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Better Days (Discontinued) (On Sale)MICKEY NEWBURY was a songwriters songwriter at the dawning of the era of the singer-songwriter, yet he was also an unknown name on the Billboard charts. Mickey Newbury found early writing success in Nashville, enabling him to pave the way for his friends and contemporaries like Kris Kristofferson, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and David Allen Coe. Even to this day, Newbury continues to influence the most championed songwriters. His songs have been recorded nearly 1400 times by more than 1000 performers including Johnny Cash, Scott Walker, Ray Charles, Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, the Box Tops, Bonnie Prince Billy and Nick Cave. He is the only songwriter ever to have number one hits (with different songs) in the pop, country, R&B and easy listening charts within the space of one year (and three of those songs were in the charts simultaneously!). But Mickey Newbury himself was by far the best interpreter of his own songs.
Better Days collects MICKEY NEWBURY demo material, alternate versions of several favorites, and a radio session. Listeners will hear a crisp and clean version of Mickeys astonishing songwriting, singing and playing; refreshing to the ears after a swim through the powerfully concentrated sounds he created in the Cinderella garage.1. If You Want Me To I'll Go
3. Sad Satin Rhyme
4. Why You Been Gone So Long
5. I Don't Wanna Rock
6. Let Me Stay Awhile
7. Flower Man
8. Good Morning Dear
9. On Top Of Old Smokey
10. Interlude: How Many Times...
11. Better Days
12. How I Love Them Old Songs
13. I Don't Wanna Rock
14. I Don't Want Me No Big City Woman
15. You're Not My Same Sweet Baby
$20.99 $16.58 Save $4.41 (21%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The GatheringDiane Schuur's debut release for Vanguard Records, The Gathering, is unique in both material and style and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum.
The Gathering is a collection of 10 classic country songs, mostly written during the golden era of the 1960s, and is the first time Diane Schuur has featured this genre of music. On selections like Willie Nelsons Healing Hands of Time, Roger Millers When Two Worlds Collide, Merle Haggards Today I Started Loving You Again and Tammy Wynettes Til I Can Make It on My Own, Schuurs great vocal versatility shines through.1. Why Can't He Be You
2. Healing Hands of Time (with Mark Knopfler & Kirk Whalum)
3. Beneath Still Waters
4. Til I Can Make It On My Own
5. Don't Touch Me (with Alison Krauss)
6. Today I Started Loving You Again
7. Til I Get It Right
8. Am I That Easy to Forget
9. When Two Worlds Collide
10. Nobody Wins$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Country ClubIn true honky tonk style Country Club is the bastard child of a drunken promise. A post show hang-out between X and the Knitters' John Doe and The Sadies produced the idea to join forces to make an album of country songs. Timeless sounds abound on Country Club driven by Does gorgeously rough-hewn vocals, the dueling thousand pound chops of the guitar-wielding Good brothers and The Sadies world class rhythm section of Mike Belitsky and Sean Dean. Classic tunes by Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings stand along side corkers by Tammy Wynette and Roger Miller, all of them getting unique treatments by Doe and The Sadies. The album also features four originals; three from The Sadies and one courtesy of the timeless pairing of John Doe and Exene Cervenka. On Country Club John Doe and The Sadies find the perfect blend of the reverent and the experimental resulting in a slightly psychedelic brew that just might pass for straight if you're not lookin'.1. Stop the World and Let Me Off
2. Husbands and Wives
3. 'Til I Get It Right
4. It Just Dawned on Me
5. (Now and Then) There's a Fool Such as I
6. The Night Life
7. The Sudbury Nickel
8. Before I Wake
9. I Still Miss Someone
10. The Cold Hard Facts of Life
11. Take These Chains from My Heart
12. Help Me Make It Through the Night
13. Are the Good Times Really Over for Good
14. Detroit City
15. Pink Mountain Rag$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
Almost Blue (On Sale)Costellos Soulful Country & Western Covers Album Tackles Standard Tunes by George Jones, Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, and More
Expertly Played 1981 Set Marks the Second of the Encyclopedic Pop Musicians Many Forays Into Multiple Styles
Half-Speed Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Knockout Sonics Present Costellos Close-Up Vocals, Steve Nieves Piano, and the Pedal-Steel Guitars in Great Relief
Elvis Costello was so enamored with American country music when he finally discovered it, he was motivated to record Almost Blue. Renowned as one of the most passionate and enthusiastic covers albums ever made, the 12-song set finds the iconic singer/songwriter interpreting standards by the likes of Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and other legends. Replete with heartbreak, lonesomeness, boozing, cheating, and dreaming, its laden with country and westerns customary themes and dignified by one of the finest performances of Costello and the Attractions peerless career.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelitys numbered limited edition 180g LP opens up the soundstages, clears previously muddled midrange frequencies, and places the imaging of the various country-tuned instruments into clear focus. For the first time, listeners can hear just how much of himself Costello invests in the vocal performances, while the Attractions dont miss a beat, particularly pianist Steve Nieve and guest musician John McFee. Moreover, the strings (when employed) take on new life, and the records cover art, a take-off on Kenny Burrells Midnight Blue, is faithfully reproduced.
