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Author Archives: Rich Kienzle

Bobby Black

Steel Before and After Commander Cody
 
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When he got the invitation, Bobby Black wasn’t sure. The pedal-steel virtuoso, a 20-plus-year veteran of San Francisco’s music scene, had just been asked to join the long-hairs in Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. It was the fall of 1971, and Black was in a comfortable situation – he owned a recording studio […]

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Corb Lund

Counterfeit Blues
 
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Corb Lund may not be well-known to American audiences, but he’s been around 30 years in Canada. As a solo act, he developed a simple, in-your-face country and roots sound with his longtime band, the Hurtin’ Albertans: guitarist Grant Siemens, upright bass player Kurt Ciesla, (more…)

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Brad Paisley

Moonshine In The Trunk
 
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After a slew of excellent albums earlier in the decade, Brad Paisley’s work has taken a more uneven turn. His vocals and flair for guitar pyrotechnics remain flawless even if the material on recent albums has been less-consistent. Moonshine In The Trunk continues this trend. (more…)

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Marty Stuart

Saturday Night And Sunday Morning
Rocking From Barstool to Pew
 
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The title of Marty Stuart’s two-disc album originates in a longstanding Southern paradox: the notion of raising hell, boozing, and partying on a Saturday night, usually in a barroom or dancehall – then shaking it off for a worshipful Sunday of church and fellowship. Working with (more…)

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Bill Kirchen

Seeds, Stems, and a Tele-fied Legacy
 
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There’s ample revisiting in Seeds and Stems, Telecaster slinger Bill Kirchen’s third album for Proper America. Five of the 13 songs hearken back to his late-’60s/mid-’70s days with pioneer country-rockers Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. “Flip Flop,” “Womb To The Tomb” and “Rockabilly Funeral,” are longstanding favorites of his solo repertoire, as is […]

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Bob’s Playboy Pickers

 
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Bob Wills was, first and foremost, a fiddler. But he began his career in childhood, strumming guitar and mandolin chords at rural Texas parties and dances behind his father, ace fiddler Uncle John Wills. As leader of the Texas Playboys from 1934 to ’64, Wills not only helped define the guitar’s role in western swing, […]

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Billy Joe Shaver

Long In the Tooth
 
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Since he first emerged as a songwriter more than 40 years ago, Billy Joe Shaver has remained an authentic country rebel, a far cry from contemporary Nashville’s bogus, self-proclaimed young “outlaws” who use the term as a marketing hook. As a recording artist, Shaver found (more…)

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Merle Haggard

Okie From Muskogee 45th Anniversary Edition
 
Merle-Haggard

Merle Haggard’s 1969 anti-hippie anthem “Okie From Muskogee” was part provocation, part spoof. It became such a hit that Capitol Records hustled in October of that year to record an entire live album in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the bucolic town that inspired the song. That LP (more…)

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Hank Williams

The Garden Spot Programs, 1950
 
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In 1950, Hank Williams and fellow Grand Ole Opry stars George Morgan and Milton Estes recorded programs in Nashville for Garden Spot, a Texas-based plant-nursery company. Most recently released Williams radio and stage performances were known to historians and collectors, but these four programs, in (more…)

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Charlie Daniels Band

Off The Grid: Doin' It Dylan
 
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Before he became a leader of the Southern Rock movement, Charlie Daniels was part of a new breed of Nashville studio musicians who came to prominence in the late ’60s. In that role, he played guitar on Bob Dylan’s groundbreaking 1969 country-rock album Nashville (more…)

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