The influence of the Byrds, Gram Parsons, and Flying Burrito Brothers knew no bounds back in the day – as you'll hear on this wonderful collection of underground recordings that followed very strongly in their lead! If you think alt-country's only a recent invention, then think again – because way back at the end of the 60s, folks were already starting to come up with their own variant of the sounds of Nashville and Bakersfield – music that's often a bit more gut-wrenching than the mainstream, and which often has those currents of sadness and longing that we love especially strongly in Parsons' records. As usual with Numero, the presentation is wonderful – a special sort of package that features images of all the rare records included, and notes on each individual artist – alongside a set list that includes "Lonesome City" by Black Canyon Gang, "Baby's Back" by Kenny Knight, "To See Her Smile" by Arrogance, "Travelin" by Jimmy Carter & Dallas County Green, "And I Didn't Want You" by Mistress Mary, "Lilly Of The Valley" by Dan Pavlides, "You Can't Make It Alone" by Plain Jane, "Spirit Of The Golden Juice" by FJ McMahon, and "I Know Her Well" by Sandy Harless. (Rock, Folk/Country)CD
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
Ultra-cool cuts from the early years of rock and country – all odd little numbers that deal with alien themes and UFOs – often with a fair bit of studio trickery in the process! These cuts all come from deep deep in the vinyl crates – and most are singles we'd never heard before, and which like much further in the musical strata than the novelty hits of the time – very hip numbers recorded for small labels who often used odd production techniques, weird guitar processing, and even some raw electronics to underscore the stories in the lyrics! As the set moves on, there's an oddly unifying feel to the material – especially on the country cuts, which almost seem to indicate this 60s-era sense of rural peace open to sudden disruption – but often in ways that are far more revelatory than they are threatening. The track selection is wonderful – and titles include "My Evil Mind" by Jack Cook, "Lookin For That UFO" by Calvin Boles, "Who's Gonna Sleep With Me" by Dan Price, "Tiny Space Man" by Bill Carlisle, "Hello World" by Horace Heller, "UFO On Farm Road 318" by Sidney Ester, "The Martian Band" by Scottie Stoneman, "Moon Man" by Johnnie Howard, "UFO Go Away" by Chuck Robbins, and "Monkey On The Moon" by Gene Hall. (Rock, Folk/Country)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