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Archive for November 12th, 2012

From Bakersfield to You: Newly-Discovered Recordings of Buck Owens, Don Rich Arrive in January

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Omnivore Recordings is bound for Bakersfield, and the honky-tonks are still open!

With Fresno to the north and Los Angeles to the south, the town of Bakersfield, California might have been an unlikely candidate for Nashville West, but so it was when Buck Owens, Ferlin Husky, Merle Haggard and other back-to-basics country stars called it home.  Owens made the town his adopted residence from the age of 21, and directly answered the “countrypolitan” sound coming out of Tennessee with an unabashedly pure country sound.  Bakersfield’s proud lineage as a musical epicenter is still celebrated today; an exhibit entitled The Bakersfield Sound is currently packing ‘em in at the Country Music Hall of Fame in…Nashville!  And Omnivore is doing its part.  The label has slated two albums of never-before-released Bakersfield music for January 23, 2013 release: Buck Owens’ Honky Tonk Man and Don Rich Sings George Jones.

Honky Tonk Man follows on the heels of the Black Friday Record Store Day exclusive vinyl EP Buck Sings Eagles, in which the Hee Haw man puts his stamp on California country-rock classics “Tequila Sunrise,” “Take It Easy,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Lyin’ Eyes.”  That release itself follows past Omnivore treasures from the Owens camp, including a swell coloring book (!) and two rare live sets on one CD.  The eighteen tracks on Honky Tonk Man were culled from the material Owens recorded at his Bakersfield studio for Hee Haw in the early ’70s.  With his musical performances, Owens paid homage to his forebears as well as his contemporaries, and so the disc includes takes on “In the Jailhouse Now,” dating back to 1928 via Jimmie Rodgers, to “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer,” a hit for Johnny Russell in 1973. In between, you’ll hear songs from Hanks Williams and Snow, the late, great Johnny Horton, and even a tip of the ten-gallon hat to Haggard with “Swinging Doors.”   All told, Honky Tonk Man offers eighteen slabs of prime Owens.

After the jump: much more on the boys from Bakersfield! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 12, 2012 at 10:07