Monday, February 28, 2011

Randy Howard - Now And Then (1976)

For those of you who enjoyed Outlaw Country singer Randy Howard, here's a treat. Thanks to the wonderful Kathleen for finding this and sending me the vinyl. The result is a sweet rip of the super rare debut album by Randy. This was released in 1976 on Utopian Records and it's more solid Country than I thought it would be. I figured since he's from Macon and this being 1976, there would be more Southern Rock influences. But that's not the case. What you do get is the kind of Outlaw Country that Hank, Jr. and Tommy Jennings produced. No sugar-coated Nashville Country here, but honest to goodness music, straight from the heart. Already you Randy possesses that rich low voice of his, and the music is all well written and played. You can play this one over and over again. Something else.

Monday, February 21, 2011

George McCorkle - American Street (1999)

"American Street" is the one and only solo album by former Marshall Tucker Band guitarist George McCorkle. There's an undeniable MTB sound to this, but it's nothing like a regular MTB record. Instead, this is a laid back, easy going record with some excellent guitar picking. Now, George was no singer, though he's not the worst at trying. Problem is, I think, that he never comes out of his comfort zone, thus making it all sound a little lifeless at times. This is the kind of music that will offend no one, but there's still plenty going on to make it grow on you. Peace stories...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Randall Bramblett & Davis Causey - Visionary School (1992)

Yep, this is an update. I finally got the whole thing complete, including the right track titles and artwork. No new music, though.
"Visionary School" consists of recordings made by Randall Bramblett during the 90's. It was sold on cassette at live shows. This already sounds very much like the albums he put out from 1998 on. So, that makes them Southern Rock with a twist? I guess Southern Rock fans should really go after his 70's albums, "That Other Mile" and "Light Of The Night". Momentarily out of stock, but his other albums can be bought at Randall's homepage. These recordings, however, are not available anymore. Listening to these tracks, it made me think Mark Knopfler could easily make a credible album with these songs. But I prefer Randall Bramblett any day. Some great songs on this album. Thanks go out to Craig for this. I really appreciate it. And so will you, I bet. And thanks to Richard for the artwork and for making this puzzle complete. Very enjoyable stuff here. Randall has no intention releasing this album. Maybe the masters got lost? I don't get it..

Monday, February 14, 2011

Eddie Stone - Right Tonight (1999)

"Right Tonight' is a straight-ahead, yet commercial sounding album. Eddie Stone is, I guess, honorary member of Doc Holliday. On this, it's Doc Holliday's keyboardist on his own. But not alone. He has one tight band supporting him on a really good record. I guess this one's really for fans of new Skynryd and 80's Southern Rock. For that, it's well produced and it actually grows on me. A bit. Really, I prefer it more loose and with occasional long tracks. This sometimes feels like it was aiming for a hit record. But for havin' some unpretentious fun, this works wonders. And the music? It has good songs and it sounds good. Hey, it might be good after all. In fact, I'll have a good cry

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cowboy - A Different Time (The Best Of Cowboy)

Cowboy was a band lead by Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton, which put out records from 1970 up to 1977. In between they released the T. Talton, B. Stewart, J. Sandlin album "Happy To Be Alive", which was pretty much yet another Cowboy piece. The music Cowboy played is a lot less rocking than contemporaries like The Allman Brothers Band, Black Oak Arkansas or Lynyrd Skynyrd. Instead, Cowboy relied on a somewhat Folk/Hippie kind of laid back Southern Country Rock. If that makes any sense. Pretty good music, though. And some great guest players along for the fun. Like Duane Allman, Chuck Leavell, Randall Bramblett, Dru Lombar, Jaimoe and Toy Caldwell. Then again, Boyer and Talton have been playing along with quite a few good folks as well, like backing up Gregg Allman in the 70's on his solo tour. And lots more, you do the searching. They are still active musically. Some of my favorite songs, some of which you may know from being covered by others, are "All My Friends", "Living In The Country" (on The Alabama State Troupers), "Please Be With Me" and"It Might Be The Rain". And they're all on this out-of-print-best-of. Everything here..

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Rolling Thunder Band - Kick In The Asphalt (1997)

On the Sea Level's last recorded release, the single "Make You Feel Love Again", lead vocals were handled by Blue Miller. I had never heard of him before, but boy, what a great singer! So, I did some searching and found (well, actually Wayne found this one. thanks!) some albums he sang on. He never made it to the big league, but for those who try, there is stuff with Blue out there. His vocal style is very reminiscent to Bob Seger's. Blue at one time worked with Bob, and apparently learned a trick or two. This album was made for NASCAR. I don't quite know how that works, since I'm not a race-car fan. I'm under the impression, nevertheless, that this was a one off thing, meant to be just that. However, it appears that this was first released as "Kick In The Asphalt", with no clue whether that was the name of the record or the band, and then it was released with a band name, the Rolling Thunder Band. At first I was somewhat shocked, thinking this was a brainless piece of 90's Nashville Country Rock, all about cars and partying. It's still about that, but the album definitely grows on me. It's a great band, enjoyable songs and magnificent vocals by Blue. This is good. No bull.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Alabama State Troupers - Road Show (1972)

Excellent album, this one, by Don Nix and his all-star show, The Alabama State Troupers. Don might be best well known for the fact that he wrote the classic Blues track "Going Down", but he played quite a significant role in the early Soul and Southern Rock scene. At the time of this release, Don had already released two solo albums, the first of which was "In God We Trust". That album already featured some appearances by Blues legend Furry Lewis. On this album, a live double one at that (with a very big thank you to Pete, who sent me his copy. much obliged man!), Furry Lewis (78 years old) gets to play the whole of side one. He's a funny and very endearing man, very appreciative of his inclusion on this road show. The record, in spirit, might best be compared to Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs & Englishmen", or a Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam avant la lettre. Put together a great bunch of talent from all kinds of musical background and take them on the road. Like the aforementioned Blues, there's Gospel, Country and Rock. The Gospel comes from The Mt. Zion Choir and The Mt. Zion Band (featuring Wayne Perkins on guitar), with some terrific vocal performances by Jeanie Greene. And then there's Don playing his Rock. This being 1972, it's Southern Rock still in its infancy and absolutely gorgeous. Just watch this video of Don playing "Amos Burke" (along with Leon Russell, not on this album but the music is pretty much what you get here as well)..

And some more great rockers, like "Asphalt Outlaw Hero" and the evergeen "Going Down". Jeanie Green, Marlin Greene along with Wayne Perkins also sing a nice version of Cowboy's "Living In The City". All in all, you can't go wrong with this celebration of life and music. Mighty time!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Shooter Jennings - Missed The Boat (2010)

Good news for all you Shooter Jennings fans. Shooter has released an album full of goodies that never made it onto any official release. You can not order the CD, but the good news is that it's free. And you can not get it here, but the good news is that if you register on Shooter's home page, you can download it there. Yes man, free, at no cost at all! How's that for a bargain?! And even better news is that it's not just throwaways, there's some pretty good stuff here. Demos, other studio recordings, a duet with mama Jessi Colter and some live tracks, ranging from 1998 up to 2010. It's all good news! Yes, Shooter loves his fans. And I love Shooter. This ain't no Rejected Television Theme Song