I slid the disc in the car stereo for a road trip to North Northumberland that ‘it hit me’; and soon I was pretending I was in a Ford Mustang speeding around the back roads of Wyoming (I have a good imagination).
Just like last week opening track The Ghost of Guy Clark sounded sublime in the Summer sunshine; but today the story unravelled a bit more and I eventually decided that this was going to not just be my Favourite Song here; but just may be my Song of the Year …… it’s going to take something really, really special to better this, trust me.
RED BANDANA is a bit of an emotional and musical roller-coaster with Watson galloping through a couple of Rockers with gusto and potency with Dark Horse and Kiss That Girl Goodbye being sure fire fan favourites ‘in concert’ and Live or Die Trying; while a bit ‘sentimental’ for my tastes is the type of Gung-Ho Country that will have them dancing in the aisles.
Personally I prefer Watson’s more soulful slower songs; but as I say that’s my taste; but when his Good Ole Boy fans hear Blood Brothers, I hope it makes them look deep into their souls and question their political allegiances.
Oddly in this day and age the album is made up of 20 songs; and normally I would question Watson’s quality control filter; but within reason every song here is worthy of release; with the singer taking us into some interesting territory on Burn Em’ Down and To Be The Moon, but Dark Horse, You On My Hands and Shake a Heartache are are all classy Modern Country; and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If it hadn’t been for that Guy Clark song either of Riding With Red or the title track Red Bandana would surely have been my Favourite Song; and there’s still time …… but both tick all of the boxes I have for a sentimental and romantic song; although in this case I *presume ‘Red’ of Red Bandana fame is Watson’s Grandfather and obviously still an inspiration to the songwriter to this very day.
Both Country Radio and Legends are ‘preaching to the choir’ but both are rather exceptional songs that look back to the Glory Days; and I did find myself mouthing the words a couple of times.
Watson isn’t afraid to tread off the traditional Country Radio Format at times; El Comienzo Del Viaje and Blood Brothers spring to mind; but none more so than the very brave song, 58 which closes is the album, and the all too brief 58 seconds feel like a punch to the gut when you realise that Watson is singing about the 58 who lost there lives …… no….. were murdered in Las Vegas in 2017.

I’ve been in several arguments over the last few years as to what Country Music ‘is’ in 2019; and while it covers a lot of areas …….. Aaron Watson and his songs are as authentic as they come these days; he’s the Real Deal in a way many of the Huge Hat acts that adorn the magazines could ever dream of being.

*My copy arrived without a Press Release.
Released 21st June 2019

The Shootouts QUICK DRAW

The Shootouts
Quick Draw
Megaforce Records

Hey! Hey! Hey! Putting the Western Swing Into Honky-Tonking Classic Country!

This is another album where tracks keep popping up on my I-Phone ‘random selector’; but yesterday was the first time I’ve actually sat down and listened to it from start to finish.
Being the old duffer I am, I remember when Akron, Ohio was the Capital of Alternative Music and seemed the most exotic place on earth; so it’s probably no real surprise that Akronites Ryan Humbert (lead vocals, acoustic guitar) and Brian Poston (electric & acoustic guitar) would find each other via a mutual love of proper Country music and go on to record their own version in all it’s glory and occasionally glamour.
Opening track Cleaning House virtually crackles with excitement as the guitars Twang like a call of nature; and the ‘ear-worm’ chorus ain’t too bad either.
As is common in the modern idiom The Shootouts cleverly draw bits and pieces from lots of Classic genres to make what becomes their very own swaggering style; giving us some crash-bang Rockabilly (or is it Honky-Tonk?) with Who Needs Rock & Roll and If I Could both leaving you breathless by the end and even the title track Quick Draw as an instrumental sounds like Duanne Eddy and Link Wray having a shoot-out at the OK Coral wine bar in downtown Akron!
With so much history to draw from, The Shootouts manage to do their melancholy love songs with ease and grace, making Lonely Never Let Me Down and the pedal-steelfest that is Losing Faith in Being Faithful sounding like dusty old 60’s Country love songs that have been gussied up, cherished and refreshed by their owners; but they are actually brand new from the box.
For me; and I hope you too, this album is totally refreshing in such a mad world that we find ourselves in today; and three songs in particular have caught my attention and tugged at my tired old heartstrings.
If We Quit Now not just stars that sublime pedal-steel again, but just when you’re not expecting them a string section of Buddy Holly proportions sweep in and whisk you off into Country Music Heaven for three minutes or so. Then, Radio Jesus is definitely a song that defies genre and it’s only the subject matter that makes you realise that it is a contemporary Country song of the Alternative persuasion; and the other song is one I instantly recognised; though I doubt 99.9% of record buyers will.
Each time my I-Phone has played the jaunty It Must Be Love my brain presumed it was some olde songe from ye darke ages; possibly an Everly Brothers minor hit; then I finally read the Press Release.
Damn my eyes and curse my memory!
It Must Be Love is already a Favourite Song on RMHQ by it’s writer, the divine Stacey Earle (aunt of Justin T and sister of Steve) who has been a favourite here for many years. If you only buy or listen to one song, make it this and then, not only buy QUICK DRAW but then discover the delights of Stacey Earle herself.
You won’t regret it.
If there’s a downside to this album (and there isn’t) it would be finding a category to comfortably fit it into in a Record Shop…… or perhaps that’s the cunning plan; the shop has to buy five copies to put one each into Country, Honky Tonk, Rockabilly, Western Swing and even Americana.
Clever that!

Released 10th May 2019

Every Day is Record Store Day!!!

My best mate and mentor Alan Cackett is doing his yearly clear out of ‘review LP’s’ that he has received from across the spectrum of Country Music in the last year or so. All are Country 12” LPs – all are brand new and mint condition

The following are 12” Vinyl LPs – there is only one of each available.

They are all in brand new mint condition. Though they are priced up, any sensible offers will be considered. Postage is additional.

Do not send any payment until it has been confirmed that the items that you want are still available.

