Darol Anger & Barbara Higbie —
Tideline ... CD Windham Hill/Adventure Music, 1982. Used ...
Piano and violin come together beautifully here – the former by Barbara Higbie, the latter by Darrol Anger – who also plays mandolin and cello as well! There's an acoustic balance here that's more jazz than some of the other Windham Hill albums of the time – especially in the music's sense of rhythm and phrasing – and the rich acoustic tones of both players get wonderfully past some of the new age cliches that are too-often wrongly associated with the label – and remind us that at their best, records like these offer up a key flowering of the acoustic underground of the 70s. Mike Marshall plays guest mandolin on one title – and tracks include "Movie", "Tideline", "Above The Fog", "True Story", "Onyame", and "Gemini". Really great 2015 remaster – excellent sound and package – way better than the Windham Hill releases in the 80s! (Jazz, Folk/Country)CD
A surprisingly great set of work from countrypolitan giant Eddy Arnold – 1970 sessions that have him both reforging his strengths with producer Chet Atkins, and taking up a whole new groove with the great Lee Hazlewood! The Atkins material can be heard here on the album Love & Guitars – a set that allows Arnold to answer back to all the others who, by that time, were hitting his own sort of mature way of putting over a tune – with backings that are almost more traditionally country than anything that Eddy had been getting on other recent records. The choice of material is great – songs by Merle Haggard, Wayne Thompson, Kris Kristofferson, and others – and titles that include "When The Wind Blows In Chicago", "Shadows Of Her Mind", "Today I Started Loving You again", "Just Enough To Start Me Dreamin", "With Pen In Hand", and "Soul Deep". Producer Lee Hazlewood works with Eddy Arnold on material from the album Standing Alone – a set that almost has Lee taking a tongue-in-cheek approach with strings and larger arrangements – giving Eddy the kind of setting that might have been darkly double-sided if Hazlewood were singing, but which comes across more in familiar Arnold territory overall. Still, there's definitely some nice touches around the edges – and titles include "Closest I Ever Came", "My Way Of Life", "She Believes In Me", "July You're A Woman", "Where Love Has Died", and "Some Lonely Picker". CD also features additional tracks from the same year, including two unreleased outtakes – for a total of 27 titles in all. CD
Fantastic sounds from Terry Allen – one of the key underground Texas talents who were helping transform the style of country music in the 70s – and one of the few who maybe never fully got his due! Terry's from the same scene as David Allen Coe, Billy Joe Shaver, and Guy Clark, but his music is much more underground than theirs – maybe only ever designed to be put forth in an intimate club setting, late in the night – where the very conversational style of Allen's songs almost make them feel like barroom musings of a cat who's seen a heck of a lot of life on this planet, but still very able to peer into the souls of those he comes across. This double-length set is Allen's masterpiece – originally issued on a small pressing back in the 70s, and very much an alt-country relic – but from a time when such a thing didn't even exist. Titles include "Cocktails For Three", "High Plains Jamboree", "Amarillo Highway", "Lubbock Woman", "Rendezvous USA", "The Girl Who Danced Oklahoma", "Truckload Of Art", and "The Pink & Black Song". Great reissue – with corrected sound, and a huge booklet of notes on Allen – with essays by David Byrne and others. CD
Duo material from the late 60s British folk revival – nice stuff from Dave & Toni Arthur – resonating versions of traditional folk numbers – many with just voices and no instrumental accompaniment! It's pretty endearing stuff, the kind of thing you wish pubs full of people would sing, and their given that kind of reverence here by Dave & Toni. Includes "A Maiden Came From London Town", "Morning Stands On Tip Toe", "Padstow Drinking Song", "The Guilty Sea Captain", "Green Grass", "The Barley Grain Song", "Green Groom", "Bendigo Champion Of England" and more. Includes a couple bonus tracks, pop tunes recorded as The Strollers: "The Cuckoo" and "A Rich And Rambling Boy". CD
Two late 60s RCA albums from Chet Atkins – back to back on a single CD! On Yestergroovin, Chet Atkins is groovin, but in a yesterday sort of way – hence the title of this sweet set from the start of the 70s! The record still has plenty of that excellent Atkins guitar work right up front in the mix – picking and strumming with the sublime sound that Chet created in the Nashville studios of RCA – in a mode that's maybe got some even jazzier currents on the guitar at times than some of his previous records – an upfront quality to the way the instrument steps up in the mix, especially on some of the more contemporary numbers. Titles include the slightly funky "Tennessee Pride", plus "Bring Me Sunshine", "Country Champagne", "Steeplechase Lane", "Yestergroovin", "Liberty", and "Gotta Travel On". Lover's Guitar is a record that has Chet Atkins working with arrangements from his own pen, and those of conductor Bill McElhiney – in a mode that's got the mellower touches you'd expect from the title – as Chet gently works his guitar magic on a set of ballads that include "The Look Of Love", "Until It's Time For You To Go", "If I Should Lose You", "Estudio Brillante", and "La Madrugada". (Now Sound, Folk/Country)CD
One of the most essential debut albums of the 60s folk revival, and the early 60s in general – the great first album from Joan Baez on the Vanguard label – a masterpiece of emotional interpretation and impeccable folk guitar playing! Joan Baez is arguably more legendary as a figure than she his as a musician, in that she was a leader in a movement, but the singer and musician is what makes the biggest impact on us, and here she is at her finest. She's accompanied by second guitarist Fred Hellerman on about half the songs, which include "Silver Dagger", "East Virginia", "House Of The Rising Sun", "All My Trials", "Wildwood Flower", "John Riley", "Little Moses", "Ek Preso Numero Nueve" and more. CD