Country / Blues

Country, Blue Grass, Blues, etc.

Bruce D. McElheny – For The Record

This is a really solid private press (I think) LP that covers acoustic blues, country & folk territory. All the songs are originals by McElheny and the instrumentation is various combinations of voice, guitar, banjo, electric bass, drums and dobro. Recorded in October 1976 at Bickley Studios, Houston and released on the Buttermilk label, there […]

Bernie, Bill, and Charlie

Easily one of my best scores this year were two cassettes by this homegrown basement folk trio out of Peekskill, NY. I met Bernie while hiking the Appalachian Trail this summer, at the Greymoor Monastery for Franciscan Monks. He was painting the shelter they provide there for hikers when I walked up. He had a […]

Clem Hutchins – White Cloud

Fantastic outsider country dig from Louisiana or Texas. I can’t remember. Clem sounds like a combination between Old Man Death and an ancient Indian Shaman. He has Moondog-like percussion rumbling under a strumming guitar as he belts out a weird ode to the afterlife all in mystical metaphors. Unearthly wild stuff. The flip is like […]

Richard Gibbs "No Use to Grieve" (Malinda 101)

Louisiana is a unique place. Only the backwoods of Mississippi, Alabama and South Texas can come close to the vibe that emanates from places like Alexandria, Crowley, Lake Chales and all the surrounding backwater towns. Dark back roads lined with run down bars and roadhouses where people work hard and drink harder. In Nashville they […]

Rojays: Tommy Ran

The rediscovery of the Rojays began modestly 4 years ago when I stumbled upon a well loved copy that was anxiously waiting to be spun at the bottom of an endless sea of Coniff and Como. From the first needle drop of this Lp, I knew that what I was hearing was going to redefine […]

Marlin Wallace and The Corillions – Songs Of Divine Inspiration

incredible DIY release, variety of styles showcased by thiis rail riding hobo, including some straight Ozark gospel, folky xian protest & heartfelt honest pleas for redemption. Recorded from 1975-8 in Springfield Missouri, featuring top notch studio musicians now working in Branson and members or garage/retro rockers the Skeletons/Morells. This is the real deal, the infamous […]

B.J. Berg – The Laughing Song b/w Nobody Cares

I’ve never been married. But I have been dumped. I don’t recall the experience being overwhelmingly hillarious. I think I just listened to some loner-folk and watched Woody Allen movies. However, this is exactly what B.J. Berg did not do. In fact, when his wife left him he recorded The Laughing Song under the name […]

John Jacob Niles – American Folk And Gambling Songs

This folk record is definitely borderlining country, which is a rarity for me, even though I find myself knee deep in bluegrass 78s on a regular basis. As an admirer and collector of folk himself, John Jacob Niles took his Kentucky way of life and transformed it into a countless amount of recordings that are […]

Chevrolet Sings of Safe Driving and You

Chevrolet’s hilarious attempt at promoting safety for young drivers by singing about the laws of motion and centrifugal force, among many other automobile-related things. If you ever wondered what it would sound like if Belle & Sebastian were around in the 60s making music about driving, well then today is your lucky day. Sure it’s […]

Karen Dalton: In My Own Time

The follow up to her rare lp on Capitol is very much in country rock territory. I was at first put off by the Nashville session musician type backing on all but two tracks – which are acoustic with Karen on banjo – but, upon further listening, it mostly works. The best tracks having a […]

Al Huskey – In Tennessee

Al Huskey was born in east Tennessee and learned to play guitar and mandolin by 13. He organized a 14 piece teenage band and played thru-out Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina. The back of the records suggests that this band probably had the first full set of drums used in country music. I’m not […]

Randy Sharp: First in Line

I like country music. Those sad songs that end with heartbreak, a sixer of Budweiser on the lap, and mans best friend in the passenger seat. I’ve sang “On the Road Again” so many times in my head and outloud during a trip that I can sing most of the song word for word. Like […]

Elizabeth Cotten: Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar

This will make you toss out your yawnfest Folkways LPs of bug sounds and jugbands or whatever and force you to rethink your intentions as a record collector. Miss Cotten is the real Folkways deal and this is probably one of the best records they ever put out (up there with the Anthologies of American […]

Wild Country: Introducing

I picked this up at a local Goodwill recently and was driven to purchase it just so I could hear their cover of “Honkytonk Woman”. Also, I am a big fan of bands with matching shirts. To my surprise it actually turned out to be a pretty solid DIY Country Rock record. Not too overly […]

Homestead Act: Gospel Snake

Writing about these largely unknown, home-made records can be tough. Take this private press hipster bluegrass lp here… which is particularly a head scratcher. If the cover (which as always is scant on vital info) is to be believed, these kids were from TN, and this record was released in “AD 1972”. What is very […]

Perry L. Jackson: The Old Deer Hunter

9.7 out of 10 people would probably find it completely unlistenable, but in 10 years of collecting records this is perhaps the most fascinating lp I’ve found.