We take PayPal go to www.paypal.co.uk and make payment to  – cackers.ac@gmail.com

Cheques or postal orders made payable A. Cackett

Please note we no longer take Credit or Debit card payments

Please write or e-mail: cackers.ac@gmail.com and tell him we sent you!
Alan Cackett, 24 Bray Gardens, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 9TR;

BILL ANDERSON – From This Pen – 1964 US Decca (City Lights; Still; Saginaw Michigan, etc) £9

EDDY ARNOLD – I Love How You Love Me – US RCA Sealed (Wichita Lineman; Little Green Apples) £7

ROY DRUSKY – Songs of the Cities – US Mercury (Abilene; El Paso; Waterloo; Detroit City) £7

GARLAND FRADY – Pure Country – 1973 Countryside Records (Teach Your Children , etc) £15

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – 1985 MCA (Forever Young; Abilene; Early Morning Rain, etc) £6

SONNY JAMES – The Gentleman From the South – US Capitol Sealed (Behind The Tear, etc) £8

DAVE KIRBY – Singer, Picker, Writer – 1973 US Dot (Is Anyvody Goin’ To San Antone, etc) £15

NICOLETTE LARSON – In the Nick Of Time – 1979 Warners (Isn’t It Always Love, etc) £15

LOUVIN BROTHERS = Tribute to the Delmore Brothers – US Capitol (Nashville Blues, etc) £20

SONNY, HAL & WELDON  – Steel Guitars of the Grand Ole Opry (Sonny Burnette, Hal Rugg, Weldon

Myrick)  – US Mega Records – £25

CARL SMITH – Let’s Live A Little – US Columbia (If Teardrops Were Pennies; Slowly, Nr Moon, etc) – £12

CARL SMITH – A Gentleman In Love – (No One Will Ever Know; Easy To Please, etc) £9

VARIOUS – Wanted: C7W For Collectors Only – Japanese Capitol 2-LP Lavish set (Freddie Hart; Leon Payne; Cliffie Stone; Hank Thompson. Eddie Kirk, Tommy Collins, etc) £20

 PORTER WAGONER – The Bottom of the Bottle – US RCA (Wino; The Bottle Let me Down, etc) £9

CLIFF WALDRON & New Shades of Grass – US Rebel Records (Silver Wings; Bill Cheetham, etc) £15

BILLY WALKER – A Million And One – US Monument (Lonely Street, Elusive Butterfly, etc) £9

BILLY WALKER – Lovin’ & Losin’ – US RCA (Honky Tonkitis; She’s Just getting’ By, etc) £9

GENE WATSON – Paper Rosie – 1977 US RCA Sealed (You Gave Me A Mountain; Desperations, etc) £15

TAMMY WYNETTE – Womanhood – UK Epic (What’s A Couple More; Mem’ries’ Standing Tall) £8

FARON YOUNG – Free And Easy – 1980 MCA (The Woman In My bed; As Usual, etc) £9

DOLLY PARTON – The World Of 2-LP set (Dumb Blonde; Put It Off Until Tomorrow) US Monument £12

CHARLEY PRIDE – Roll On Mississippi (You Almost Slipped My Mind, etc) 1981 RCA – £9

CHARLEY PRIDE – There’s A Little Bit Of Hank In Me (You Win Again, etc) 1980 RCA – £9

MARTY ROBBINS – With Love (Sometimes When We Touch; Oh My Papa, etc) 1980 CBS – £8

MARTY ROBBINS – The Legend (Good Hearted Woman; The Air That I Breathe, etc) 1981 Columbia £9 

BILL ANDERSON – From this Pen (Saginaw Michigan, City Lights, I Missed Me,etc) US Decca – £12

GUY CLARK – Old No.1 (Rita Ballou, Let Him Roll, LA Freeway, etc) US RCA – £9

DAVE DUDLEY – The Original Travelling Man (Rocky Top, Athing called Love, etc) US Mercury – £8

GERRY FORD – Let’s Hear It For the Working Man (Slippin’ Away duet with Jean Shepard) Big R – £9

TONY GOODACRE – You’ve Made My Life Complete (Bingo Bill, etc) – UK Outlet) – £9

WAYLON JENNINGS & the Kimberlys – Country-Folk (MacArthur Park, etc) US RCA – £12

MICHAEL JOHNSON – Wings (Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder, etc) US RCA – £9

GEORGE JONES – Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Race Is On, She’s Mine, Tender Years) UK Epic – £6

GEORGE JONES – In A Gospel Way (Why Me Lord, Mama’s Hands, etc) UK Epic – £5

LOUVIN BROTHERS – Country Heart & Soul (We Could, Don’t Laugh, Tennessee Waltz,etc) US Tower £12

KEITH MANIFOLD -Inheritance (I Recall a Gypsy Woman, I Can’t Stop Loving You, etc) UK DJM – £9

POCO – Cowboys & Englishmen (Cajun Moon, Sea of Heartbreak, Price of Love, etc) US MCA – £9

MARTY ROBBINS – The Double-Barrelled (Gunfighter ballads + Return of Gunfighter) 2-LP set – £6

HANK SNOW – Songs of Vol. 1 (Poor Little Jimmie, Big Wheels, etc) German CMH 208 – £12

DON WILLIAMS – Expressions (It Must be Love, Tulsa Time, etc) UK ABC Gatefold sleeve – £7

THE AMAZING RHYTHM ACES – Amazing Rhythm Aces (1979 ABC Records) – £15

THE AMAZING RHYTHM ACES – Burning The Ballroom Down (1978 ABC Records) – £15

THE AMAZING RHYTHM ACES – Too Stuffed To Jump (1976 ABC Records) – £15

REX ALLEN JR. – Today’s Generation (SSS International Records) – £30

JOHN ANDERSON – All The People Are Talkin’ (1983 Warner Bros. Records) – £12

JOHN ANDERSON – Countrified (1986 Warner Bros. Records) – £12

JOHN ANDERSON – Eye Of A Hurricane – (1984 Warner Bros. Records) – £12

JOHN ANDERSON – I Just Came Home To Count The Memories (1981 Warner Bros. Records) – £12

