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Archive for the ‘Jerry Reed’ Category

The Nashville Sound: New Set Spotlights Chet Atkins’ Collaborations

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Chet Atkins - Master ClassFourteen-time Grammy winner Chet Atkins (1924-2001) was a man of many hats. At RCA Victor between 1947 and 1982, as a performer, producer and executive, he was a key player in the creation of the “Nashville Sound” which made country palatable to crossover audiences.  Indeed, though the style has changed, the pop influence on the country genre certainly hasn’t, and fans of Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood all owe something to Chet Atkins.  Also one of Nashville’s most pioneering and virtuosic guitarists, Atkins notched a number of hit singles while at RCA and embarked on a series of collaborative albums with other guitar greats including Les Paul, Mark Knopfler, Jerry Reed and Tommy Emmanuel – all four of which are represented on a new 2-CD set from Australia’s Raven Records. Chet Atkins – Four Master Class Albums 1978-1997 collects four Atkins LPs originally released on the RCA and Columbia labels and continues Raven’s series of Atkins reissues.

The earliest album here, 1978’s Guitar Monsters, was the second full-length collaboration of Atkins and Les Paul following 1976’s Grammy-winning Chester and Lester.  Though Atkins pioneered the “countrypolitan” sound of Nashville, the tracks on Monsters are stripped-down and tight with no strings anywhere in sight.  Randy Goodrum (piano) and Larrie London (drums) returned from Chester, and were joined by Paul Yandell (rhythm guitar), Buddy Harman and Randy Hauser (drums) and Joe Osborn (bass).  As on that first duo album, a loose, informal atmosphere prevailed on Guitar Monsters.  You’ll want to turn your volume up to hear the faint in-studio comments preserved.  Sometimes the gents are calling out chord changes; other times, they’re just laughing or making wry observations.  But of course, the main attraction here is the music – standards like “Over the Rainbow,” “I Want to Be Happy,” “Limehouse Blues” and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s bossa classic “Meditation.”  There’s plenty of breathing room for tasty solos from both men over these eleven tracks, with friendship as well as competition likely keeping Chet and Les at the top of their respective games.

The set then jumps to 1990 with Atkins’ Mark Knopfler collaboration, Neck and Neck.  The elder statesman and the hotshot Dire Straits leader/axeman picked up two Grammy Awards for this joint effort, on which they were joined by Guy Fletcher on drums, bass and keyboards, Edgar Meyer and Steve Wariner on bass, Larrie Londin on drums, Mark O’Connor on fiddle and mandolin, and Paul Franklin on steel, with guest spots from legendary Nashville pianist Floyd Cramer and vocalist Vince Gill.  Knopfler supplied the original song “The Next Time I’m in Town,” with other repertoire coming from the classic country (Don Gibson’s “Sweet Dreams” and “Just One Time”), pop (Gus Kahn and Isham Jones’ “I’ll See You in My Dreams”) and jazz (Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt’s “Tears”) songbooks.

There’s more after the jump including the full track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 21, 2014 at 12:32

Reviews: Three From Real Gone – Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo, Jerry Reed and Durocs

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Real Gone Music has become known for its wide-ranging and eclectic releases, and today we’re looking at three of the most recent, from the countrypolitan stylings of Jerry Reed to the rock animals of Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo and the pure pop of The Dūrocs!

Dūrocs, Dūrocs (Real Gone Music RGM-0058, 2012)

Are you ready to hear one of the best albums you’ve never heard?  Then head straight to the pig pen for the first-ever CD release of Dūrocs.  Primarily written and produced by the team of Ron Nagle and Scott Mathews, fun is the order of the day on this 1979 pure pop gem.  Co-produced by Neil Young associate Elliot Mazer, Dūrocs blends tongue-in-cheek humor with a flair for melodic pop songcraft that will appeal to any fan of The Beach Boys, The Beatles or Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound.  The album could come with a warning: These songs will get stuck in your head!

