Tuesday, 08 August 2017 21:11

A Final Adios--Glen Campbell 1936-2017

 GLEN 2011

 (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

 Me: I heard something you did over 30 years ago, a record with Tex Williams at the Mint in Las Vegas . . . you let rip with a real hot solo.

 Glen: “My Window Faces the South!” That was the early sixties. What was Roger Miller’s line? “I don’t think I’m half as good as I really am.”

 I interviewed Glen Campbell just once, in 1995, for Country Music Magazine's "20 Questions With" feature, not unlike Trish Sheridan's old "Breakfast With" PG feature. I thought back to an old record I had, recorded nearly a decade before Glen became a star, in the days he was an obscure LA sideman. I wasn't sure he'd remember it, but I thought, what the hell?  And I got my answer--spot on.  The rest of the interview was terrific as he talked about the changing country music industry, which he didn't care for. He couldn't contain his pride over his days as part of the loose group of elite LA session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, which included Leon Russell, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco and Carol Kaye.who worked with everyone from the Byrds to Sinatra. His memory then was impregnable. 

Published in Get Rhythm

My review of Alison Krauss's "Windy City," a collection of classic Nashville country (and pop-country) covers.

Published in Get Rhythm
Friday, 06 February 2015 08:30

1965's Other Hits: A Select Sampler

On Thursday Scott Mervis ably chronicled the year in rock circa 1965, the concerts and the ways the new music from Britain, California and New York (not to mention Motown) arrived and took root in Pittsburgh. I was 14 that year and it's pretty much how I remember it. I also remembered these 12 songs, most big hits that year but not all. But they were songs I loved then and now. Most are live TV performances. I've favored clips where the acts are actually singing and playing, not lip-synching.  And yes, in those days, you COULD hear all this on Top 40 radio.

Published in Get Rhythm


womack cover

Six years have passed since Lee Ann Womack's previous album Call Me Crazy. Best known for her 2000 hit , "I Hope You Dance." much has changed since Womack's 2008 effort: Taylor Swift, bro-country and Nashville pop, both bubble gum and otherwise, are now dominant. Americana, a style ranging in quality from brilliant to insufferable, retains a strong niche audience.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014 06:35

Country Drinking Songs: Before Bro-Country

 On this week's Believe Your Ears music podcast, in light of parallel controversies over drunkenness at country concerts (here and elsewhere) and the current glut of sound-alike songs about beer, spring breaks and partying, we look at select country songs of the past, some not all that lighthearted about boozing.

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Friday, 20 December 2013 08:23

The Ray Price Shuffle: Spanning Generations

So many of Ray Price's obituaries have commented on the fact he created the "shuffle" beat that drove his hit singles from 1956-66, when he moved on to the smoother country pop sound.   Quite a few of those comments including my own, have noted the influence the "Ray Price Shuffle" had on generations of other artists and its durability over several generations. 

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Monday, 16 December 2013 21:26

An American Original: Ray Price 1926-2013



Noble Ray Price, who died of pancreatic cancer at 87, at 4:43 Central time today, kept going until almost the end. He resumed performing after announcing his diagnosis in November 2012, had recorded a final album produced by Fred Foster and continued playing occasional dates with the Cherokee Cowboys before hospitalized for dehydration in mid-May. Combined with the death of George Jones in April, it's one hell of a year for losing classic country acts, including two of the genre's fountainheads.

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Friday, 31 May 2013 16:55

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' Reviewed


"This record is the sound of an old farmhouse. It is the sound of 7 band members creating, collaborating, fighting & high-fiving. It is a digital journal of the shattering of comfort zones and collateral magic…"

--Liner notes from Wheelhouse

That little remark holds the first hint of problems. Read on after the jump.

Published in Get Rhythm