January 11: Lyle Lovett released Pontiac in 1988

“The preacher asked her and she said, ‘I do’
The preacher asked me and she said, ‘Yes, he does too’
The preacher said, ‘I pronounce you 99 to life
Son, she’s no lady, she’s your wife.’ “

– Lyle Lovett (She’s No Lady)

“Writes like Guy Clark, only plainer, sings like Jesse Winchester only countrier.”
– Robert Christgau

“While Lyle Lovett’s self-titled debut album made it clear he was one the most gifted and idiosyncratic talents to emerge in country music in the 1980s, his follow-up, 1987’s Pontiac, took the strengths of his first disc and refined them, and the result was a set whose sound and feel more accurately reflected Lovett’s musical personality.”
– Mark Deming (allmusic)

This classic country album was Lyle Lovett’s second album, and to me it’s his best still. The Texas singer-songwriter uses the same elements that made his 1986 debut such a delight, dry humour, observational storytelling told in a personal and devastating way. Relationship stories as dark and as funny as they sometimes are…and with great singing and music.

Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris visits on this first of many masterpieces from Lyle Lovett.

Pontiac (official video):

The release date is uncertain, some sites said it was released in 1987, but most reviews started coming out  mid January 1988. Anyway that’s not the important part, what’s important is to celebrate a very fine album no matter if it was released December 1987 or January 1988.

– Hallgeir

January 2: Merle Haggard released Sing Me Back Home (album) in 1968

Sing Me Back Home is the fifth studio album by singer and songwriter Merle Haggard, released in 1968 on Capitol Records.

Sing Me Back Home follows the blueprint of Merle Haggard’s first three albums, balancing a hit single with album tracks and a couple of covers, but there is a difference. Where the previous album Branded Man was a transitional album, hinting that Haggard’s talents were deepening substantially, Sing Me Back Home is the result of the flowering of his talent.”
– Thomas Erlewine (allmusic)

Merle Haggard appeared on Austin City Limits nine times over the course of his legendary career. Here’s “Sing Me Back Home” from his appearance in 1978:

A little slowed down beautiful version! Continue reading “January 2: Merle Haggard released Sing Me Back Home (album) in 1968”

January 2: Elvis Presley released Elvis Country in 1971

“Elvis has come out with a record which gives us some of the very finest and most affecting music since he first recorded for Sun almost 17 years ago”- Peter Guralnick (Rolling Stone Magazine 1971)

“…Elvis was at his peak when he cut Elvis Country. Actually, Elvis Presley was positively on a roll at the time. A decade after the end of what were thought to be his prime years, he was singing an ever-widening repertory of songs with more passion and involvement than he’d shown since the end of the 1950s…”
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)

 

Elvis Presley – Funny How Time Slips Away (Willie Nelson):

Continue reading “January 2: Elvis Presley released Elvis Country in 1971”

January 1: Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997

Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, is regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997

John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997), best known as Townes Van Zandt, was an American Texas Country-folk music singer-songwriter, performer, and poet. Many of his songs, including “If I Needed You,” “To Live is to Fly,” and “No Place to Fall” are considered standards of their genre.

 

Continue reading “January 1: Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997”

The Best Albums 2016: 20 to 11 (part 2/3)

(Check out part 1 here, 30-21)

20 Cass McCombs – Mangy Love

Released: August 26 , 2016
Producer: 
Rob Schnapf, Cass McCombs & Dan Horne
Label: Anti Records
“Mangy Love makes itself distinct from its predecessors with its outright jazziness and ethereality. Wit’s End was a traipse though the densely forested hills of solitude; Big Wheel and Others was a road trip through odd, nameless American sub-societies,; and Mangy Love is Cass McCombs in outer space.”
– Dustin Lowman (Drowned in Sound)
This album really made me listen to the lyrics, I was fooled by the sweet melodies – but the lyrics are tough, hard, rough poems about love,sex, life and death. McCombs knows how to play with words (Switch):
Turn you on, you light up the room
Turn you off, it’s dark as a tomb– Hallgeir
End of Year lists
# 33 – American Songwriter
# 59 – Gorilla vs. Bear
# 29 – LA Music Blog
# 26 – MOJO
# 25 – Piccadilly Records
# 7 – Q Magazine
# 31 – Stereogum
# 31 – Uncut
Best songs: Opposite House, Bum Bum Bum and Switch 

Continue reading “The Best Albums 2016: 20 to 11 (part 2/3)”