JOHN ANDERSON – Tokyo, Oklahoma (1985 Warner Bros. Records) – £12

HOYT AXTON – Live! (1981 Jeremiah Records) – £12

HOYT AXTON – Saturday’s Child (Vee-Jay Records) – £30

HOYT AXTON – “Where Did The Money Go?” (1980 Jeremiah Records and Tapes) – £12

BOBBY BARE – Ain’t Got Nothin’ To Lose (1982 CBS) – £12

BOBBY BARE – As Is (1981 CBS) – £12

BOBBY BARE – Bare (1978 CBS) – £12

BOBBY BARE – The Best of Bobby Bare (1986 Colt Records) – £18

BOBBY BARE – Down & Dirty (1980 CBS) – £12

BOBBY BARE – Drunk & Crazy (1980 CBS) – £12

BOBBY BARE – Hard Time Hungrys (1975 RCA Records) – £15

BOBBY BARE – Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies (RCA Records) – £15

BOBBY BARE – Sleeper Wherever I Fall (1978 CBS) – £12

BEAUSOLEIL – Bayou Boogie (1987 Rounder Europa) – £15

BELLAMY BROTHERS – Beautiful Friends (1978 Warner Bros Records) – £10

BELLAMY BROTHERS – Country Rap (1986 Mike Curb Records) – £10

BELLAMY BROTHERS – Plain & Fancy (1977 Warner Bros Records) – £10

BELLAMY BROTHERS – Restless (1984 Mike Curb Records) – £10

BELLAMY BROTHERS – Sons of the Sun (1980 Warner Bros Records) – £10

BELLAMY BROTHERS – Strong Weakness (1982 Elektra/Asylum Records) – £10

BELLAMY BROTHERS – The Two And Only (1979 Warner Bros Records) – £10

BELLAMY BROTHERS – When We Were Boys (1982 Elektra/Asylum Records) – £10

BELLAMY BROTHERS – You Can Get Crazy (1980 Warner Bros Records) – £10

THE GOSDIN BROTHERS – Sounds Of Goodbye (Capitol Records) – £15

BREAD – Bread (Elektra) – £12

BREAD – Baby I’m – A Want You (Elektra) – £9

BREAD – Guitar Man (Elektra) – £9

BREAD – Lost Without Your Love (Elektra) – £9

BREAD – Manna (Elektra) – £9

BREAD – On The Waters (Elektra) – £9

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS – Grand Ole Opry (Rounder Special Series 07) – £15

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS – Louvin Brothers (Capitol Records) – £15

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS – Deluxe Double Series (Capitol Records Japan) – £35

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS – The Family Who Prays (Capitol Records) – £25

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS – “Songs That Tell A Story” (Rounder Records) – £15

ED BRUCE – The Tennessean (1977 CBS) – £15

JIMMY BUFFETT – Changes In Latitudes Changes In Attitudes (ABC Records) – £12

JIMMY BUFFETT – Havana Daydreamin’ (ABC Records) – £12

JIMMY BUFFETT – Last Mango Paris (MCA Records) – £12

JIMMY BUFFETT – Riddles In The Sand (MCA Records) – £12

JIMMY BUFFETT – Volcano (MCA Records) – £12

J.J. CALE – Okie Okie (Shelter Recording) – £25

JOHNNY CASH AND THE TENNESSEE TWO – Original Golden Hits Volume II (Sun) – £6

SPADE COOLEY – Swinging the Devil’s Dream (Charly Records) – £12

SEALS & CROFTS – Get Closer (Warner Bros Records) – £12

SEALS & CROFTS – I’ll Play For You (Warner Bros Records) – £12

SEALS & CROFTS – Takin’ It Easy (Warner Bros Records) – £12

SEALS & CROFTS – Unborn Child (1974 Dawnbreaker Music) – £12

DICK DAMRON – Countryfied (Columbia Records) – – £12

DICK DAMRON – The Cowboy And The Lady (Westwood Recordings) – £12

DICK DAMRON – Soldier Of Fortune (Westwood Recordings) – £12

DICK DAMRON – A Thousand Songs Of Glory (Westwood Recordings) – £12

LEW DEWITT – On My Own (Compleat Records) – £18

DILLARD HARTFORD DILLARD – Glitter Grass From The Nashwood Hollyville Things (1977) – £18

LEHMAN ENGEL AND CHORUS – Songs of the Civil War Era (Fontana) – £15

DAVID GATES – Falling In Love Again (Elektra Records) – £10

DAVID GATES – Goodbye Girl (Elektra/Asylum Records) – £10

MERLE HAGGARD & STRANGERS – A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today (Capitol Records) – £15

MERLE HAGGARD – Big City (1981 CBS) – £9

MERLE HAGGARD – Close-Up (Capitol Records) 2-LP set – £15

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – Hag (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – Presents His 30thAlbum (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – If We Make It Through December (Capitol) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – It’s All In The Movies (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad) (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – I Love Dixie Blues (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – Keep Movin’ On (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – Let Me Tell You About A Song (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – Mama Tried (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – My Love Affair With Trains (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD – Okie From Muskogee (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD & WILLIE NELSON – Poncho & Lefty (1982 CBS) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD – A Portrait of Merle Haggard and the Strangers (US Capitol) – £18

MERLE HAGGARD – A Portrait of Merle Haggard (Capitol Records) – £15

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – Pride In What I Am (Capitol) gatefold £18

MERLE HAGGARD – Rainbow Stew Live (MCA Records) – £15

MERLE HAGGARD – Ramblin’ Fever (MCA Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – The Roots Of My Raising (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD – The Great Merle Haggard Sings (Capitol Records) – £15

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – Someday We’ll Look Back (Capitol Records) – £12

MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS – The Way It Was In ’51 (Capitol Records) – £15

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – Back To Down East Country (RCA Records) – £15

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – The Best Of George Hamilton IV (1970 RCA Records) – £9

