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BOB CHEEVERS –SELECTIONS FROM 50 YEARS: THE BOB CHEEVERS COLLECTION (Howlin’ Dog Records) 5 CD-Set

 

www.bobcheevers.com

 

 

Bob Cheevers like with one or two more, his music isn't appreciated by as many as it should. Sadly, it is likely more or less to remain that way. While on the positive side he has a hard-core of fans in mainland Europe and the UK that has seen him through more recent times. Cheevers during fifty years making music has seen Memphis during his college days, twenty-five years out on the American West Coast in California working in the pop field, and then sixteen years in Nashville as a journeyman singer-songwriter. For most men that would be enough, but not the incredible never-say-die Bob Cheevers. 

 

Since his time in Music City Cheevers has resided in Austin Texas and adapted to it superbly. Austin has given him a new lease of life. To the degree he had only been there three years, and he was picking up the Texas Music Awards Singer-songwriter Award (2011), and he's continued to record and tour since then. His album Tall Texas Tales pretty much opened the doors to his love affair with the Austin circuit; his carefully measured songs and weathered vocal style have seen fans of Cheevers well served. On some tracks he possesses a distinctive likeness to Willie Nelson on which there is no doubt, but this only strengthens him as an artist! 

     

Bob Cheevers as his bio reads lays claim has covered ten genres with his songwriting, and through the music (and on recalling previous albums) on the ten track sampler I was given to work from to the relief of his fans he doesn’t sway  from what his fans love. His rootsy style and stories as he reflects on musical idols and how life once was in America and new found love of his adopted State ensure his work rarely falters. His albums over the years have always been a good listen, not least due to the depth of his songwriting and careful arrangements.  

 

“Texas Is An Only Child” digs deep Ray Wylie Hubbard fashion as he speaks of his adopted home, and it is accompanied by the likes of the superb reflective story-ballad “Popsicle Man”. Mellow jazz washed ode “In The Early Stages” and with a keener cutting edge, the restless “The Unknown Soldier” are likewise winners. Another not to be missed track is the troubled “Is It Ever Gonna Rain”, but in all honestly I could just as easily pick any one of a score or more as examples of his worth. 

 

Sure, there is a Willie Nelson influence on a few songs, even down to the guitar playing. But that is no bad thing. How his songwriting hasn’t been more used leaves me bemused. I can think of a good many acts that could benefit from looking his way instead of sticking to their own, less capable talent in the songwriting department. As for the title-track of this ambitious project is the newly penned “Fifty Years”; you could not wish for a stronger or more impressive cornerstone to a venture. This as he reflects on his life of fifty years singing the blues, and of how he is still out there searching. Looking for answers. Culled from ten CDs, a small sample of his incredible 3,000 song self-penned repertoire Bob Cheevers is a remarkable talent. He can still cut it, and well capable of showing the young bucks a few pointers.  

 

                                                                        Maurice Hope  

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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