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JIM REEVES —YOURS SINCERLEY, JIM REEVES / BLUE SIDE OF LONESOME / A TOUCH OF SADNESS / JIM REEVES ON STAGE (BGO Records) 2 CDs

   

www.bgo-records.com

 

Jim Reeves’ part in the development of country music isn’t always appreciated like it might. His smooth singing voice was something to behold, and though I admittedly, I am a far greater fan of the likes of Hank Williams, the Carter Family and the Outlaw movement. On those occasions I do allow myself to sit still and absorb Reeves’ work, fully, the experience could not be more rewarding. Gentleman Jim was a phenomenal talent, and if it wasn’t for him dying in a plane crash, agonisingly close to his Nashville home in 1964 there is no end to what he may have achieved. Albeit, his record label did have a few hits in the can when he passed.    

 

Effortlessly, he would wrap his vocals ‘round the lyrics, and unknown to many he wasn’t only a great vocalist, but as heard on Yours Sincerely, Jim Reeves his appreciation of traditional country music and journey in the music business is riveting. Well versed in folk ballads too, Reeves’ shares among others such gems as “The Wreck Of The Number Nine” to go with (interspersed with dialogue as Reeves speaks of touring South Africa, his school days and early days as a radio broadcaster) the listener gets to enjoy “Scarlet Ribbons”, “Mexican Joe” and the classic “He’ll Have To Go”, and even a brief airing of Jimmie Rogers’ performing the first song he recalls, “Blue Yodel No. 5”.

 

Blue Side Of Lonesome is a mellow set of tunes. Big productions as was the music coming out of Nashville back then, as strings and backing singers came into their own. Among the treasures you have Reeves' version of Jack Clements’ timeless ballad ‘I Know One’ (a hit for Reeves in 1960, and Charley Pride in 1967, and number 6 for both acts).  

 

A Touch Of Sadness likewise focuses on gentle love ballads, other than the bouncy “In A Mansion Stands My Love” (Johnny Russell). Here is an album for the avid Jim Reeves fan, totally. Produced, as standard by RCA legend, Chet Atkins (he writes in the liner notes for Yours Sincerely, Jim Reeves ‘the fact he was so versatile in his thinking made him one of the most interesting people I ever met’) Reeves’ mellow tones ease through the selection in a fashion as smooth as the water on a calm Mill Pond.

 

Jim Reeves On Stage is in the main, a lively affair. Decorated with not only his popular tunes there is Reeves’ hugely entertaining impersonations (tributes). The album opens with a medley featuring “Mexican Joe” and “Yonder Comes A Sucker” before moving through other medleys that include essential Reeves’ fare in “Four Walls” and “He’ll Have To Go” before a terrific set of impersonations / tributes to Ernest Tubb, Cal Smith, Kitty Wells, Johnny Cash, Lefty Frizzell and the Carter Family. After which you have his own hits “The Blizzard”, “Bimbo”, “Your Old Letters” and “Am I Losing You”  and more to savour. Not least there’s the wonderful playing of his band, The Blue Boys! One of the best around at the time. 

 

                                                            Maurice Hope    

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April 2018

1
Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
PK,CVL,DHO,JB,LK
2
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
3
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
TJ,TK,MP
4
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
DD,GS,FS,HM
5
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
 
6
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
7
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental
AN
8
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
 
9
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
MF,HDB
 
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
JV
11
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
JSM,JD
12
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
CRS
13
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
SP
14
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
 
15
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
PJ
16
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
FCE,JS
 
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
RM
19
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
MVP,RK
 
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
BM
 
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
 
 
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
LM
 
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
GC,EZ
 
Sheesham & Lotus & 'Son
20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
SZ,PG
25
3hattrio
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
 
 
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans

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