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – The Best Of George Hamilton IV Vol 2 (RCA Records) – £9

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – Canadian Pacific (1969 RCA Records) – £12

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – Down East Country (RCA Records) – £15

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – Early Morning Rain (RCA Records) – £10

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – The Hits Of George Hamilton IV (RCA Records) – £10

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – North Country (RCA Records) – £15

GEORGE HAMILTON IV – Out West Country (RCA Records) – £15

EMMYLOU HARRIS – Elite Hotel (WEA Records) – £12

EMMYLOU HARRIS – Luxury Liner (Warner Bros Records) – £12

EMMYLOU HARRIS – Pieces Of The Sky (Reprise Records) – £12

GEORGE JONES – 20 Favourites of George Jones (Liberty/United Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – George Jones (United Artists Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – The Best Of Hank Williams (Mountain Dew Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – The Best of George Jones Collector’s Special (1975 RCA Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – Blue Side Of Lonesome And Other Country Favourites (Pye Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – Country Music ’72 (International Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – Famous Country-Music Makers (RCA Records) – 2-LP set – £18

GEORGE JONES – Good Ol’ Boy (1984 Sundown Records) – £9

GEORGE JONES – I’ll Share My World With You (EMI Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES & GENE PITNEY – It’s Country Time Again! (Musicor Records) – £18

GEORGE JONES – The King Of Country Music (EMI Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – Life (Pye Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – Love Bug (EMI Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – My Country (Musicor Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – Pure Country (Andover Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – The Race Is On (Sunset Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – White Lightning (ACE Records) – £15

GEORGE JONES – Wrapped Around Her Finger (Pye Records) – £10

GEORGE JONES – You Gotta Be My Baby (RCA Records) – £10

GORDON LIGHTFOOT – Did She Mention My Name? (United Artists Records) – £15

GORDON LIGHTFOOT – The Way I Feel (United Artists Records) – £15

HANK LOCKLIN – The Great Hank Locklin (Allegro Records) – £12

CHARLY MCCLAIN – Paradise (1983 CBS) – £12

RONNIE MILSAP – Love Will Never Pass Us By (Buckboard Records) – £15

ANNE MURRAY – There’s A Hippo In My Tub (Capitol Records) – £18

ANNE MURRAY – This Way Is My Way (Capitol Records) – £25

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Live Recordings Nashville Stars On Tour (1970 RCA Recordings) – £15

WILLIE NELSON – 20 of the Best Willie Nelson (1982 RCA Records) – £10

WILLIE NELSON – Always On My Mind (1982 CBS) – £12

WILLIE NELSON – City Of New Orleans (1984 CBS) – £12

WILLIE NELSON – Classic Willie Nelson (United Artists Records) – £15

WILLIE NELSON – The Electric Horseman (1979 Columbia Pictures) – £10

WILLIE NELSON – Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be) (1981 CBS) – £15

WILLIE NELSON – Willie & Family Live (1978 CBS) 2 LP set – £18

WILLIE NELSON – Night Life (Everest Records) – £15

WILLIE NELSON – Phases & Stages (Atlantic Records) – £18

WILLIE NELSON – Shotgun Willie (Atlantic Records) – £18

WILLIE NELSON – Stardust (1978 CBS Records) – £12

WILLIE NELSON WITH WAYLON JENNINGS – Take It To The Limit (1983 CBS Records) – £12

DOLLY PARTON – 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs (1980 RCA Records) – £12

DOLLY PARTON – All I Can Do (1976 RCA Records) – £12

DOLLY PARTON – The Bargain Store (RCA Records) – £12

DOLLY PARTON – Coat Of Many Colors (RCA Records) – £12

DOLLY PARTON – Here You Come Again (RCA Records) – £12

DOLLY PARTON – In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad) (RCA Stereo) – £15

DOLLY PARTON – Jolene (RCA Records) – £12

DOLLY PARTON – Love Is Like A Butterfly (RCA Records) – £12

DOLLY PARTON – My Tennessee Mountain Home… (RCA Records) – £15

DOLLY PARTON – New Harvest… First Gathering (RCA Records) – £12

JOHNNY PAYCHECK – She’s All I Got (Epic Records) – £12

JOHNNY PAYCHECK – Somebody Loves Me (Epic Records) – £12

JOHNNY PAYCHECK – Someone To Give My Love To (Epic Records) – £12

JOHNNY PAYCHECK – Song & Dance Man (Epic Records) – £12

THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS – Favourite Cowboy Songs (RCA Records) – £12

THE STONE PONEYS (feat L.Ronstadt)  – Evergreen Vol. 2 (Capitol Records) – £18

JIM REEVES – 50 All-Time World-Wide Favourites Boxset (RCA Records) – £20

JIM REEVES – The Abbott Recordings Volume 1 (RCA Records) – £15

JIM REEVES – The Abbott Recording Volume 2 (RCA Records) – £15

JIM REEVES – A Touch of Velvet (RCA Records) – £8

JIM REEVES – The Country Side of Jim Reeves (RCA Records) – £12

JIM REEVES – Good ‘N’ Country (RCA Records) – £12

JIM REEVES – I’d Fight The World (RCA Records) – £8

JIM REEVES – The Jim Reeves Way (RCA Victor) – £8

JIM REEVES – My Friend (RCA Victor) – £8

JIM REEVES – Old Tige (1980 RCA) – £8

JIM REEVES – Jim Reeves On Stage (RCA Victor) – £12

JIM REEVES – Jim Reeves And Some Friends (RCA Victor) – £9

JIM REEVES – Special Collection (RCA Records) – £10

JIM REEVES – There’s Always Me (RCA Records) – £10

JIM REEVES – We Thank Theee (RCA Victor) – £10

JIM REEVES – Young & Country (RCA Limited) – £12

JIM REEVES – Yours Sincerely (US RCA Victor) – £12

CHARLIE RICH – Behind Closed Doors (1973 CBS) – £10

CHARLIE RICH – Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) (Columbia Records) £10

