I have a large collection of old (from Left Frizzell, Bob Wills, Patsy Cline up to Merle Haggard), progressive (70s -Willie Nelson to Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash) and bluegrass (Alison Krauss of course, Doc Watson and the Rice brothers, the McCarters, Dolly Parton), really too numerous to list, and mostly on lps, which Im not playing right now because Im waiting for a new Zerostat.
None of the current crop of Nashville-approved C/W stylists is worth listening to unless you like Muzak, but there are some great recent albums; anything by Alison Krauss of course, the new Merle Haggard cd, anything by Iris Dement (Merle's favorite singer), the two recent Johnny Cash cds, Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch.
My favorites are two Merle Haggard lps, available on cd: A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player The World Has Ever Known (title is close to that but I may not have it exact) and Okie from Muskogee, which except for "Green Green Grass" inserted to appease the record company, may be the best C/W record ever.
I for one like CW,have seen Em'lu 5x in person.I love acoustic guitar.I loved the older pedal steel ,Don Williams,Willie Nelson. Hank Sr,and Willie; two of the greatest song writers period. Kris Kristoferson- also a great song writer.Don't lets forget the other CW-babes, Mary Chapin C /Kathy Matea/Nanci Griffith and at least 40 more. EEEhaaw!!!
It's "A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World (or my salute to Bob Wills)"
Kathy Mattea is one of the best, her Untasted Honey album is a classic. Too many women to mention, but after Dolly Parton the obvious is Reba McEntire, and one of my other favorites, with a perfect C/W name, Patty Loveless.
Paul, Avguy; glad to see there really are some others who appreciate good C/W. I do agree/think that the last several years (10-20?), that what is called C/W has evolved into a kind of country pop that I really don't care for either. In fact there seems to be a kind of fusion of Country and Pop. I still like the "classic" C/W singers though and would love to see Emmylou..... going to have to find Merle Haggards latest. Cheers, Craig.
Hey, I live in West Texas, so I **LIVE** for c/w music! You know the old line--in Texas we have both kinds of music; country AND western :-) Besides the classic stuff, I do enjoy much of modern Nashville when it's well-recorded, even if it does border on pop. The key for me is a beautiful female voice. Mandy Barnett's second CD, the lovely Allison Moorer (yowza!), and yes, the Chicks among others. How can I not like the Chicks--Natalie is from right here in Lubbock. My only real complaint is that you can't get **ANY** of the reissue LP companies to do c/w vinyl, which is a real disappointment. I for one would love to hear something like Mandy Barnett's disc on vinyl, it would be lovely through a tube-based system!.....PS--Anyone that doesn't worship George Jones is a pinko :-)
Since I moved to Nashville in the early 90s, I have acquired a taste for C/W including Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and many others. I often have opportunities to see many of the famous and not so famous C/W artist/songwriters live at the local venues. (I saw Emmylou perform last Saturday at the Opry at the Ryman). Nashville seems to be also attracting many varied singers/songwriters/musicians in recent years. Among those who reside in Nashville currently include Emmylou, Donna Summer, Janis Ian, Steve Winwood, Peter Frampton, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, Michael McDonald, Larry Carlton, Steve Earle, and Kirk Whalum as well many mentioned above. Besides C/W, I really enjoy acoustic bluegrass or jazz from Bela Fleck, Mark O'Connor, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas, and Tim O'Brien. Good listening!
I thought I had to keep that buried deep in the closet. My tastes started in folk, went to rock (Airplane, Dead, Youngbloods, etc.) in the 60's then on to country swing (Seatrain, Dan Hicks, Amazing Rythym Aces), bluegrass/newgrass (Old & in the Way, older Kraus, Mark O'Conner, Emmy Lou, New Grass Revival, Laurie Lewis, D. Grisman) and then into crossover C/W-bluegrass/folk (Michelle Shocked, Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith, Martin Smith Jazz Quartet, Meyer-Douglas-O'Brien, etc.) Haven't seen anyone mention one of my favorites- Jesse Winchester and the Trio lps by Emmy, Linda and Dolly. I guess I go for simple instrumentation and fine voices. BTW, don't miss Will the Circle be Unbroken (I & II) which brought singers and music lovers from two generations together.
i hope we don't all lose our memberships;everybody comming out of the closet like this.I always thought CW and audiophile was an oxymoron. Actually the one thing I am suprised most by is the # of mentions for my favorite: Emmylou. And don't forget the duo/w/Linda. Yes,Geo Jones and Don Williams the greatest pure male voices. EEEhaw!!!