At the time of the albums recording in 1981, Costello was admittedly emotionally shattered. The title of the effort isnt merely coincidental. Feeling dejected and disenchanted, the vocalist had been put through the ringer: His pop stardom yielded one incredible record after another, but Costellos marriage was in tatters, his behavior deplorable, and his reputation tarnished by a famous drunken incident that shamed him for decades. In addition, he chose to follow his string of original LPs up with the soul- and R&B-minded Get Happy, a creative masterwork that nonetheless caused some of his mainstream fans to believe hed abandon his hit-making pedigree.
So he did what any self-respecting, astute musician would want to do: Cut a country and western record steeped in heartbreak, fragility, sadness, despair, and beer-glass-raising spirit. Largely informed by the stacks of country LPs he bought in used shops during U.S. tours, and in the ideal frame of mind, Costello sought out not to make standards such as Sweet Dreams, Too Far Gone, Honey Hush, and Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down his own but to put a unique spin on the darkness, surprise, soulfulness, foreboding, and authenticity that they contain within.
With each note, Costello succeeds and exceeds expectations, turning in versions that sound both old and new. Such timelessness, and the confluence of contemporary and traditional, distinguishes Almost Blue from nearly every other country tribute album made by pop/rock artists before and since. Costello and the Attractions embody the deep sentiments attached to these weeping ballads, tear-jerking lullabies, honky-tonk rave-ups, and playful shuffles in an incredibly convincing manner. Producer George Sherrill, famous for working with the likes of Tammy Wynette, George Jones, and Marty Robbins, and brought on board specifically for the project, frames the music with the perfect blend of grit and professionalism.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used to Do)? (Hank Williams)
2. Sweet Dreams (Don Gibson)
3. Success (Johnny Mullins)
4. Hot Burrito #1 (Gram Parsons, Chris Ethridge)
5. Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down (Merle Haggard)
6. Brown to Blue (George Jones, Virginia Franks)
7. A Good Year for the Roses (Jerry Chesnut)
8. Sittin' and Thinkin' (Charlie Rich)
9. Colour of the Blues (Lawton Williams, George Jones)
10. Too Far Gone (Billy Sherrill)
11. Honey Hush (Lou Willie Turner)
12. How Much I Lied (Gram Parsons, Pam Rifkin)$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Undefeated (Out of Stock)Bobby Bare, Jr. could've phoned in a career. He could've exploited the fact that he's the son of iconic Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, was born into Nashville's Music Row elite, and counted artists like Shel Silverstein as close family friends and George Jones and Tammy Wynette as next door neighbors. Instead, Bobby blazed a path of unique songwriting craftsmanship with a voice that blows through you like an unyielding wind on the desolate prairie.
Undefeated is BBJ's first release since 2010 and what he calls his "break-up record," but the whole of it is much more involved: this isn't escapism; it's an emotional survival guide. Undefeated is ten songs of reality checks, clever wordplay, and daring arrangements, the aural companion to that buddy who pulls up a bar stool next to yours to help soak away your sorrows.
Like a bespectacled, curly haired prizefighter whose opponent is on the ropes, Bobby goes at each release as if it might be his last round, focused, and full of energy and purpose. Undefeated is no different. The song list is a war chest of formidable uppercuts (e.g. distorted pop rock gems "North of Alabama By Mornin'" and "Don't Stand At the Stove"), eye-splitting right jabs (open and orchestral "Don't Wanna Know" and "The Elegant Imposter"), and sneaky left hooks (the crescendoing "As Forever Became Never Again").
Undefeated is an album of distinct balance, but with raw and varied textures. "North of Alabama By Mornin'" leads with a murky, palm-muted electric guitar and striding, crunchy organ backbeat; a combination that is undeniably kinetic à la Humble Pie's '70s boogie grooves and sinister and sexy, like a Southern doppelganger to Greg Dulli/The Twilight Singers. Bare Jr.'s ghostly high/low vocal layers echo the bleak picture of a metaphorical road trip, when his confidence slips, "Am I holding the steering wheel or is it holding me?/ The transmission is slipping like a pigeon through a tiger's teeth." By the song's finale, though, jubilant yelps ("Oh! Ho! Ho! We're goin' home!") and the electric guitar's pinch-harmonic wailing, indicate that things are headed in the right direction.
What's most striking about BBJ is his proficiency with a broad sonic palette that fluently conjures uncommon impressions of life's soul-arresting experiences. "The Big Time" is rock 'n' roll reinterpreted through the lens of soulful pedaled bass, celebratory and punchy brass, and the facade of big-city talk ("You're gonna miss me after I hit the big time/ Gonna get brand new famous friends."). In "Blame Everybody (But Yourself)" the band - Young Criminals' Starvation League - taps into a piano-inflected British invasion/Herman's Hermits sort of vibe, blended with the melancholic echo chamber aesthetic of My Morning Jacket.
At other moments, Bobby channels his country DNA (like in the Hayes Carll co-penned "My Baby Took My Baby Away"), mirror-ball gazing '70s R&B/soul ("Undefeated"), and bright ballads from the hills and hollers of Venice Beach ("If She Cared"). From anyone else, this refusal to play it on the straight and narrow would sound cluttered and disjointed, but Bobby never breaks a sweat.1. North of Alabama By Mornin'
2. If She Cared
3. The Big Time
4. Don't Wanna Know
5. The Elegant Imposter
7. My Baby Took My Baby Away
8. Blame Everybody (But Yourself)
9. As Forever Became Never Again
10. Don't Stand At The Stove$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock