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WAYLON JENNINGS/Folk Country-Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan: Before there was any image, there was just a lanky guy with a great voice hitting Nashville looking to claw his way out of the Phoenix club scene. These initial sides may have more in common than you think. "Folk Country" was Jennings' first real shot at the big time and just about all the songs are owned by Harlan Howard whereas the second set is all songs by Howard. Not really much of folk or country, the marketing people were planting the seeds of Jennings' disenchantment with the system even though you can't hear any echoes of rebellion to come. Nice period country by a guy who wanted to be Carl Smith, probably so he could piss off his pal, Johnny Cash. Good albums but actually a lot more up your alley if you like 60s commercial country more than outlaw Waylon.

WAYLON JENNINGS/Love of the Common People-Hangin' On: Of course he was packing them in at 200 seat theaters, he knew how to sell a song about southern poverty and give it some righteous dignity. Solid 60s period work that would have left him in good stead if he didn't have other ideas simmering that would really blow things up like Nashville had never seen. A solidly on the money performance by a singer who was getting comfortable with the studio, the city and the sound.

WAYLON JENNINGS/Waylon-Singer of Sad Songs: And so the seeds of revolution are planted as we get our first taste of Jessi Colter, our first taste of the Stones being covered in Nashville, underground folk legends getting fat enough publishing checks to eat right and more of the upheaval that would begin to hit it's stride when Jennings did a whole Billy Joe Shaver album 3 years later. This is the real first taste of the outlaw Waylon you all know and love. All that was missing from this is a little taste of ladies loving outlaws and the mold would be forever broken.

PROJECT TRIO: It's the new paradigm kids, you never heard of them but they've got 40 million YouTube views and 50,000 subscribers to their channel with even the New York Times taking note that the flute player of the group is the best player in the world for left leaning, genre bending playing. Originally a classical trio that somehow wandered off into left leaning, progressive jazz that doesn't acknowledge margins, so you can't say they color outside the lines, this music is a real mind fuck because it just might remind you of everything you've ever heard, sometimes all at once. While calling it jazz is like calling ECM or Windham Hill jazz, it's wild stuff with a jazz spirit that brings a whole new dimension to sitting down listening.

ALPER YILMAZ/Over the Clouds: It's left leaning creative jazz time as the Turkish bass ace surrounds himself with some cats that have an equal affinity for civil rights jazz and turn up the heat accordingly. Clearly as hot set for sitting down jazz fans ready to gather in cellar clubs for a night of cerebral frolic.

PETER PARCEK 3/Mathematics of Love: Boston blues shredder that is right in the classic white boy electric blues thing but does keep an eye peeled toward the future. With instincts and chops that find him taking a back seat to no one, this is hard core rocked up blues guitar for the real fan, and his girl friend trying to keep up until she dumps him. Hot stuff that helps define the new parameters of the genre.

WILLIE NELSON/Country Music: Having just notched another birthday that brings him ever closer to 80 years old, at least Nelson is still recording for a real label when his contemporaries that are still breathing without respirators are on basically fan driven labels making records with no budgets under the good graces of musician fans that want to say they worked with some guy. These days, sales of a Nelson album are less than the amount of promos he'd give away to support a new release in the glory days, but that doesn't mean he's not the finest purveyor of who gives a fuck records around. A worthy follow up to last year's face off with Asleep at the Wheel, he didn't need T-Bone Burnett to bring this one home (especially since Burnett won't make it sell any better than it would anyway). Return with us now to the grueling days of yore when Hugh Nelson would tear up the Texas dance halls by night and sell bibles door to door during the day. Wikipedia couldn't define white man's blues as well as this record does. It's not a classic, just a whole lot of fun.

ROUNDER RECORDS 40TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT/various: Ain't that always the way? Throw yourself a party then sell the company the next day. With PBS flavoring all throughout, the label toasted itself with Alison Krauss and some other contemporary heritage players and covered it with just the right amount of flash that you would expect from old, organic hippies. If you're down with the genre and the label, this is a nice souvenir of a time and place.

Volume 33/Number 182
May 2, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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