I like almost all kinds of music including some of the C/W scene. However, it is pretty much limited to Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Linda Rondstant, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams Jr., Nanci Griffith and Martina McBride. Do you think Les Paul and Mary Ford could count? How about Chet Atkins?
Way2go,Albert,another; out of the closet. Chet the jet/fastest guitar in the west.(keep an eye on those fingers if you can)def.C&W And Les,besides his contribution to the making of/ and the multi tracking,yep I'd say the music;"How High the Moon" and "The World is Waiting For the Sunrise"/and most everything they did was more CW than some of todaysCW/ altho back then it was just "popular" Anyone;listen to "Boulder to Bermingham"by Emmylou.Maybe add a vocalist to you CW list Albert.
Do the New Riders Of The Purple Sage qualify as "country"?
Reminds me of the old exchange. QUESTION: What kind of music do you like? ANSWER: Both kinds. Country and Western. YeeeHaaaw!
I also like David Allen Coe, Graham Parsons/Burrito Brothers, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kinky Friedman And His Texas Jewboys, and James Intveld (how'd he get in there being so damn young?).
One can hardly claim to be a music lover without acknowledging the import/influence of "da white blues." While C&W per se isn't my first choice, it's influence in music that I do love is undeniable - e.g. covers of Hank Williams and Patsy Cline by the Cowboy Junkies, the eclectic Lyle Lovett, Chris Isaak, the Dead, the Beatles (Rocky Raccoon, Act Naturally), etc, etc. Not to mention Johnny Cash's self-titled MONO LP of just a few years ago - he's still going strong! Like they said in "The Blues Brothers," "We've got both kinds of music here - Country AND Western!" Cheers, -John
Damn! TWO people beat me to that one! Oh Well.....;-)
You knew an old redneck like me would have to chime in. C/W music, (and we do have to make the distinction from the “old” stuff compared to what they call “country” today,) has had some great voices and songwriters. Today’s country, except for a few exceptions in genuine voice and guitar work, can be ignored, just like “pop” music, where there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between one artist and another. I remember that one of my best and worst concert experiences occurred with the same artist, Hank Williams Jr. The first time I saw him in the early 80’s, he began the concert solo, switching medleys from guitar to piano, and singing in a bass voice that was awesome. Saw him again the next year and he was so drunk half the crowd walked out. Just following his family tradition, I guess. If anyone cares to try it, you can hear Bocefus, (Williams Jr.,) at his best on “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” from 1979. He went downhill from that, IMHO. Waylon Jennings’s “Greatest Hits” (1979) will let you hear his guitar heavy beer guzzling’ sound. And my favorite dark horse is David Allan Coe, esp. his start right after prison. He has a 1978 “Greatest Hits” album as well, but the darkest, moodiest, and most poignant country music I have ever heard is on “The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy” that is from about 1977. There is a cut called “Crazy Mary” that runs chills up and down my spine. Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” is NOT a C/W effort, but deserves a try by anyone serious about music. (Is that a strong enough statement?) Also enjoy Clint Black, George Straight, Allan Jackson, and John Anderson. Other great artists have been mentioned above, and there is also the whole other genre of ‘Country Rock.’ And Craig, forget about Albert, I’m waiting for Sugarbrie to post here. [:)] Charlie
I was raised in the Midwest but never listened to a lot of CW though I do have a few people bands that I enjoy. There was a band named "Asleep at the Wheel" that I enjoyed seeing live a few times in the mid 70's (lots of trippy steel guitar, at their live perfomances anyway). I dont have any of ELH's solo stuff but I do have a CD entitled "Grevious Anglel" by Gram Parsons that has her as backup on many of the songs. I have also seen her live as well as Bonnie Rait (who was performing in a small bar in Iowa City in the 73 or 74). Dan Vet recently turned me onto LL who reminds me a bit of Harry Neilsen in a way. Although I haven't heard him for 15 years I was also somewhat taken by Buck Owen's voice in the mid 80's though I never payed him much mind when he was younger and smoother sounding. When I was in highschool my mother heard "Honky Tonk Woman" by the Stones and always considered them a CW group after that no matter what type of song they were doing. She used to blast them when she was running the vacuum cleaner which confused some of my anti establishment friends at the time.
Alison Krauss singing "Heaven's Bright Shore" is a gift from above (I'm listening to it right now). Damn I'm getting old. That was 12 years ago on her second cd. She was still under 18.
