Various Artists - The Wonderful World Of Depressing Country Music [Righteous/Cherry Red - 2022]
Here’s the next compilation in the Lux and Ivy series- which finds MoJo’s Dave Henderson crate-digging through old 45’s. As this new release's title suggest this is somewhat of a departure from the past releases in the series, which have seen a rock ‘n’ roll, novelty pop, to easy listening focus. The thirty track CD is largely, as its title indicates, focused on the more morose side of country music- though we do get a few examples of praise the lord country too.
The CD comes presented in a jewel case- this features theme suitable monochrome pictures of desert cactus. Inside is an eight-page inlay booklet, featuring a short write-up from Mr Henderson about the compilation, original cover artwork, and vinyl labels….though disappointingly no release dates/ addition info for any of the tracks featured.
As with all of the compilations in this series- the selection here is varied enough, with the whole thing largely flowing in a rewarding manner. We go wavering organ, wonky Hawaiian guitar twang, and swaying sing-song female vocals of Goldie Hill’s “Call Off The Wedding”. Onto to crawling harmonica purr, dirge waltzing instrumentation, and at points almost grimly yodelling male vocals Carlisle Brothers “Tramp On The Street”. There’s the slugging ‘n’ jiving of George Jones's “Oh Lonesome Me” which features some neat sliding ‘n’ darting guitar work.
In the second half of the compilation we have the steady guitar strum and sadly simmer fiddle play of Kitty Wells's “Lonely On The Other side of Town”. There’s sobering swoon ‘n’ pluck of Rose Maddox’s “I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning”. We have buzzing slide ‘n’ tick-tock strum ‘n’ jig of George Jones's “Don’t Stop The Music”. With the disc playing out with a track from The Louvin Brothers, “I’m Ready To Go Home” which finds the pairs wavery vocals, and steady if glomming jiving instrumentation.
It's certainly nice to see the Lux and Ivy series spreading its wings into another genre, and for the most part, this is a rewarding ride of a compilation. I just wish they add a bit of info/ detail about each of the tracks featured here….but I won’t end on a negative, so if you’ve enjoyed the other comp in this series and/ or enjoy the more broken-hearted/ things have gone bad country, then give this a try.Roger Batty