Flyinshoes Review

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Texan Billy Walker enjoyed a long, albeit not always madly successful career when it comes to Billboard hit single but he remained a favourite of the traditionalist. After starting out in 1949 he was spotted by Hank Thompson, and by 1951 Walker was a resident of the Shreveport Louisiana Hayride. A deal with Columbia records followed, and though it took a number of years for him to hit stride the label stayed loyal, and in 1962 he repaid them big style with his one and only Country No1 “Charlie’s Shoes”. Although he did come close half-a-dozen times or more prior to his chart days waning. Like with a good few more acts, he found the 1970s a time of many changes in the country music world. Gone was the Nashville Sound as it gave way, in some quarters to a more contemporary slant as pop and rock infiltrated the music of Music city.     

“Charlie's Shoes" followed a top-30 hit single of Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Times Slips Away”, and though he wasn’t exactly burning it up Walker remained consistent,and though becoming a forgotten figure radio wise Stateside he did enjoy a resurgence in his career in the 1980s in the UK and Ireland. Walker was pure country, and with his amiable persona a big favourite this side of the pond. I recall him sharing the bill with fellow Grand Ole Opry stalwart Jean Sheppard and having an active UK Fan Club in operation. 

Among the finest songs on offer Walker gives his interpretation of “There Stands The Glass”, a sweet duet with Jeanette Hicks “Which One Of Us Is To Blame” and with the Crickets in attendance “On My Mind Again”. Plus for those sold on old time country fiddle, “Mr. Heartache” is something you will want to play time and again! Of an upbeat uplifting feel “I Can’t Keep The Girls Away” by L.J Butler is likewise a gem.  

Walker evaded death in 1963 when he gave up his plane seat for Hawshaw Hawkins (the flight Patsy Cline was on and lost her life, alongside Cowboy Copas and the above noted Hawkins) but wasn’t so lucky in 2006. For on returning from a gig in Alabama he lost control of the van he was driving, both him and his wife and a member of the band were all killed. 

    Maurice Hope 

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April 2018

Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
I Need To Start A Garden
Mama Bird Recordings
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
Stax Records
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
Sheesham & Lotus & 'Son
20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans

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