Danvetc, I'm surprised you didnt mention your almost name sake and his band. And David, Asleep at the Wheel is a western swing band in the tradition of Bob Wills. Try Merle Haggard's tribute to him or Wills's Tiffany Transcriptons.
One more I will be surprised if anyone has ever heard: Mother Earth Presents Tracy Nelson Country, 1969 on reprise and it has been reissued on cd. If you liked Linda Ronstadt singing I Fall to Pieces, listen to Tracy's version.
Oops, the Tracy Nelson lp was on mercury, reissued by reprise archives. Absolutely amazing renditions of I Cant Go On Loving You, Im So Lonesome I Could Cry, I Wanna Be Your Momma Again and You Win Again.
Really nice to see some Agon members that like C/W also. For a long time I thought just the mention of it must be taboo here. Albert; I'm sure you know that I was just "baiting" you in jest with my thread comment. Of course what I was thinking of was your story about Steve McCormack actually soldering an anti-C/W device in an amp for you-- love that story, and glad to see you in this thread. Yes, I should have mentioned "the Trio", one of the best C/W albums ever. One that would make my all time top ten-- of any kind of music-- is Emmylou's "Cowgirl's Prayer" from a few years back. Howdy Podners. Craig.
Paulwp, these little subcompartments of music don't hold for very long, do they? You bet, in spite of the name, and among other bands, the Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws, and early Eagles all defined what we called "Country Rock." These bands were jamming, partying, and playing hard. This was sing along music, (you know, with it turned up so loud even a dog's howling wouldn't ruin it.) Kinda like my voice. [:)] This music is alot(cornfedboy) of fun, especially if you take advantage of some of Dragan's tweaks, (see Best Beer post.)
Since Danvetc is waiting for a classical music guy like me to put my two cents in here goes. I looked through my old LPs and found an original Johnny Cash Ring of Fire LP. How's that for classic. ----- I also attended a country music show a couple years ago. It was based on Wagner's Ring Cycle (Das Reingold). The show was called "Das Barbecue". (Really !)
Sugarbrie, I may have to make you a Lyle Lovett cd yet.[:)]
Classic country (American original...like Jazz) is nothing
like the Country Music Video Pop.....that many people see
as country music. While great country music has roots and
meaning....as well as heart/class....current pop/country is
the most $$$$ promoted and marketed music in the world...the
"Boyz2Men" of the world cannot, financially, compete with
the money spent on what most people think of as "country
music".... Even Ray Charles (read: Jazz) had country hits..
when country music was about music...not truck pulls.
lyle lovett is one of my favorite male wocalists, but is he really country? he even races ducati's as a hobby - he couldn't be country! ;~)
i also love bluegrass, but for standard-fare country-western, i'm afraid yule have to count me out...
Doug, you just moved up a notch on the old totem pole, with me, by being a Lyle Lovett fan. The man defies categorization, but a listen to "Stand By Your Man" lets you know he can get REAL country, (if'n he has a mind to.)
Where are my vitamins?
Count me in - more on the bluegrass and pre-70's stuff though. I have a large 78 rpm record collection, so I get to listen to original pressings of guys like Spade Cooley and Jimmy Wakely and Wiley Walker. I guess that's really Western Swing, but ...hey, it's what Dad played when I was a kid, ok? Current faves include Dwight Yoakam and a new kid I just found named Kasey Chambers - the odd part being she's straight outa the south alright - Australia! But if you can imagine Allison Krause crossed with Tammy Wynette, she's what it would sound like. Gotta agree with Whatjd about most of what I hear on the local so called "country" stations, though. Gimme Little Jimmy Dickens anytime!
ok, i was saving this for a thread on "guilty pleasures" but i've gotta admit that i'm a big fan of willie nelson (favorite album "reheaded stranger"), johnnny cash, emmylou harris and especially lyle lovett. lyle and his large band play fairly frequently in colo. saw him in vail last year. awsome concert. just to let you know my tastes are eclectic, tho, i'm gonna see phil lesh & friends at the fillmore (denver) tomorrow nite. yep, old deadhead, too.
oops, that shouldda said "redheaded stranger."
True confessions at the Agon Corral. Actually what it says to me is that the folks mentioned time and time again are artists. Their work has brought pleasure to a diverse group from around the US and if we can get Redkiwi and Ben and others to chime in, maybe from around the world. Great is great and me should all be thankful to have them to listen to. And shame on me for not mentioning Tracy Nelson. Have a 2 or 3 LPs and 2 CDs. Like the music on the LPs better. Now I might have to swap out the BAT for the SP9 MK2 and plug the TT back in and listen to some real "soul" music.
