Four fantastic early albums from Waylon Jennings – all served up in a single package! First up is Folk Country – a mid 60s classic from Waylon Jennings – cut for RCA at a time when the singer was really beginning to find his own style! While not really a folk album, the use of the word in the title is maybe key to an understanding of Waylon's approach here – as he's already trying to go past the conventions of mainstream country music, and maybe bring in some of the depth of material and presentation that you'd be more likely to find from a folk singer – but all while still staying very true
to the country music core that would hold strong over the decades! There's some great material on the album – and titles include "Another Bridge To Burn", "Cindy Of New Orleans", "I Don't Mind", "What Makes A Man Wander", "Look Into My Teardrops", and "Down Came The World". Leavin Town is a record with a really fantastic sense of spirit – from the rough-around-the-edges look of Waylon Jennings on the cover, to the album's presentation of music that really shows the deeper style of the singer at the start – tunes of yearning and searching that still sound fantastic all these many years later! The production is still somewhat in the Nashville RCA mode, but there's also some deeper currents that seem as if they're trying to pull in some of the hipper side of the scene too – served up nicely on titles that include "Leavin Town", "Anita You're Dreaming", "Doesn't Anybody Know My Name", "I Wonder Just Where I Went Wrong", "Time Will Tell The Story", "Baby Don't Be Looking In My Mind", and "Time To Bum Again". Next up is Wayon Sings Ol Harlan – a tribute to songwriter Harlan Howard! As with the best of his contemporaries, Waylon Jennings was always ready to acknowledge how important a good songwriter was to his music – definitely the case here on this late 60s tribute to the work of Harlan Howard! Howard wasn't the biggest star in the studio himself, but he gave key songs to a number of country acts in the 60s – and the rock-solid quality of his songs makes the album a real standout in the early RCA catalog of Waylon Jennings – a no-filler collection that's filled with gems that include "Sunset & Vine
", "Busted", "Woman Let Me Sing You A Song", "She's Gone Gone Gone", "In This Very Same Room", "Heartaches For A Dime", "Tiger By The Tail", and "The Everglades". Last up is Nashville Rebel – a pretty nice soundtrack from the mid 60s – featuring a mixture of vocal and instrumental tunes, sung by Waylon Jennings, who also stars in the film, and arranged by Chet Atkins, who's also producing the album. Waylon's in fine form, and often singing with a style that's more expressive than earlier records, maybe because of his presence on the screen – and the instrumentals are great too – with kind of a honky tonk mod approach, similar to tracks you'd find in another groovy 60s soundtrack, but with a bit of a country twist. This means that you've got heavy twang in the guitar upfront, tightly snapping rhythms over a bit of strings, and a bit of organ or piano. Titles include "Lang's Theme", "Rush Street Blues", "Hoodlum", "Tennessee", "Silver Ribbons", "Nashville Bum", and "Green River".