Country music is all about characters and the stories they tell. That, prior to the advent of the phonograph and, later, radio, was exactly how the songs were passed down through the generations. And the good news is we not only have some great songs here but we also have some very memorable characters telling them. Some of those characters enjoyed long careers, like Tennessee Ernie Ford who began performing at the age four in 1923 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1990, the year before his death. Others like Patsy Cline were taken from us all too soon, in her case in a 1963 plane crash. Cline came to overright fame on a TV talent contest and went on to become a classic country balladeer with some glossy, string-laden productions. 'Crazy', from 1961, was her greatest hit and has been covered in subsequent years by kd lang among others.
Songwriter and pianist Anne Clark has been a cult figure since the early '80s and has amassed a rather sizable catalog despite her small but rabid following. She writes nearly-Gothic love songs full of obsession and pathos, and pretty orchestral settings with clever instrumental figures and stinging piano runs and minor-key epiphanies. She's a consummate artist, playing to her strengths while trying to subtly, but surely, extend her reach, and always following her own muse, even when it takes her into dissonant territory. Most of her albums are out of print even on CD, and sell for collector's prices when they can be found. This is too bad, because Clark has assembled a solid, if quirky, and passionately honest body of work. This best-of issued by Beehive is truly that. It features 24 tracks and clocks in at over 75 minutes. Many of these are Clark's most lovely songs, such as "The Sitting Room," "All Night Party" (with Vini Reilly of Durutti Column), the "12" remix" of "Our Darkness," and "The Last Emotion," as well as instrumental themes such as "Swimming" and "An Ordinary Life".
Dixieland, sometimes referred to as hot jazz or traditional jazz, is a style of jazz based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century.
In 1966 two R & B bands local to Oldham (UK) merged to form a blues outfit THE BLUES KEEPERS. With sponsorship from a local businessman (also their manager) they rented an 18th century farmhouse where they practised extensively, gradually moving towards a progressive rock style then beginning to emerge…