This twofer collects country musician Gary Stewart’s 1979 and 1980 offerings, one being a rather standard country record and the other a rewarding collaboration with a legendary country producer and Southern Rock backup band.
Songwriter Bob Young made a name for himself as an ongoing collaborator with British rock band Status Quo. Back In Quo Country released in 1986, is his sole solo album, and is a fine collection of countrified interpretations of his Status Quo work.
Released in 2001, Denton, Texas trio Lift To Experience’s sole album was an amazingly intense concept album that largely went unheard during the band’s brief lifespan. Subsequent years have rightly elevated it to be one of the best records you’ve never heard. This reissue cleans up the mix and offers bonus material, but the focus is still on the amazing ninety minute apocalyptic opus that still sounds like nothing you’ve heard.
For the fifth installment of Ace Records’ fantastic Chartbusters USA, the focus is squarely on Country crossovers, and provides for a satisfying listen.
Anita Kerr left the comfort of her successful career in Nashville, setting out to Los Angeles to experiment with more contemporary music. The five albums she released under her name for Warner Brothers are fine examples of mid-60s Easy Listening and Sunshine Pop.
Pantera’s fourth major-label album, 1996’s The Great Southern Trendkill, was the band’s most aggressive, most intense album; twenty years later, it has lost none of its potency. Yet in retrospect, it feels like it should have been the band’s final statement, the high note that should have been used to bring the increasingly unhappy and dysfunctional band to a close.
Charly McClain is one of the more puzzling mysteries of country music. She was a certifiable recording superstar who suddenly and inexplicably turned her back to the world in 1988. This twofer compiles two greatest hits collection, which is both a definitive statement of this enigmatic singer’s brief yet undeniably successful career.
John Cale’s 1992 live album, Fragments Of A Rainy Season, was an experiment in performing his material in true solo fashion–him onstage, alone with just his guitar or piano. It was a calculated risk, and one that resulted in one of his finest albums to date.
Tales Of Justine is an obscure band, but it’s not a particularly good band. Instead, it serves as an interesting historical curio and is a document of a duo who would go on to achieve significantly greater musical success.
The twenty songs on this twofer from country crooner Jim Ed Brown might only scratch the surface of his brief but vast solo career, but it highlights the high quality of his output in twenty superb songs.