Two albums on one CD from one of the finest ever, performing vocal groups to grace country music and though some of the material has a crossover feel I am such a huge fan of Tompall (and his brothers) that I lapped up the 2-on-1 CD like a kitten does, milk!
Tompall and the Glaser Bros earned their reputation as harmony vocalists on recordings by Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Jimmy Driftwood and Patsy Cline; they in fact completed dates booked by her on her death in 1963.
Their wondrous vocal harmonies back by material as diverse as Bob Wills’ ‘Faded Love’ that sets the benchmark to such gems as ‘Rings’, the skip-a-long ‘Lovin’ You Again’ and Paul Craft’s ‘The Days When You Were Still In Love With Me’ and with twangy steel guitar, cajun fiddle and usual tight vocal harmonies ‘Sweet, Love Me Good Woman’ is one of those sings where Tompall is allowed room to extend his vocal range. Keeping up the listener friendly fare you have the banjo (John Hartford) led (almost bluegrass) gem ‘Blue Ridge Mountain’ and with gorgeous fiddle (Keith Coleman), pedal steel guitar (Doyle Grisham) and a touch of brass Tompall’s powerful swing hinted ‘Back In Each Other’s Arms Again’ and a snappy ‘Phoney World’ (Jon Corneal). All but ‘Faded Love’ that comes with a wonderful spoken intro they come from Rings And Things (1972).
As for Award Winners (1971) hints of what was to come (regards the direction Tompall would take later in the 1970s) are revealed on the organ, piano fuelled version of Kristofferson’s ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ plus, with his vocals a little more husky ‘Me And Bobby McGee’ and heavy with emotion the love ballad ‘Stand Beside Me’. Staying on the subject of love, the Everly Brothers’ ‘Bye Bye Love’ and the brothers' version of Jack Clement's timeless song ‘A Girl I Used To Know’. One that I know better as ‘Someone Used To Know’ (Charley Pride, Tim & Mollie O’Brien) loaded in pedal steel and a hooky melody it contains all you need in a great country song!
File under, timeless vocal harmonies and talking of which isn’t it time we had a collection or two from the vocal group who too were a great force back then and a long time afterwards, The Statler Brothers. Is there anyone at Hux records listening?
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