Country Music People December 2018 - Page 36

albumreviews Country Music Playlist SURRENDER HILL Tore Down Fences  What we’ve been listening to: The Ponderosa Aces No Particular Way Tom Buller When A Country Boy Gets The Blues The Mavericks Hey! Merry Chrsitmas Western Swing Authority Big Deal Vaden ‘Papa Vay’ Landers Tomorrow Never Comes Floyd Domino Floyd Domino’s All-Stars Dillon Carmichael Hell On An Angel Whitey Morgan & the 78’s Hard Times And White Lines Paul Overstreet Somewhere In The Caribbean If I Can’t Have You / Brighter Shade Of Everything / Times Moves On / Up In Flames / Tore Down Fences / I Ride Alone / Forever / Ghosts That Fill The Room / Get Along / Stones / Still Summer Sky / Misbehave / PBR & Cigarettes Producers: Robin Dean Salmon & Eric Fritsch Blue Betty Records 52:41 DENNIS STROUGHMATT The Key’s In The Mailbox  Pistol Annies Interstate Gospel Rodney Crowell Christmas Everywhere Merle Haggard Down Every Road THOUSANDS OF RARE COUNTRY CDs FOR SALE All in perfect condition NEW LISTS every SIX WEEKS Send large SAE to: J&J Country Sales Oak Ridge, Shootersway Berkhampsted, Herts, HP4 3ND 36 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 Apt No 9 / The Keys In The Mailbox / Fishin’ On The Mississippi River / Maybe If I Close My Eyes / Happy Hour / Colors I’m Gonna Paint The Town / Second Fiddle / Working At The Carwash Blues / Lonesoms 7-7203 / I’ve Carried This Torch / He Don’t Deserve You Any More / Would You Settle For Roses / Under Your Spell Again / Cinderella Producer: Dennis Stroughmatt Heart Of Texas 37:37 Robin Dean Salmon and Afton Seekins are a husband and wife duo from Sedona, Arizona who have combined their talents in Surrender Hill after solo careers. They wrote about their relationship on their first albums, Surrender Hill (2015) and Right Here Right Now (2017). Salmon says, “We’ve been together long enough to start exploring some of the darkness from our lives before we got together.” Spare me! Up in Flames is about 20 years of whiskey drinking, but fortunately the songs are not embarrassingly confessional and can be enjoyed just as songs. As they say in the last song, “Nothing’s changed, we’re just big kids now.” Surrender Hill perform over 200 shows a year and it is clear from their sound they must be a good club act. They harmonise well and although Robin does the bulk of the lead vocals, Afton sounds fine on Still Summer Sky. You can see that they have been influenced by early 70s soft rock: Brighter Shade Of Everything and Time Moves On sound dated but they work well and overall, there is a good use of organ and pedal steel. Overall, it’s predictable but in a good way. Spencer Leigh This one carries the sub-title “A Tribute To Tony Booth” and features a number of guest performances throughout. Stroughmatt himself is a fiddle player, a notable fiddle player who specialises in French Creole music with his band l’Esprit Creole; he says he grew up listening to, and continues to be inspired by, the music of Tony Booth. According to the sleeve notes, whenever anyone tells Stroughmatt his vocals remind them of Ray Price he asks if they have heard Tony Booth. Most of Booth’s success came in the early 70’s; he was ACM Most Promising Male in 1971 and graduated to the same organisation’s Male Vocalist of the Year in ‘73, Buck Owens produced him for Capitol Records. When the hits dried up he became the bass player and backing vocalist in Gene Watson’s band; these days he lives in Texas and is a regular on Heart of Texas records tours and cruises including the one which came to the UK in 2016. Booth (who in his very early career recorded as Johnny Booth) doesn’t sing on this at all, Dennis Stroughmatt does. Are you with me so far? Good; because they’re decent songs and well worth another airing on this apparent labour of love. Luminaries such as Georgette Jones, The Buckaroos, and Buddy Spicher all help out, as do HoT stalwarts Mona McCall, Darrell McCall and Justin Trevino. If you were not previously aware of Tony Booth you may not view this collection as a trip down Memory Lane but approach it with an open mind and it can certainly take you for a pleasant excursion down Nostalgia Avenue. A collection of thoroughly enjoyable tunes which are very much of their time, this is well produced and presented. None of the Booth originals were huge hits, in some cases the songs didn’t chart at all, but I found the whole package to be entertaining and listenable – even if, this far from Texas, the back story does seem a little convoluted. Chris Smith