CHARLIE RICH – Fully Realised (Philips) – £18

CHARLIE RICH – The Most Beautiful Girl (CBS Records) – £10

CHARLIE RICH – The Silver Fox (Epic Records) – £10

CHARLIE RICH – Sings The Songs Of Hank Williams & Others (Hi Records) – £15

CHARLIE RICH – Very Special Love Songs (Epic Records) – £10

MARTY ROBBINS – It’s A Sin (US Columbia Records) – £15

JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ – My Third Album (Mercury Records) – £15

KENNY ROGERS – Kenny Rogers (United Artists Records) – £9

KENNY ROGERS – Gideon (United Artists Records) – £9

KENNY ROGERS – Kenny (United Artists Records) – £12

LINDA RONSTADT – Don’t Cry Now (EMI Records) – £15

LINDA RONSTADT – Hand Sown… Home Grown (EMI Records) – £15

LINDA RONSTADT – Hasten Down The Wind (Asylum Records) – £15

LINDA RONSTADT – “Mad Love” (Asylum Records) – £15

LINDA RONSTADT – Prisoner In Disguise (Elektra/Asylum Records) – £15

LINDA RONSTADT – Simple Dreams (Elektra/Asylum Records) – £15

DAN SEALS – San Antone (EMI America Records) – £15

PAUL SIMON – Hearts And Bones (Warner Bros Records) – £15

RICKY SKAGGS – Don’t Cheat In Our Hometown (Sugar Hill Records) – £15

RICKY SKAGGS – Highways & Heartaches (1982 CBS) – £12

RICKY SKAGGS – Waitin’ For The Sun To Shine (1981 CBS) – £12

GEORGE STRAIT – Right Or Wrong (MCA Records) – £12

GENE WATSON – Memories To Burn (1985 CBS) – £12

WAYLON & WILLIE – Waylon & Willie (RCA Records) – £15

WAYLON – Are You Ready For The Country (RCA Records) – £15

WAYLON – Greatest Hits (RCA Records) – £9

WAYLON – Greatet Hits Vol. 2 (RCA Records) – £9

WAYLON JENNINGS – Honky Tonk Heroes (RCA Records) – £15

WAYLON JENNINGS – Ladies Love Outlaws (RCA Victor) – £15

WAYLON – The Ramblin’ Man (RCA Records) – £15

THE JONNY YOUNG 4 – Country Pride (Philips) – £35

RED SIMPSON – Sings A Bakersfield Dozen – US Capitol  – £15

RED SIMPSON – Truck Drivin’ Man – Dutch Capitol- £15

RED SIMPSON – I’M a Truck – US Capitol – £15

RED SIMPSON – Roll, Truck, Roll – US Capitol – £15

GARY STEWART – Out Of Hand – UK RCA – £15

GARY STEWART – Your Place of Mine – UK RCA – £15

GARY STEWART – Steppin’ Out – US RCA – £15

GARY STEWART – Little Junior – US RCA – £15

JESSE WINCHESTER – A Touch on the Rainy Side – US Bearsville – £15

JESSE WINCHESTER – Talk Memphis – US Bearsville – £15

THE BLUE SKY BOYS – Presenting. JEMFFF-104 including 32pp 11” x 11” book – £25

COMMANDER CODY & Lost Planet Airmen – Live From Deep in the Heart Of Texas – EMI – £9

JOHN DENVER – It’s About Time – RCA Fold-out sleeve + Lyric sheet – £9

DAVID FRIZZELL – Solo – Viva 1984 – £9

GEORGE JONES & TAMMY WYNETTE – We’re Gonna Hold On – Epic 1973 – £8

CHARLY McCLAIN – Charly – Epic 1984 – £12

ROGER MILLER – 1970 (Jody & the Kid; Mystery Train; Everybody’s Talkin’ etc) – Mercury £12

NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND – All the Good Times – United Artists Press Testing in full sleeve – £18

NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND – Dream – United Artists special envelope sleeve plus inner card sleeve – £15

PATTI PAGE – I’d rather Be Sorry (Dream Baby; Help Me Make It Through The Night, etc) Mercury – £9

CHARLEY PRIDE – Just Plain Charley (Me & Bobby McGee; Lonesome Fugitive; etc) RCA 1970 – £8

CHARLEY PRIDE – Make Mine Country (Banks of the Ohio; Before the Next Teardrop Falls, etc) RCA – £8

JERRY REED – Georgia Sunshine (Amos Moses; Preacher & the Bear; Mule Skinner Blues, etc) – £9

MARTY ROBBINS – the Master’s Call (Almost Persuaded’ Great Speckled Bird. Etc) – £8

MARTY ROBBINS – Come Back To me (Some Memories Won’t Die; Lover, Lover, etc) – £8

JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ – Rodriguez (Down on the Rio Grande; Mexico Holiday, etc) – £9

SLIM WHITMAN – Home On the Range (Dear Heart; Top of the World; Paper Roses, etc) – £7

FARON YOUNG – Before Four (Wine Me Up; Yellow Bandana; Goin’ Steady; Walk Tall, etc) – £9

Publicity Photos

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Garth Brooks (Upper Body Shot)

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Garth Brooks (Headshot)

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T. Graham Brown (Headshot)

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Merle Haggard (Headshot)

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Richard Leigh (Upper Body Shot)

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Neal McCoy (Upper Body Shot)

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David Slater – £3

Carl Smith

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Wynn Stewart (Upper Body Shot) – £1

Doug Stone (Upper Body Shot)

George Strait (Upper Body Shot)

Mel Street (Upper Body Shot)

Gene Stroman (Headshot) – £1

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Mel Tillis (Upper Body Shot)

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Conway Twitty (Headshot)

Ian Tyson

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Charlie Walker

David Walsh (Headshot) – £1

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Keith Whitley (Upper Body Shot)

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Don Williams (Headshot)

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Boxcar Willie (Upper Body Shot)

David Wills (Upper Body Shot) – £3

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Jesse Winchester (Upper Body Shot)

Mac Wiseman (Upper Body Shot) – £1

Tom Wopat (Headshot)

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Bobby Yates – £1

Daniel Meade & The Flying Mules LIVE MULES!

