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HANK LOCKLIN —FOURTEEN KARAT GOLD (Jasmine Records)

 

www.jasmine-records.co.uk

 

 

Classic Recordings 1951-1957 is the subtitle; as regards the classic bit they pretty much have it right. Locklin’s easy flowing tones wrapped in pedal steel guitar and country guitar the Florida-born and raised country act’s elevation to the upper echelons of the genre may not have been the quickest as he struggled at gain a solid foothold, but he eventually did courtesy of RCA records.

 

”Let Me Be The One” in 1953 saw him top the charts for the first of the two occasions he did during his career. Although the Four Star release isn’t on this collection, subsequent hits on RCA are. His cover of George Jones’ much covered “Why Baby Why” was to open the way for Locklin, and those accompanying him; Chet Atkins (guitar), Owen Bradley (piano) etc. Locklin makes a good fist of it too, and with the likes of the fiddle and pedal steel plied “I Like To Play With Your Kisses” and versions of “You Can’t Never Tell” and “Seven Or Eleven” (both songs are from rockabilly act Luke McDaniel) trademark pedal steel gets to me every time. Like with the records, no matter how old or whether they were old radio broadcasts complete with hiss and crackle it does it almost every time for me! Among the finest illustrations of this can be heard of “Whispering Scandal”, and with fiddle also to the fore “I’ll Always Be Standing By”. While with electric country guitar and a little funky rhythm “Why Don’t You Haul Off And Love Me” likewise it too is rather special. Plus there is among the 30-tracks (all mono) two of his most popular recordings “Geisha Girl” and “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On” to go with barrel house organ, honky tonker “Down Texas Way”. There’s more too as in the Hank Williams-esque opened “I’m Tired Of Bummin’ Around” as he sings about searching for that elusive lady of his dreams. While he is looking you had best lie back, and absorb the peerless lonesome pedal steel guitar and more amazing country fiddle on both it and the following track, “She’s Better Than Most”. If 1950s country is your love, or you don’t posses a sampling or two of the era here is a good excuse to increase your quota.

 

                                                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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