Lost Highway - 000522-02
Available from Country Music Hall Of Fame
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
This dual disc package gives as comprehensive a view of the early Rhythm & Blues emanating from Nashville as is possible. The tracks here range from the obscure gems to hits, the artists are mostly from the Nashville area, but there are some national artists, Clyde Chatter, Esther Phillips and Ivory Joe Hunter. Back then Nashville was known as much for its R & B as for its Country Music, and these discs (as well as the Vol.1) show that the interplay and cross-pollination of these 2 genres in this city. The artists collected here are both startling and revealing (Esther Phillips' cover of the country hit, Release Me, for example). These discs are a true archival chronicle of the era particularly when combined with Vol. 1, which won a Grammy as the best historical recording of 2004. The diversity and extent of styles and songs is almost inconceivable in its multiplicity. There is not a weak tune here, on either disc, for a total of 39 cuts combined, and that alone makes this a remarkable collection. No chaff and no throwaways. A few of the cuts just burst out on first listening, and others wait until the 2nd or 3rd listening to shine through. The producers, Michael Gray and Dan Cooper, deserve special note for providing a wonderful mix of the gem that is a rarity with those better known songs that were hits whether for the artist represented here (often the artist that originally did the song, The Gladiolas' 1957 "Little Darlin") or for others.
This is not only one of the most outstanding collections of tunes, and is accompanied by a booklet that has notes that will give any historian, or just an inquiring person very complete information about both the songs and the artists represented here. This collection is a must for any serious collector of Rhythm and Blues, and is also a joy for anyone who just loves good music.
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