A busy day: grocery shopping, a six-mile walk, and late lunch/early dinner at Murry’s, then some well-earned lazing about with some drinks. I needed to knock out my update of best albums of 2018, which required a trip to the basement desktop and some iTunes and YouTube clicking around to test my musical judgement. However, while I was down in the inner sanctum, Nicole took over the house stereo, and her selections, bleeding down through the ceiling, gave me more pleasure than anything I was examining. (She has a knack for this; not many spouses in the world will crank up a Lee Dorsey jam in the bathroom while in deep pedicure mode!)
DJ Nicole’s Platters That Mattered:
Few things are more insane and addictive and wonderful in American music than Fred and Rose Maddox whoopin’ and hollerin’ through a country and western tune! And the band (often with future Stranger Roy Nichols on guitar) flat moves! Both Arhoolie volumes of “America’s Most Colorful Hillbilly Band” are the cat’s ass and will break up any excessive solemnity in your abode.
This isn’t the actual slab she spun (that was the first volume of Rhino’s stingy two [separate] disk Owens comp), but it contains most of its great tracks. Sharp band (guitar and drummer leaning toward rock), instantly recognizable singer and writer (“Under Your Spell Again” a great example: spare, focused, catchy, soulful), lean sound.
The McCoury fam’s waxed many great songs but few undeniable albums. This one’s close. Usually it’s about the tunes, and here they range from Frank Sinatra to Richard Thompson, whose greatest composition they outright take from him (the way Aretha did Otis with “Respect”). The playing and singing are always on point with this bunch.
A man and his idol. George bawled like a baby on his military bunk when he heard Hank had died–through a New Year’s Eve hangover, surely–so you can rest assured he handles these Hillbilly Shakespeare classics with TLC. I wish I had a full album link, but both of the Possum’s Hank discs are stellar.
OH YEAH! She also played R. L. Burnside all morning in the jalopy!
Neil Young: Roxy–Tonight’s the Night Live. Yes, you do too need it.