While the first two volumes in the series spotlighted the history of African-American gospel, this volume peeks over the other side of the fence and sheds the light on six decades' worth of country gospel performances. It's all top-notch, too, with Hank Williams' "I Saw the Light" spearheading an 18-track collection that includes classics from Kitty Wells, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, Webb Pierce, and Martha Carson. That gospel is a long-running tradition in country is exemplified by the inclusion of tracks from modern stars like Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and old guard like Buck Owens, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Ernest Tubb. A delightful set.
Few guitarists, even ones leaning toward the eccentric, would dream of pasting together a 19-minute instrumental out of various improvisations. But John Fahey is on his own planet, and he assured that fingerstyle guitar would never be the same when he issued The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party on his own Takoma label in 1966. The album features Fahey's more experimental explorations on the guitar between 1962 and 1966, ranging from solo guitar on "Guitar Excursions Into the Unknown" to the eerie organ accompaniment on "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."
Virginians Ralph and Carter Stanley, the Stanley Brothers, took the traditional Appalachian string band songs of their home and updated them into a traditionally rooted modern bluegrass sound that was singular for its authentic tone, no-frills simplicity, and at times haunting and astonishing beauty, the very model of the high lonesome sound. This expansive four-disc, 111-track box covers the later part of the middle period of their recording career, collecting virtually every side the brothers recorded for the King record label between 1961 and 1965. That's a whole lot of Stanley Brothers, but the musical quality, integrity, and execution of this storied duo never waver here, and indeed, they never really did waver one bit any time the two of them stepped in front of the microphones.
Preserving newly written Bob Dylan songs for copyright is the reason why the Band's Garth Hudson rolled tape at Big Pink but The Basement Tapes were something much more than songwriting demos. Greil Marcus dubbed it a celebration of the "Old, Weird America" in his 1997 book Invisible Republic, connecting these songs to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, adding an extra layer of myth to tapes that were shrouded in mystery from the moment bootlegs started to circulate. The Basement Tapes Complete strengthens portions of that legend while simultaneously puncturing it. Certainly, the six-disc box – its first five discs assembled according to Hudson's numbering system, with the sixth disc collecting sessions discovered later – feels substantially different from the LP released in 1975, where the overall picture was distorted by Robbie Robertson adding sometimes significant overdubs and including Band recordings that weren't cut during those seven months in 1967.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Duane Allman featuring the high quality SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players), the latest remastering, and Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) replica of the original English LP artwork. Part of a two-album Duane Allman SHM-CD Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue series featuring the albums "An Anthology," and "An Anthology Volume II."