Natural Child (2016) Okey Dokey (LP) Natural Child Records and Tapes NCRT001

Natural Child

Okey Dokey 

2016

Natural Child Records and Tapes NCRT001

****recommended



Sixth set from Nashville’s Natural Child, first one on their own Natural Child Records and Tapes, garage rock Nashville style, one of the best 2016 has to offer.

 

–winch (author of

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Connie Smith (1965) s/t (LP) RCA 3341

Connie Smith

S/T

1965

RCA 3341

Produced by Bob Ferguson

***** Good Shit

While some of her female contemporaries might be more well known, Connie could easily stand next to any of them, as this debut album surely shows.

Bill Anderson is credited on nearly half of the selections, the other songs credited to a variety of other songwriters: Betty Sue Perry, William B. Morgan, Baker Knight, Hank Cochran, and Willie Nelson.  All of the cuts are good, and the majority are great.

Ferguson’s production is a wonderful balance of just enough but not too much, and the same can be said about the band’s contributions.  Smith’s beautiful voice is wisely the center of all the songs, but the involvement of others help make this such a classic.  She’s the statue, and the others rise her up and provide the lighting to accent her beauty.  This is a work of art built to last.

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Any respectable fan of hillbilly music, should give this set a spin.  If you’re looking for a place to begin with this artist, you just found it.

— winch (author of Junk Like That and Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)

Bobby Whitlock (LP) S/T (1972) Dunhill 50121

Bobby Whitlock
Bobby Whitlock

Dunhill 50121 (USA)

1972
recommended ****
 

Memphis man Whitlock had a long history of involvement in his hometown before joining Derek & the Dominoes and contributing his songwriting talents to six songs on that set.  While the band on this solo album remains uncredited on the sleeve, this set is sometimes referred to as the last Derek & the Dominoes album as all members (except perhaps Allman) play on this record.  While that tag is often used to promote this album, I’d say the comment is misleading.  This is clearly Whitlock’s album.

 

Whitlock writes or cowrites the entire set (only sharing credits on two cuts, one with Don Nix, the other with Bonnie Bramlett), and this set is actually better than the overhyped and overblown sound of Derek & the Dominoes.  While some buyers might be brought to this set because Clapton plays on it, this album is better than any of Clapton’s albums.  

 



Bands such as the Allman Brothers and The Band might be influences, but it could be that all three bands were simply influenced by similar sources.  And unlike albums by those other two bands, this clearly comes from Tennessee, with all the sounds of that state coming through various cuts.  The sounds clearly came from the past but also influenced bands down the road, were part of a bridge from the dirt roads of the South to the paths that bands would follow in the decades to come.


 
This isn’t a great album; it’s just a good one.
— winch