Daniel Meade & The Flying Mules
Live Mules!

Bringing the Good Times Back to Country-Blues!

This delightful little album from Glasgow’s finest purveyors of Countryish Music was recorded three years ago when the band were in the support slot for The Stray Birds in a hall in Scotland’s ‘Murder Capital’ ………Shetland (if the TV series is to be believed!) and only came to light a couple of months ago when Dan was having a bit of a ‘sort out’ of some tapes.
With only a tweak here and there the clarity of this recording puts many bigger names to shame and with so little chat belies the fact that this is a Live Album at all.
Rising River Blues comes from a Meade solo outing and gets new fizz added with the band absolutely on fire behind the chirpy singer-songwriter.
If you’ve ever seen Daniel play live, in any of his guises you will know he visibly enjoys what he does, which is a rarity in this industry, and that comes across especially on the self-effacing Let Me Off at the Bottom and If It’s Not Your Fault (I Guess It’s Mine) which also features some staggeringly intricate guitar work from Lloyd Reid too.
Earlier I described Meade’s music as ‘Countryish’, which it is, but there’s a healthy dose of olde worlde Blues in the mixer too; which comes to the fore on their rip-roaring cover of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee’s Hooray! Hooray! which closes the record in fabulouso fashion.
That Country-Blues hybrid is probably the template for the two singles that are included here too, their first ever being Long Gone Wrong and the twisted love song Please Louise which was their most recent at the time of recording.
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “This album is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get;” which brings me to my Favourite Song here, There’s a Headstone Where Her Heart Used To Be; a fairly simple song originally but here it becomes a veritable Country Hoedown, with Meade pouring his heart out in his best George Jones fashion, but with a punk spine to it. I absolutely love it!
Live Mules! Has been something of a ‘palette cleanser’ for me recently as I’ve used it in the car as a ‘bit of fun’ to tap my toes to in between listening to more ‘righteous’ and ‘serious’ albums by the great and the good; and everything from Mark Ferrie’s pneumatic bass playing, Thomas Ferrie’s rat-a-tat-tat drumming and Lloyd Reid’s understated yet still flamboyant guitaring and of course Dan’s distinctive singing have made my heart swell and occasionally skip a beat on a bunch of sharply observed and really smartly written songs ; and I can’t recommend this highly enough; especially if you want an introduction to the rare talent that is Daniel Meade for only £3.99!

Released March 1st 2019


Arlen Roth
Tele Masters
Aqquinah Records

These Telecasters Tell a Classy Country Music Story .

Where to start? Arlen Roth is described as both ‘legendary’ and ‘acclaimed’ in the accompanying Press Release and looking at the long list of guest contributors to his latest (and 16th album!) yet I’ve never heard of him.
A brief look at his Wikipedia page show us that while he’s not too shy in the limelight; he’s best known for his work behind the scenes be it onstage, on record, on film or via his prestigious ‘How To’ books and video or even his time as a columnist in Guitar Player magazine!
Here, Roth demonstrates and showcases the versatility of the Fender Company’s Telecaster guitar on a number of well known songs and tunes from across the decades and playing alongside some of the biggest names in the Music Industry.
The Twangtastic Remington Ride starts the party with a joyous ramble alongside Steve Wariner; and the way the notes fly out of the speakers you can easily imagine both players alongside Cindy Cashdollar on lap-steel were all grinning like ninnies during the recording.
For the pedants out there, there’s nothing really new or innovative here, so if that’s what you’re looking for STOP READING now; as this is an album dedicated to an industry’s love affair with a guitar….. no more and no less; and the result is beautiful beyond words.
Jack Pearson’s vocals on Key To The Highway take this rendition into Eric Clapton territory via JJ Cale on decaf coffee, it’s that laid back; but the guitar work is still mind boggling.
There are classic tunes associated with Fender’s finest here left, right and centre with Will Ray making Rumble even sleazier than I remember and Joe Bonamassa making his guitar strings sound like they are made from pure silk on Joe’s Blues; and the Titan of the Telecaster, William Kirchen esq. does what he does better than anyone else on this instrument on the magnificent Tuff Tele; while a song I would normally associate with a Gibson SG (I too can be pedantic!) Chuck Berry’s Promised Land gets added Country Twang via Jerry Donahue, and Sweet Mikey C’s smooth vocals are a credit to behold.
But, it’s the surprises that are totally unexpected are what make this album extra special. Mrs. Robinson a guitar song? Here it is, but anything featuring Albert Lee is going to be classy, isn’t it?
Funky Mama (a tribute to Danny Gatton) which not for the first time sees Arlen Roth himself take lead is truly splendorous, as he is on the beautiful Tennessee Waltz too, when daughter Lexie Roth provides some delicious smoky vocals making me want a whole album of this two singing The Classics in this manner.
Choosing a Favourite Track has been fun; as several certainly have their merits but I will choose two, the instrumental Bunky which sounds like Roth and Brad Paisley are trying to melt their strings! The other is a case of Arlen ‘keeping the best ’til last’ with a guest appearance from another undervalued ‘Legend’ Redd Volkaert on A Minor Thing, and the two sound like they are just sitting back in the studio at the end of the session as the youngsters are packing their gear away thinking,”I showed those old guys” only to receive a 6 minute effortless Masterclass in guitar playing and indeed picking from two Guitar toting Granddaddy’s with more talent in their little fingers than most hipsters will accrue in a lifetime.
While pretty much each track is significantly different from what goes before it or follows, there is a definitive Classical Country thread linking everything together here, but neither a Nashville one or Bakersfield either….. this is just pure damn Country Gold….. or should that be platinum?

Released February 22nd 2019


Bob Livingston
Up The Flatland Stairs
Howlin Dog Records

West of Bakersfield and East of Nashville.

