LP & CD Reviews #15

GLEN GLENN

‘PICK ‘EM UP AND LAY ‘EM DOWN’

(Bear Family)

Recently Exhumed Rockabilly

Glen Glenn is one of those rockabilly legends that was born of hindsight and the availability of hitherto unknown music to European ears in the 1970s. Three 1958 Era label releases once heard were never forgotten, crackerjack tracks like ‘Blue Jeans And A Boy’s Shirt’ and ‘Everybody’s Moving’ were such revelations that they helped propel the retrospective rockabilly explosion that resurrected them. A good 40 years on from then and 60 since they were recorded it’s constantly amazing that ‘new’ material is still being excavated. None of these takes of Glen’s classic cuts were released until 2004, six for the first time here. This album is on 10” vinyl only and features Bear Family staple diet of cuts with studio chatter will please the aficionados while the dancers will be just as thrilled.

Simon Nott

HANK WILLIAMS

‘THE LONESOME SOUND OF’

(Bear Family)

So Lonesome, he’d already died.

Hank Williams’ death on the eve of 1953 left such a huge hole in country music, despite the emergence then dominance of rock n roll throughout the decade, there were still legions of fans that wanted more. The big problem of course was that He was dead. Luckily, Hank spent a lot of his time in the late 1940’s recording radio shows, given his wayward ways and busy schedule pre-recorded was probably the best way. Most of what survived was just Hank and a guitar, various top musicians were assembled and over the course of a few sessions the task of backing a ghost was tackled. This album bears witness the project succeeded ‘Roly Poly’ even given the rockabilly treatment. The original 1960 album released as a 10” vinyl gatefold sleeve with Bear Family panache.

Simon Nott

VARIOUS ARTISTS

‘BATTLEGROUND KOREA’

(Bear Family)

A musical education of a forgotten war

This is another of those Bear Family boxsets that unearth a rich musical history from a bygone era. This time the musical twilight zone of 1950 – 1953 when the war on the Korean Peninsula raged. The boxset, lavishly produced, contains four CDs featuring 121 tracks and a 160 page hardback book which chronicles the war. Musically, country, blues and western, including tracks from soon to be legendary BB King and Fats Domino sit alongside artists doomed to obscurity, singing cowboy Gene Autry and original public service announcements. This format is breaking new ground but was no doubt a huge commercial gamble from the record label, one that seems to have paid off. This collection has just been nominated for a Grammy. This really is a stunning release on so many levels.

Simon Nott

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