.....gotta agree with some of the recent comments above. Ray Charles recent release (well, a year ago) of a 4 CD set on Rhino label "Ray Charles Greatest Country and Western Hits" is one of my favorite "finds" of all time. IMO, not really country, but country soul, country swing, country jazz, and my favorites-- the country ballads. This is a dynamite set in either Soul or C/W categories-- and very well recorded. Cheers. Craig
Is "Gost Riders in the Sky" sung by Miss Peggy Lee good C&W? This song has been a fix of mine since I was a little kid. I recently was able to pick it up on CD. Now all that I need are ten more box tops from Borax soap to get my twenty wagon mule train model.
Dekay; I'm broad minded enough to accept Peggy Lee's "Ghost Riders" as C/W. Along this line, I also really like Gogi Grant's "The Wayward Wind". I was a pup when these two were in their prime :>) Craig
lucky you, garfish. i was already a dog when these gnostic homilies were released. ( BTW, angela, i'm trying to use the word-a-day method for the expansion of one's vocabulary.)
Cornfed; I'll be content to let you define the pup- vs -dog thing. I was age 12 in 1955 when TV finally made it to our 'hood in N.Dak. What's this have to do with music? Well, mid-50's "Hit Parade", and "The Ed Sullivan Show" were family favorites, and I remember Peggy Lee's and Gogi Grant's music; also Teresa Brewer, Doris Day, Andy Williams etc. And I remember Elvis' debut on Ed Sullivan Show-- complete with waist up video only. Later, I really liked Elvis's "Love Me Tender"-- maybe somemore guilty pleasure music. BTW, I think Albert Porter, and SD Campbell may be right in there with us agewise. I used to think I was the oldest "codger" on this site. Gnostic homilies?? -- gotta' get out the Funk and Wagnell's. Cheers. Craig.
Better late than never -- count me in. This is real roots music. Funny -- bad C&W is known for its wretched, perfumy excess. But one thing I love about good C&W is the discipline and good decision-making (when to play, when not to) of its musicians. Plus, I admire country because it takes a special breed of musician to take on the pedal steel guitar, a complex and finicky beast of an instrument. Some great voices have been mentioned already. I'd add Kitty Wells and Mel Tillis. Ernest Tubbs, Ray Price... there's lots.
C&W deserves documentary treatment, like jazz got (though maybe not 10 sessions worth --- sooooiiieee!). Great characters with hardscrabble backgrounds, lots of regional variety, etc. One fascinating period that I was able to observe a bit was when artists like the Byrds, Dylan and the Dead introduced a whole generation of hipsters and hippies to C&W. Man, all that long hair under cowboy hats... and I'm just talking about Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. I remember seeing Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen and Asleep At The Wheel doing a gig together before either had cut an album. Not your Daddy's Oldsmobile. But no, I did not inhale. Where's my Nudie suit?
is an excellent recording on CD. In fact, highly recommended on a web page so I bought it. It is excellent!
Check-out the CDs from ' Sixteen Horsepwer-Low estate and Sackcloth'n'ashes. Actually this falls under Gothic C/W , but music is very good and great recording too.
Should read as ' Sixteen Horsepower'
nilthepil: you from the denver area? only thing i'd say is "gothic" about 16 horsepower is the name of the venue on s. broadway where the've performed. they do put on really fun shows.
earlier, i said *count me out* when it came to c/w, w/the exception of lyle lovett. but reading what others tink passes for country here, i guess i'm having second thoughts... ;~)
No Cornfedboy, I am from LA. Gothic is little strong word, but their weird coolness does incline towards little Gothicky! They make good music, all the same.
Sorry I'm late to the party. Emmylou has essential records including Cimarron,Wrecking Ball,Evagelene and fantasctic live Last Date album. Can't go too wrong with Willie's Stardust (any version) Patsy Cline's Greatest (the original on Decca) or Rodney Crowell's Diamonds and Dirt. Vinyl only on all.
Think it's time people forget about genre's and labels and just enjoy good music and musicianship. Here's an oddity: for you: Marvin Gaye's Tribute To Nat King Cole on Tamla. Got to be one of Motown's best sounding records in stereo. It's not country but I thought I'd mention it anyway!
Jerry Jeff Walker " Live at Gruene Hall" a true American classic. For something interesting and new in this vein check out Donna the Buffalo, "Positve Friction"