Ron Nagle and Scott Mathews found gainful employment as songwriters in the 1970, successfully placing songs with artists ranging from The Tubes to Barbra Streisand.  When the duo set their sights on recording as a band, it was so named for “a breed of pig known for its intelligence and large testicles.”  (Seriously.)  Nagle calls his take on the Philles sound his “Wall of Mud,” and it’s in evidence on the album’s blast of an opener, the tongue-in-cheek “Hog Wild.” But there’s nothing sludgy on this goofily charming rock anthem: “We got the Dūroc stance/But we don’t stand a chance if we do it only half-hearted…hog wild!”)  An authentic Wrecking Crew legend, Steve Douglas, adds his trademark honking saxophone alongside, um, squealing backing vocals!

Douglas’ saxophone adorned many Beach Boys songs, so why not the very Beach Boys-influenced “We Go Good Together,” then?  The catchy, humorous list song with a tropical vibe has a lyric so eccentric that even Brian Wilson would likely have approved: ““We’re just like ham and cheese/Birds and trees/Shoes and socks…”   There’s even a New Wave sheen to “True Love,” which also recalls the best of Todd Rundgren.

The surprisingly earnest ballad “Don’t Let the Dream Die” features yearning Beatle-esque songcraft with ringing guitars and pedal steel played by Mathews (“We’ll never have to worry anymore/Goin’ round in circles/Chasing rainbows ‘til I think I’m gonna drop/Then a little voice inside me says that/Good things never come from giving up”), and “One Day at a Time” is another look at the softer side of Nagle and Mathews’ ouevre.  The raucous, scathing “Seeker (You Be Sucker)” is at the opposite end of the spectrum, turning its lyrical ire towards quasi-spiritual truth-seekers.  It, too, is tempered by a Douglas sax solo!  “Saving It All Up for Larry” is similarly dark; Gene Sculatti’s liner notes reveal that the song “evolved from a true story involving a reluctant miss, her absentee boyfriend and a zealous, deliciously overconfident stalker.”  The lone cover is a choice one: the irresistible “It Hurts to Be in Love,” a hit for Gene Pitney penned by Howard Greenfield and Helen Miller.

The length of the album has been almost doubled, with eight bonus tracks added to the original ten.  The otherwise-copious notes by Gene Sculatti don’t go into much detail about the origin of these tracks, but they’re copyrighted with a 1985 date, and that date sounds about right.  These “bone-us tracks” demonstrate the same melodic facility and fun sensibility as the original album, with a bit more of a “big ‘80s” sound. Highlights include the wryly-titled “Pete Has Got the Power” and the honky-tonk country homage “Drinkin’ One Day at a Time,” with a suitably exaggerated, pathos-filled lyric.  In a rather unexpected cameo, you’ll hear Ernie K-Doe (“Mother-in-Law”) on the most peculiar “Nawgahide.”  As a whole, they’re not as strong a set of songs as the original album, but they round out one of the most purely enjoyable reissues to have emerged of late.  If you prefer your pop with a sixties sensibility and a seventies/power-pop sound, you won’t want to miss Dūrocs.

We check out Jerry Reed and Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 8, 2012 at 11:39

Release Round-Up, Week of May 29

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Amen Corner, Round Amen Corner: The Complete Deram Recordings (RPM)

The complete Deram output of Andy Fairweather-Low’s soulful group Amen Corner is collected by RPM Records, including the 1968 album that gives this reissue its title!

The Critters, Younger Girl: The Complete Kapp and Musicor Recordings (Now Sounds)

The first album from New Jersey’s Critters (“Younger Girl,” “Mr. Dieingly Sad”) is reissued along with a plethora of rare singles and bonus songs!

Everything But the Girl, Eden…Plus / Idlewild, Plus… / Baby The Stars Shine Bright…Plus / Love Not Money…Plus (Edsel)

Edsel unveils beautifully-designed reissues of the first four albums from the sophisticated British pop duo!  Each 2-CD set is housed in a hardcover digi-book and bolsters the original album with rare songs and performances that no fan will want to miss.

Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo, I’m Not Me / Jerry Reed, The Unbelievable Guitar and Voice of Jerry Reed / Nashville Underground (Real Gone Music)

Real Gone Music offers the CD debut of  a rare outing from Mick Fleetwood plus two albums on one CD from Nashville’s legendary “guitar man,” Jerry Reed!

Small Faces, Small Faces (Decca) / In the Beginning (Decca/Universal)

The 1966 and 1967 Decca albums from Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan arrive in eagerly-awaited 2-CD expanded editions!

The Supremes, The Supremes at the Copa (Motown/Hip-o Select)

Detroit’s legendary ladies take New York’s swank Copacabana by storm in this 1965 set, now expanded to 2 CDs and jam-packed with unreleased material!

Various Artists, Playlist titles (Legacy Recordings)

Sony’s Legacy Recordings offers a variety of budget-priced Playlist compilations from a diverse array of artists including Harry Belafonte, Jim Brickman, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Ciara, Alice Cooper, Rodney Crowell, Raheem DeVaughn, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, The Fugees, Heather Headley, Kenny Loggins, Prong, Pete Seeger and Tonex!

Written by Joe Marchese

May 29, 2012 at 08:45

Dead and (Real) Gone: Grateful Dead, Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo, Durocs, Germs and More Coming In May

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It’s time to book passage on the Real Gone train for next month’s trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco, as the enterprising label has announced its latest, wide-ranging group of titles all slated for late May release.  Returning to print are live shows from The Grateful Dead as well as a number of albums from the Cameo Parkway library, while rare LPs from The Germs, The Durocs, Jerry Reed and Mick Fleetwood all get the deluxe treatment for the first time.

Three titles are making their CD debuts from the Real Goners.  San Francisco’s Mystery Trend (its name taken from a misheard Bob Dylan lyric) included among its members one Ron Nagle, who in 1970 recorded cult classic Bad Rice with producer and frequent Phil Spector associate Jack Nitzsche.  Elsewhere in the City by the Bay, Scott Mathews was making a name for himself, joining Elvin Bishop at the Fillmore and forming Ice with future Journey frontman Steve Perry.  In 1979, Mathews and Nagle teamed as the Durocs (apparently named after a breed of hog known for being great producers with oversized ears and genitalia, according to the press release!) for a self-titled album also supervised by Nitzsche.  For the first time, the fierce power pop of Durocs arrives on CD, and with eight unreleased bonus tracks!  In addition to the CD, Real Gone will issue this lost classic on pink vinyl as a 500-unit limited edition with its original sequence and packaging replicated.  Gene Sculatti annotates the new CD.

It was also in 1979 that Joan Jett produced the only album for The Germs.  Often cited as one of the very first hardcore punk albums, (GI) was such a powerful debut that one LA Weekly critic opined, “This album leaves exit wounds!”  Produced by Joan Jett, The Germs’ (GI) features Darby Crash (lead vocals), Pat Smear (guitars/backing vocals), Lorna Doom (bass/backing vocals) and Don Bolles (drums/backing vocals).  Originally issued on Slash Records, the album has been out-of-print on CD for years and returns in a four-panel wallet featuring the original album graphics (including lyrics) with additional photos by Jenny Lens and new liner notes by Richie Unterberger drawing on an interview with Don Bolles.  Real Gone Trivia Time No. 1: Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders (previously anthologized by Real Gone) was originally sought to produce, but Slash couldn’t afford his asking price, hence the band enlisting their friend Joan Jett.  No. 2: Shortly after recording (GI), The Germs recorded six songs for the soundtrack to the Al Pacino film Cruising.  The producer of those recordings was none other than…Jack Nitzsche!

Hit the jump to head to Nashville, Philadelphia and back to San Francisco! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 17, 2012 at 09:28