With so much music floating around the ether I can’t possibly know everyone’s back catalogue when I receive a new album, and in the case of living in NE England this is especially so when it’s Country Music in most of its guises.
Yet I can still feel disappointed at not knowing singer-songwriters like Texan Bob Livingston. His CV includes stints in the Lost Gonzo Band, touring the Middle East (and beyond) and being friends and writing buddies with Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jerry Jeff Walker and a host of other Austin and Nashville names from my record collection.
Hey ho; enough about me.
A mournful harmonica opens Bob’s sorrowful rendition of Jerry Jeff Walker’s Shell Game on the first track here and my heart immediatly began to melt, as the singer delves deep into our souls.
That’s only one of three songs by someone else amid the 17 that make up Up The Flatland Stairs and alongside the dirty Twang of David Halley’s A Month of Somedays and the late Walter Hyatt’s gorgeously laid-back The Early Days show’s what immaculate and diverse taste Livingston has; but that’s not what got him inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame!
That would be the way he can spin from the Western Swing of Public Domain through the Honky Tonkin’ on the tongue in cheek break-up song You Got My Goat and round it all off with some good old fashioned West Coast Country Rock with Caution to the Wind and That’s The Way Things Go (featuring Eliza Gilkyson no less) and make them all go together like peaches and cream.
There really is a little bit of everything ‘Country’ here, with Livingston’s warm and friendly voice being the golden thread that pulls everything together.
While I hear a bit of the Bakersfield Sound in The Early Days and Cowgirl’s Lullaby I sense Bob Livingston’s Soul lives on the West Coast; as most of the songs here are designed to make you want to kick back and wallow in the emotions that are stirred up with a beer in one hand and your first love’s hand in the other.
With so much to pick from selecting my Favourite Song wasn’t ever going to be easy; but the touchingly Guy Clark Influenced It Just Might Be Your Loving caught my ears last week; and it’s only got better and more intimate over the last few days.
Bob Livingston is a brand new discovery to me and as such; is the driving force behind the website……. bringing the best from the shadows into the daylight.
You’re welcome.

Released USA January 8th 2018
Released Europe February 8th 2019

Tom Brumley & The Buckaroos STEELIN’ THE SHOW

Tom Brumley & The Buckaroos
Steelin’ The Show
Omnivore Records

A Master-Craftsman Makes His Pedal Steel Guitar Shimmer and Sizzle

What is it with Pedal-Steel guitars that excites me so much? I think I can even recall the night on OGWT that I first saw and heard one…….. subsequently having to ask my brother Melvyn what that magic box was and even over the next ten years or so they were still as rare as hen’s teeth in British Rock & Roll.
Yet today, with this disc of pure delights I now have six albums of Pedal-Steel instrumentals in my collection and I’m aware of a 7th on its way in March 2019!
To the uninitiated like me Tom Brumley is probably an unknown quantity; but it turns out he was the maestro behind the Buck Owens ‘sound’ during the 1960’s and these 17 glorious tunes are all culled from that golden period of Country & Western music. *He also played in both Chris Hillman’s Band and the Desert Rose Band while also sitting in with scores of household names in the studio during the 1970’s.
The album starts with a majestic two-step called Tom Cattin’ that combines some amazing guitar playing from Buck Owens and Red Simpson alongside the 100mph fiddle playing of Don Rich and Brumley’s sublime picking on the steel; and even 50 years later you can feel the excitement from the studio session.
That excitement continues throughout; none more so than Seven Come Eleven and Pedal Patter which may even have been groundbreaking in 1968!
Unlike today; Country Music was made for dancing to back in the 1960’s and The Buckaroos could turn their hand to whatever it took to get people on the dancefloor be it the Steel Guitar Polka, a Highland Fling or any one of a handful of beautiful waltz’s with the Waltz of the Rose’s being the finest example here; and I’m not sure what a Neosho Waltz was but I love the tune that accompanied it!
Choosing a Favourite Track was never going to be easy; although the legendary solo on Together Again, as Buck Owens croons his little heart out is obviously going to be a contender; but as this is primarily an instrumental album dedicated to Tom Brumley I’m going to select Steel Guitar Rag from 1965 as it is a spine tingling showcase of all that is good about Steel Guitar playing and proves what a Master of his craft Tom Brumley surely was.

PS. Gotta love that suit he’s wearing on the cover…….what would I give to look that sharp?

Released December 14th 2018

Carson McHone CAROUSEL

carson mchone

Carson McHone
Nine Mile Records

A Country Carousel Worth Loads of Spins.

“Carson McHone’s album Carousel is mostly electric barroom windups with a few satisfying ballads thrown in for twangy effectiveness.” So says the accompanying Press Release; but is that the case?

McHone hails from Austin, Texas where she cut her teeth with regular weekly engagements in the local honky-tonks. McHone rocks out effortlessly on many of these tunes and has just enough twang in her voice to keep it “real-life country for real.” The album’s kick-off song, “Sad,” is a twangy barroom jaunt and a good introduction for what’s to come. “Lucky” shifts gears emotionally to keep it surprising and interesting. “Good Time Daddy Blues” is well sung, but the production is a bit ‘paint by the numbers’ with too much generic yeehaw going on for my taste. (Now, perhaps that’s the point, McHone could be going for a classic feel on the barroom staple songs. Some of these songs do have a purposeful classic country vibe, but this one’s a bit too pat for my tastes. One needn’t have the fiddle and the pedal steel both share the solo section. Yes, classic country used to do this a lot, and it’s still done a lot, which is kind of my point.) Instead, give it over fully to one instrument and let them shine, give the player a chance to dig into it a bit and make a complete emotional statement.

Which makes “Spider Song” with its droning harmonium probably my favorite cut on this album, followed closely by “Dram Shop Girl” which comes off tender, but with a touch of darkness reminiscent of Townes Van Zandt. Both of these tunes have an innocence to them rather than naïveté that makes them work, as well as being forward thinking in their arrangements. “Drugs” with its plaintive repeating chorus: “Drugs, I need drugs, I need drugs,” is catchy and strong, and I find myself coming back to listen to it again and again, and “Gentle” is whispery and resolute in its emotional impact. These songs definitely are worth listening to over and over, as Carousel definitely gets better with each spin.

