Country for non-country fan?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Broadman, Dec 8, 2001.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    In my ever-growing desire to expand my musical horizons, I recently realised there's a style of music I've completely neglected: country.

    Let me just say first of all that I very much dislike Garth Brooks, the Judds, and the like. I like the country "sound." Stomping beats, twangy steel guitars, fiddles, jews harp, banjos. Not the current popular stuff.

    So, any recommendations? Maybe some older stuff, or something that focuses as much on the instrumental stuff as the vocals, if not more?

    This thread was inspired by listening to the Dixie Dregs, who employ a country "feel" sometimes, and I find myself enjoying those songs the most (the Bash is the greatest instrumental tune ever).
     
  2. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    You think you know Country, but you're just on the outskirts of it !

    You have to go Deep! Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash...

    You will find those you like know are kind of watered down pretenders!
     
  3. Darren H

    Darren H Second Unit

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    Mike, I think you and I have fairly similar musical tastes. In fact, I think I recall you commending me once for bringing up the Dregs in another thread.
    After having grown up a big prog/fusion fan -- I'm a musician and always thought, "the more notes and time changes, the better" -- my tastes have shifted dramatically over the last eight or nine years. I'm now much more interested in good song-writing, which leads me, finally, to your question about country.
    If you want to go straight to the roots, pick up a Hank Williams (Sr.) collection. I actually fell in love with his twangy voice because of the film, The Last Picture Show. Or, pick up a CD by Bill Monroe, the only man I can name who single-handedly invented a style of music: bluegrass. Then, move on to the big boys -- Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Merle Haggard.
    I honestly don't listen to any of them on a daily basis, but their influence is heard all over my favorite music being made today -- all these groups that are laballed alt-country or "roots" music: Son Volt, Whiskeytown, The Jayhawks, Wilco, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Golden Smog, Buddy and Julie Miller, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and (my new favorite) Varnaline.
    One starting point that I would highly recommend is a 2-disc compilation called Exposed Roots. It's only $14.99 from Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000JIMZ/
    I also have to put in a quick word for The Jayhawks' Hollywood Town Hall, which gets my vote for best album of the 90s. Hope that helps. I know that there are a lot of alt-country fans on this forum. Surely, some of them will pop in here.
     
  4. Alan K

    Alan K Agent

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    I'm the same boat you are Mike. I own very few country albums, but I love one by a band called "Old and in the Way". It was a bluegrass band that only existed for one year (1973) and featured Jerry Garcia on banjo. It's really twangy, hokey kind of stuff, a lot of fun and they do a great cover of Rolling Stones' Wild Horses. I have the original self title, but a couple of other recordings have popped up and are supposed to be just as good as the original, if not better.
     
  5. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I'll second Darren's thoughts. I dislike most country out there, all that over-produced commercial Mutt Lang sound.

    Buddy and Julie Miller made me realize how good honest, pure country-folk-celtic-rock can be. Its great music and I still need to purchase a couple of Buddy Miller discs.

    I think you'll really get a kick from them. They don't duet, their 2 voices morph into one. The song Rachel from the new release "Buddy and Julie Miller" is a perfect example. Its like another dimension opens up. Quite incredible. Anyway, its worth checking out.
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I always thought that rock musicians back in the sixties did country much better than current country musicians have done rock, which is why most modern country is pretty weak (IMO).

    Try the following for starters:

    Red Headed Stranger - Willie Nelson

    Sweetheart of the Rodeo - The Byrds
     
  7. James RD

    James RD Supporting Actor

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    You might want to try a little Dwight Yoakam.

    Guitars Cadillacs Etc.

    Gone

    Hillbilly Deluxe

    Tomorrow's Sounds Today
     
  8. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    James is correct about Yoakam, but add these discs to the list:
    If There Was A Way & This Time
    Also, check out Alison Krauss (& Union Station). They've sort of created their own style of bluegrass and Alison has an amazing voice.
    For guitar try some Jr. Brown
     
  9. Frank_W

    Frank_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Any opinions on the Highwaymen. It included Waylon Jennings,

    Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristoferson.

    I heard only one song and thought it was pretty good.
     
  10. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    Also, if you are DVD-Audio capable try the Dead's Workingman's Dead & American Beauty, both recently released on DVD-A.
     
  11. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Though my parents tried their damnest to raise me to only listen to Country Music, I have not listened at any length to country music since 1988. For me, and I agree with every choice so far that people have listed in this thread, I tend to gravitate toward the country-western stylings of Patsy Cline, Barbara Mandrell and Dolly Parton.

    Patsy is a class act and her music has only stood the test of time. Though many feel that she was the first true country cross-over, no one in country has ever been able to match the emotion in an entire album like Patsy could in one song. If you want to try Patsy, the best one to give a listen to is a disk called "The Patsy Cline Story." It gives the best overview of one of musics finest voices.
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Pick up T-Bone Burnett's self titled CD on Dot records. It's available as a budget CD for like $5.99 or something. It's a fantastic country record.
     
