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Various Artists - Rockin' From The Roots: HighTone Records Anthology

Rockin' From The Roots:
HighTone Records Anthology

Various Artists

Time Life Records M19373

Available from Time Life Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This is a wonderful double disc collection of artists that chronocles the growth of HighTone Records from primarily a blues label to one that expanded its horizons to include a wider spectrum that includes music that has evolved, while still being true to the heart from which it comes. The tracks are drawn from a broad palette of artists, musical genres and it is a job that is well done. They don't stick to the most popular song from an album, however they select songs that are true representatives of the artist and indicative of what they were aiming for with the particular disc (of course sometimes the song selected became/or was a signature song, as in Bill Kirchen's, "Hot Rod Lincoln"). These discs include artists as divergent as Robert Cray, The Blasters, Randy Weeks, Joe Ely, and Dick Dale and that is just from the first disc. The artists run the gamut of popularity, from well known people such as Tom Russell, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Ramblin' Jack Elliott (with Bob Weir) to artists that are lesser known or more known as songwriters, such as Julie Miller, Buddy Miller, Chris Gaffney and Randy Weeks.

This disc is a must buy for several reasons: First, it is a very good collection of music. Second, though from one label it is a widely differing group of artists showing many facets of the roots of American Music. Third, there are no throw away cuts (you may not like some but that doesn't mean they are throwaways). And, finally, it is bound to introduce to some good new artists you may not have heard, or reintroduce you some you had forgotten about. It is also a great collection for a road trip.

Track List:

Disc 1Disc 2
  • Phone Booth (The Robert Cray Band)
  • Have Love, Will Travel (Big Sandy with the Calvanes)
  • Abilene (Dave Alvin)
  • Three Times a Fool (Otis Rush)
  • The Eyes of Roberto Duran (Chris Gaffney)
  • Can't Let Go (Randy Weeks)
  • Out in the Rain (Julie Miller)
  • Can't Shake These Blues (Chris Smither)
  • Marie Marie (The Blasters)
  • Soul of the Woman (P. F. Sloan)
  • 747 Jor Louis Walker)
  • Settle for Love (Joe Ely)
  • The Wild Ox Moan (Geoff Muldaur
  • Ghostriders in the Sky (Dick Dale)
  • Hot Rod Lincoln (Bill Kirchen)
  • Corpus Christi Bay (Johnny Rodriguez)
  • Does My Ring Burn Your Finger (Buddy Miller)
  • Blue Highway (Rosie Flores)
  • Honkiest Tonkiest Beer Joint (Dale Watson)
  • In the Jailhouse Now (Hank Thompson)
  • Brand New Whiskey (Gary Stewart)
  • Big, Big Love (Redd Volkaert)
  • Keep Your Distance (Buddy & Julie Miller)
  • Goodbye Lonesome, Hello Baby Doll (The Lonesome Strangers)
  • Rum and Rodeo (Heather Myles)
  • Truck Drivin' Man (The Twangbangers)
  • That Hardwood Floor (Jimmie Dale Gilmore)
  • Friend of the Devil (Ramblin' Jack Elliott with Bob Weir)
  • You Took Advantage of Me (Hot Club of Cowtown)
  • When Sinatra Played Juarez (Tom Russell)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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