Archive for the ‘folk stacks guide’ Category

pretty good… pretty good 1

Monday, April 6th, 2009

so way back in the fall in a bout of ambition I set out to write a comprehensive guide to the folk cd and vinyl stacks at the station. this was leading up to the “genre party” event in which privileged participants ate delicious food and listening to me talk for hours about country music history (yes it was actually hours). and you folks who missed out are definitely jealous I’m sure…

anyway, obviously I never finished this guide (never even got started on the vinyl– maybe this summer?) but I posted it in an unfinished version in the listening room by the cds. and now I guess I am going to post it here, for lack of time or ideas for new original content blah blah.

NB: these were my rough notes, which I intended to flesh out into paragraphs or something. as the sun rose and I realized how long it was taking I gave up and left as it. the short fragments read a little like oblique poetry written by retarded 15 year olds. which is always what I’m going for. anyway, here goes:

“PRETTY GOOD FOLKS CDS IN KWUR STAX [pt. 1]

HASIL ADKINS – POULTRY IN MOTION
hasil adkins was a one man band
he played country music fast and dirty like all the best rocknrollers
rockabilly psychobilly retro kids lionize him (the cramps covered him a bunch)
he shrieks and moans a lot
this album – mostly 1990s recordings, with some 1950s and 1960s tracks thrown in – is all about chicken, one of his primary muses
riyd chicken-themed swamp-thrash

RED ALLEN – THE FOLKWAYS YEARS
red allen was one of the very best bluegrass singers
which is kind of a funny distinction, given the sometimes overwhelming emphasis on instrumental technique and proficiency in bluegrass music
red sang in that typical nasal whine, but he did it way better than just about anyone else
when he sings it really does sound high and lonesome
(yeah yeah that bluegrass vocal style is what we call “the high lonesome sound” for those of you new to this)
this album collects some wonderful 60′s bluegrass, recorded when the style definitely wasn’t new anymore but hadn’t quite developed into the sort of institution you can choose to venerate, react to, or innovate within, blah blah
I hope some crisp bluegrass producer listens to these recordings and realizes how good bluegrass sounds when its given a little warmth
good stuff

NORMAN BLAKE – OLD TIES
norman’s one of the world’s leading experts on rag-picking, various blues fingerstyles (piedmont, esp.)
along with dave van ronk and a couple others, he’s probably one of the best guitarists to come out of that whole sixties folk thing
made his big success as a sideman to all the greats (bob dylan, johnny cash, et cetera)
this disc is a collection of cutsoff his solo albums from the past three or four decades
an excellent set with a good variety
his (sometimes unremarkable) singing graces some of the tracks but the showcase spotlight is pretty much on his technique and skill as an interpreter
a consummate musician (I have heard this term used and it sounds appropriate)

KATE CAMPBELL – TWANG ON A WIRE
kate’s a real nice folk songster
we have a couple good 90′s cd’s of hers – her gospel stuff is esp. good (as is her brand new one)
but this album is a little different – an ode to those “brash ‘n bold gals” – 70′s country icons like dolly and tammy
all covers save one (her specific ode, “twang on a wire,” which easily equals the power of some of these)
the songs she picks are frankly some of the best songs ever
and while her humble pipes don’t improve upon the famous performances necessarily
the love and joy in them really shines through
fuck this is one of the most rocking versions of “harper valley pta” I’ve ever heard

more to come ++++ hey kwur djs or former djs, what are your favorite folk/country albums in our collection? share plzzzzzz