I like McHone’s voice and songs, and her band is obviously talented, but I feel this album represents a transition in McHone’s learning curve. She’s reaching for something with her art and I hope she gets there, as we will all be the better for it.

Review by the Legendary Roy Peak

Released 26th October 2018


Shipcote & Friends I’M QUITE HAPPY WITH THAT.

shipcote happy 6

Shipcote & Friends
Low Fella Records

Laid Back Americana Full of Warmth Via NE England.

The once thriving Shipcote area of Gateshead in Tyne and Wear has all but gone now; but the name lives on as the alter-ego of one half of the Jumpin’ Hot Club and full time musical troubadour Mr Graham Anderson; of which this is his latest disc.
If you already know him and his music you will buy this CD regardless of what I have to say; as ‘once a fan, always a fan’ in my experience; but to the uninitiated he writes very clever and intricate songs about the immediate world around him and the people who inhabit it; performing them in a warm, charming and laid-back Western-Swing meets American Folk via a traditional singer-songwriter hybrid that doesn’t particularly sound like anyone else I can think of. Confused? You won’t be!
I had to take a deep breath the first time I heard opening track Mystery Waltz as it begins with Cath and her accordion nodding towards something akin to the Captain Pugwash tune; but mercifully Shipcote and the other Friends seamlessly slide in with the first of a series of magical love songs sung to a hypnotic melody that will make you sway along as you aimlessly mouth the words, while thinking that you know who the song is really about.
The jaunty Photograph follows; and yet again a simple thing like ‘looking at a photograph of his wedding day’ ends up taking us all down ‘memory lane’ thinking exactly the same thoughts about our own past; such is the power of clever songwriting.
Although a man of a ‘certain age’ Shipcote isn’t as cynical as the majority of people I know; generally seeing the best in life; as the punchy Sanctuary Street and the delightfully romantic Country Swing of Lucky Me prove; but he can also let his imagination go wild with the insightful and sensitive I’m Coming To Get You, which will also turn a few eyes misty as time goes by.
The whimsical I Get Around and title track, I’m Quite Happy With That are both autobiographical ditties that had me smiling from start to finish as our man describes his day to day  life; with the latter being a description of his office including the posters on the wall , the swivel chair and his name sat next to a paperweight on his desk; and is all only an 8 minute ride away each day. I doubt Robbie Williams will ever cover this song; but I love it to bits!
Picking a Favourite Track on a Shipcote album is never easy, as each song always has its merits; and this one is no different with the slightly brittle and dark break up Hope It Stays That Way is unlike anything I’ve heard from him before and would be a contender for that reason alone; but the addition of luscious harmonies and a heartbreaking cello take it onto a whole other level.
Then there are two songs that are very close to my own heart, the first is a tongue in cheek tilt towards the myriad of Award Ceremonies every year, covering just about every (and some made up) categories in our own little musical world; leaving them with very little, if any meaning save for the Press Releases that litter my desk.
The other; and it’s the one I’m actually giving the prize to is What Can a City Do? Specifically about Newcastle which is on the verge of having more student accommodation than it has for actual rate payers and (more importantly) Social Housing; Shippy lists all of the new businesses that now litter the High Streets of our once Green and Pleasant land. And, in Shipcote & Friends style it’s all sung over a charming and lazy Countryfied melody.
Okay, I’m a friend first, a fan second and only thirdly an impartial reviewer; but if ever a song title summed up the contents of the music within the cover it’s, I’m Quite Happy With That and that’s is exactly what you will feel as the final song runs out into the groove.

Released Sunday 07 October 2018


kerry fearon honky tonk

Kerry Fearon

Cool, Easy Listening Country Music With Added ZING!

As regular readers will know I have a soft spot for singer-songwriters from Northern Ireland and welcome their releases like long lost relatives; but I don’t think I’ve ever been sent anything from Ireland’s home grown Country Music arena; and bearing in mind Irish Country Music is incredibly popular across the water; it historically doesn’t ‘travel well’; I probably wouldn’t have given this album the time of day if it hadn’t come from from my mentor Alan Cackett; so to the top of the pile it went.
All my preconceptions were blown away as soon as I heard opening track, Jessi Colter’s Storms Never Last, which features some sublime pedal-steel and Twangtastic guitar and of course Ms Fearon’s dreamy voice…..and the song itself ain’t too shabby too!
As I’d expected everything here is in the Classic Country vein and the world is a better place because of it; with Kerry breathing new life into Cotton Jenny and Loretta’s Honky Tonk Girl; which is obviously the title track too (Doh!).
Even ‘Classic’ Country comes in many different shades; and Kerry Fearon shows her good taste by including rip-roaring versions of Gram’s Luxury Liner and Miss Maybelle Carter’s Jukebox Blues alongside Red River Valley and even a couple of winsome Ashley Monroe tunes too; I’m Good at Leaving and If The Devil Don’t Want Me (which I didn’t know before this glorious album closer).
We need to bounce back to the start for my choice of ‘Favourite Song’; the obvious choice the feisty and poignant That’s What I Like About You; which was originally a 1991 single for Trisha Yearwood and this version deserves to be heard on daytime radio across the whole wide world; even though the American Country stations will likely sneer at the warble in Kerry’s voice; rat-a-tat drumming, shimmering pedal-steel and some damn sweet Chet Atkins influenced guitar breaks too….. are you getting the picture?
For the second time in as many weeks I’ve found an album that I’ve used as something of a ‘pallet cleanser’ as it is so very ‘easy on the ear’ from start to finish, with Kerry’s voice being ‘universal’ in a good way; and the pin-sharp production making this locally released album something that will and should be a hit all around the world; or at the very least of interest to Country Music fans of all persuasions.

#Kerry Fearon also presents a weekly Country Music TV show, Kerry’s Country Gold and a daily Country Music radio show too!

Released August 23rd 2018