  13. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    The Jayhawks Hollywood Town Hall is a great album. So is an earlier release - Blue Earth. I'd also recommend the album after HTH, I can't remember the name of it because it was stolen out of my truck and I haven't replaced it yet. After those three the band slipped a bit IMHO. One of the two singers, Mark Olson, left the band.

    I'm not really into any classic country(Willie Nelson, Waylon etc.) but if you like the alt-country stuff I would also recommend - Jolene-Hell's Half Acre and the Bottlerockets-The Brooklyn Side.The guitar player from The Bottlerockets has played with Wilco and The Jayhawks among others.

    KrisM
     
  14. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    KrisM, you're thinking of Tomorrow the Green Grass, a terrific album.

    The albums that turned me onto more of the roots/alt-country stuff would be Son Volt's Trace, Wilco's A.M. and Being There, Kelly Willis' self-titled album, and The Jayhawks.

    I'd recommend giving Richard Buckner a try. His album Since should also rock enough too. Gillian Welch's Time (The Revelator) is outstanding. If anyone doubts that this kind of music lacks power, catch her and David Rawlings in concert. I saw them at the Newport Folk Festival's opening night show this summer, and I was knocked out even though I was mostly unfamiliar with their music.

    Charlie Robison kind of does a hybrid of country and rock that might appeal to you too.

    I've reviewed some (although all too few) at the website linked in my signature.
     
  15. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    I have to agree with the old country statement. I found that I'd turned a page in my life when I started buying Slim Whitman, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Tom T. Hall records without trying to funny or ironic. When you pass that marker, you can move on to harder stuff, like Red Sovine, whose "Teddy Bear" is one of the most screwed-up songs of all time (unintentionally).
    Bloodshot Records -- home of Neko Case, The Waco Brothers, Alejandro Escovdeo and (formerly) the Old '97s -- is terrific (it's sort of like the country cousin of the blues label Fat Possum). You can't go wrong there.
    www.bloodshotrecords.com
     
  16. Matt Everett

    Matt Everett Stunt Coordinator

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    For rock bands that delve nicely into country, I would try:

    The Band (The Band, Music From Big Pink)

    Neil Young (Everybody Knows this is Nowhere, Harvest, Tonight's the Night)

    Grateful Dead (American Beauty)

    I also like:

    Marty Robbins

    Hank Williams, Sr.

    Johnny Cash

    Patsy Cline

    Gram Parsons

    Charley Pride

    BR5-49

    Chet Atkins

    Columbia released a couple of compilations: "Americana" and "The Nashville Sound" which you might like. Most of it is from the "golden" years of the 1960's when country sounded like country.

    I should know a lot more about country than I do, considering that I live in Nashville. Oh well! If you ever visit, check out the new Country Music Hall of Fame. It's much nicer than the old one on Music Row.
     
  17. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    Matt said:
     
  18. Tim Baldwin

    Tim Baldwin Stunt Coordinator

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    For George et al loooking for rockers doing country (or country doing country for that matter) try the Earl Scruggs Revue album - Earl, his sons, and an all-star very eclectic cast including Johnny Cash, Loudon Wainwright, Bonnie Bramlett, Charlie Daniels, Leonard Cohen, etc etc. Might only be available on vinyl.
     
  19. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    An enjoyable thread for me, too bad it ended so soon. Lot's of good suggestions here to which I'd like to add Robbie Fulks.
    My introduction to Robbie came with an Austin City Limits taping. I wasn't at that one but a good friend made sure I saw the raw footage. I now own all of his CDs and recently saw him at the Cactus Cafe in Austin. Afterward I decided that I would NEVER miss another Robbie Fulks gig. Well, not a local one. He is a tremendous presense in concert, voice, guitar, lyrics and great rapport with his fans.
    Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs; Barely Human.
    A mouth full of teeth and a head full of brains
    Each morning, the soft rush of blood in my veins
    The lips taste, the feet walk, a heart pounds within
    But I'm barely human after one glass of gin.
    What footprints are these in the fresh fallen snow?
    And what kind of creature has hurt my wife so?
    Who kicked down the front door?
    I must have been gone...
    I'm barely human from twilight 'til dawn.
    She's fed up, she's leaving, and this time, for real
    But the thirst in my body is all I can feel
    So slowly the clock turns, 'til night falls at last
    If I'm barely human, I can still lift the glass.
    With one sip, the gin hits, and wipes my head clean
    And it brings me a vision: a boy of 15
    His eyes raised to heaven, his heart strong and brave
    But I'm barely human as I fall to my grave.
     
  20. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Ever check out Ween 12 Golden Country Greats? Different, for sure, but then, Ween has always been different.
    Bruce
     

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