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until this gets annoying… folk stax contd by

April 12th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

he wrote “up against the wall redneck mother” woo!
and I fucking bet he never pictured the UT fratboy singalongs
back when he was a legit s. texas cosmic cowboy, one of jerry jeff walker’s lost gonzos
as far as his representation in the KWUR stacks goes, LOST TRAIN OF THOUGHT serves up some crisp (sterile?) neotonkabilly with mixed results
but by the 2000s we find mr. Hubbard has discovered The Blues (esp. evident in THE GROWL), replete with murky muddy swampy production, courtesy Gurf Morlix
dig for the hooks

here’s the famous one [embedding disabled]

theoretically these folks play gospel bluegrass (bluegrass gospel?) but the gospel tracks tend to not really sound very much like bluegrass
instead, this very traditional, straight gospel in the close-harmonied men’s group tradition
white gospel, sure, but not especially country-sounding gospel (as country as it is bluegrass—and both connotations only make sense in terms of the spare acoustic guitar accompaniment)
that said, these albums are very well-executed, nice primers for folks interested in digging into white gospel proper


the meat purveyors play their bluegrass fast and dirty
they don’t play loose with the style too much – pretty strictly quick flatt ‘n scruggs style romps
but they are undoubtedly one of the more mean-spirited, unsentimental bluegrass bands around
this album has some of their best knockout gems—quick daggers of songs
“hey little sister” is about suspected domestic abuse:
“I seen that bruise on the back of your arm
if I find that man’s been doing ya harm…
I’ll cut him down!”
the heartbreak numbers have an exquisite and almost psychotic despair to them
dig “circus clown” in that respect (“does this look like a painted on frown to you?”)

this is probably my favorite discovery from the cd stacks
listened to the album on repeat for days after
so, mr. neely tried real hard to make it as a songwriter in country music (nashville)
but no luck
these are his 1970s home-recorded demo takes
some of the best unknown country songs around – heartbreak and redemption songs both
as far as demos intended to sell songs go, the quality of these performances is really astounding
pitch-perfect and emotionally-resonant
the man’s got a lovely warm drawling voice and he sings these in a bluesy, pre-honky-tonk style
(I guess he was a couple decades too late)
in “on a blackland farm” he describes meeting Jimmie Rodgers and learning how to play from him and I certainly would believe it
his gospel songs, esp. – “satan’s burning hell” are fierce stuff (sit up there with louvins’ best)

listen here


willie nelson is the proud owner of the most affected/affecting singing style in this solar system – equally aggravating and endearing, obnoxious and moving
he plays guitar like if django reinhardt only had one finger (I am quoting somebody on that last bit)

this one’s great great

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