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Author Archives: Rich Kienzle

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
 
Hank-Williams

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
 
Charlie-Daniels-Band

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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Gene Ludwig – Pat Martino Trio

Young Guns
 
Gene-Ludwig

With four solo albums under his belt, Pat Martino was considered one of the ’60s most exciting new jazz guitar voices. As the decade ended, the 23-year-old was a third of an organ trio led by 30-year-old B-3 virtuoso Gene Ludwig. Tapes (more…)

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Dave Van Ronk and Oscar Isaac, Bob Dylan, Punch Brothers, and others

Inside Dave Van Ronk and Inside Llewyn Davis Soundtrack
 
Dave-Van-Ronk

The 2013 Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, chronicled a week in the life of a Greenwich Village folksinger during 1961, a character loosely based on the late Dave Van Ronk. (more…)

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Roy Orbison

The Last Concert 25th Anniversary Edition
 
Roy-Orbison

Roy Orbison waxed optimistic about life and music on December 4, 1988, the day he played a concert near Cleveland and did a video interview discussing his dramatically revived career. Two days later, he suffered a fatal heart attack at his mother’s home outside Nashville. This (more…)

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Buck Owens and The Buckaroos

“A Bunch of Twangy Guitars”
 
BUCK-OWENS-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

Buck Owens’ track to stardom had an unorthodox start and believe it or not, his singing didn’t launch that journey as much as his guitar skills; it started when another singer needed a lead guitarist on short notice. With his second Capitol recording session looming in September, 1953, Tommy Collins, a cast member of (more…)

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Buck Owens

Buck 'Em! The Autobiography of Buck Owens/Buck 'Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955-1967)
 
Buck-Owens-autobiography

Buck Owens never minced words. I know. I interviewed him and others in his inner circle in 1992, while annotating Rhino’s Buck Owens Collection box set. Detailing his scorn for Nashville’s music industry, he held nothing back – although he did note that time (more…)

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Toby Keith

Hope On the Rocks
Show Dog
 
Toby-Keith

Toby Keith’s previous two albums – Bullets in the Gun (2010) and Clancy’s Tavern (2011) – were two of his finest, enhanced by first-rate original material, powerful vocals, and restrained, hard-edged production. His skill at writing miniature dramas has served him well and does so (more…)

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Ricky Skaggs

Kentucky Traveler: My Life In Music
 
Ricky-Skaggs

Born in rural Kentucky in 1954, Ricky Skaggs (named for “I Love Lucy’s” Ricky Ricardo) stands today as a supremely versatile musician. With his band Kentucky Thunder and his own record label, he focuses on the traditional bluegrass that nurtured him from boyhood on. That (more…)

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