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KITTY WELLS —I HEARD THE JUKEBOX PLAYING (Jasmine Records) 2 CDs Mono

www.jasmine-records.co.uk

Made up of 1950s albums The Winner Of Your Heart, Lonely Street (released in 1956 and 1958, respectively) and After Dark (a collection of eight previously released 45s plus, four new ones) plus, you have Golden Favorites that has five duets with Red Foley, and four others plus as a bonus two duets with long time king of country music, Roy Acuff. If you like traditional country music then this is something you should seriously look at or if you simply have a curiosity for the origins of country music. You too should take a listen. Wells' singing voice was one of the sharpest and most distinctive ever, and when it came to duets she was one of the finest exponents. 

Her work with Foley was outstanding, and I am always up for an excuse to play some Roy Acuff (and though I rarely do these days), and with her plaintive tones and emotional strength as she sang songs about slipping around, barrooms and how true love isn’t always easy to hang onto. Such the temptations dangled in front of those of weak resolve. Wells’ handling of the likes of “I Heard The Jukebox Playing”, “After Dark”, “Lonely Side Of Town” and such classics as “Lonely Street”, “Honky Waltz” and “A Mansion On The Hill” coupled with such warning pieces as “(Don’t Hang Around) He’s Married To Me” is top class. 

Her prowess as a duet partner is heard in great splendour on “One By One”, “Long As I Live” and skip-along “No One But You” plus “Broken Marriage Vows”. On getting back to her solo recordings you are spoilt for choice what to look at first; with the likes of “Right Or Wrong” alongside tender tunes “Sweeter Than The Flowers” and “Waltz Of The Angels”; and with the songs loaded in pedal steel guitar, fiddle and harmony vocals the Kitty Wells sound is fully capture. Sometimes haunting and piercing, and always full of soul she set the benchmark / example for female country acts that followed. 

    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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