Thursday, May 04, 2006

3. Louvin Brothers - Tragic Songs of Life (1956)

Track Listing

1. Kentucky
2. I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
3. Let Her Go, God Bless Her
4. What Is Home Without Love
5. Tiny Broken Heart
6. In the Pines
7. Alabama
8. Katie Dear
9. My Brother's Will
10. Knoxville Girl
11. Take the News to Mother
12. Mary of the Wild Moor


Well, I'll just start with a quote from Knoxville Girl:

I met a little girl in Knoxville
A town we all know well
And every Sunday evening
Out in her home I'd dwell
We went to take an evening walk
About a mile from town
I picked a stick up off the ground
And knocked that fair girl down;

She fell down on her bended knees
For mercy she did cry
Oh, Willie dear, don't kill me here
I'm unprepared to die
She never spoke another word
I only beat her more
Until the ground around me
Within her blood did flow.

So, you'd probably expect this more from Nick Cave than close harmony 1956 country music, but still here it is. And there was no controversy whatsoever when this came out, it was just rednecky music from the mountains, if Eminem did a cover of the Louvin Brothers however... all hell would break lose.

I don't know what to tell ya'll 'cept this is a darn tootin' good album. If Man of Constant Sorrow from Oh Brother Where art Thou? left you begging for more, this is a good place to start. Songs like Kentucky, Alabama and the above mentioned Knoxville Girl are among the best of its kind and frankly much more exciting to listen to than Elvis, also because I didn't know them before this. This is the first album on the list that actually made me discover something new and interesting. However, it is probably not something that I will add to my Creative Zen but still it was quite a surprise how much I enjoyed it.

It's a pity that I will not be reviewing another one of their albums, Satan is Real as it has the most amazing cover in the Universe.

I summoned this album, by using the writings of Mad Abdul Alhazred.

Buy it at Amazon: UK or US

Track Highlights

1. Knoxville Girl
2. Kentucky
3. Alabama

Final Grade



Ira Louvin survived being shot by his third wife only to die in 1965 in a car crash with his latest bride.

Their necks were crimson.


Anonymous said...

Rednecks, yey!

Anonymous said...

"Knoxville Girl" was covered by the Lemonheads on their 'Car, button, cloth' album and no-one seemed to care too much. But yeah, eminen would get shot for doing the same atm.

Anonymous said...

I gave my copy of the Necronomicon to Karl Rove. How else might one find this album?

Francisco Silva said...

through illegal means (limewire eMule), searching song for song or by buying it... which is the right thing to do...*cough*

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to bring myself to intentionally purchase a bluegrass album. I'm working through the book, too. I'm hoping it gets easier to find the albums (through Rhapsody or Napster) as time goes on. I'm not looking forward to finding Ramblin' Jack Elliott.

Francisco Silva said...

Yeah, you won't find him. But you will find other stuff by him and you'll get an idea.

Geoffrey Hogswash said...

A confession. I usually allay listening to country music with pulling teeth. Something about that southern accent on record can really grate.

But the Louvin Brothers album was a pleasant surprise. It really is more bluegrass than country western and so sounds more like the 30s than the 50s. The brothers share a gorgeous harmony with one brother in particluar able to reach notes usually reserved for the Brothers Gibb.

Certainly, Knoxville Girl was a slap in the face. I admit that on first listen the lyrics passed me by as the brothers sing this dreadfully menacing song with their usual cheer. I think it says more about how we've progressed that these kind of lyrics could never be released today.

That particular tune aside, this is a gentle album, a perfect soundrack for a trip to the mountains. One more bonus of this book is the way it zaps prejudice. I now can look forward to the next country album.

Francisco Silva said...

Jack: There will be albums that will confirm your worse fears about country, but there are some pleasent surprised there as well, still nothing beats Cash.

You will be scared how many prejudices it zaps, in fact you will be ashamed of stuff you start to like.

gerard2004 said...

Great record,Maybe your familiar with
Theme Time Radio Hour(with your host Bob Dylan)that was the first time i heard it and some songs are realy haunting

gerard2004 said...

By the way you can find more information on Theme Time Radio Hour here

gerard2004 said...

Great record,Maybe your familiar with
Theme Time Radio Hour(with your host Bob Dylan)that was the first time i heard it and some songs are realy haunting