Label: Iron Mountain Analogue Research.
Release Date: “8th’ June 2020.
Ever since the birth of popular music, many troubled troubadours have laid bare their soul. For some it’s a cathartic experience as they share their troubles and the hurt, heartache and the hardships that they’ve experienced. This goes back to the days of the blues men in the Deep South. However, they’re not the only troubled troubadours.
Country music has also had its fair share of troubled troubadours over the years. These tormented souls are often hard living men who have laid bare their souls and sung about fighting their demons, and often their love rivals behind the local bar. They’ve also sung about the jobs they done, the money they’ve won, sometimes on the toss of a coin or the turn of a card. Living has been hard for the troubled troubadours who sing of the women they’ve loved and lost and the children they no longer see and that they’ll never be free or triumph over adversity. It’s music that tugs at the heartstrings and is full of emotion and heartache.
That is the case with the sixteen tracks on Troubled Troubadours, a new compilation which will be released by the Iron Mountain Analogue Research label on the “8th’ of June 2020.
Opening Troubled Troubadours is Hank Williams Jr’s No Meaning and No End. It was released by MGM Records in 1967, and is a wistful soundtrack to the lost soul who is self-destructing as they struggle through life lacking purpose and direction brought life by a legend of country music.
Although Lorene Mann is know for her duets with Archie Campbell and Justin Tubb, she went on to enjoy a successful solo career. She wrote Hide My Sin, which was released in 1972 one RCA Victor Records. It’s a controversial and heartbreaking song with a vocal that’s a mixture of emotion, confusion and guilt as she sits in a clinic about to abort the baby she’s carrying.
In 1968, Dolly Parton released the album Just Because I’m A Woman on RCA Victor Records. It featured The Bridge which tells the story of an abandoned mother-to-be. The often misunderstood and underrated Dolly Parton plays the role to perfection and breathes life and meaning into the lyrics.
There’s two songs back-to-back from Trooper Jim Foster, who by day was a road safety officer in Florida. By night he was a country singer. On Four Chrome Wheels, released on Turret Records in 1967, he combines his two roles on a song about a young man injured in a road traffic accident who ends up on a wheelchair which has Four Chrome Wheels.
Trooper Jim Foster’s other contribution Campaign Spot #1 which was an advert from his campaign to reach the Tallahassee State Legislature in 1974.
Hank Williams Jr released the album Ballads Of The Hills and Plains album on MGM Records in 1965. It features Rainmaker which is about a small rural community desperate for rain. It arrives eventually and it’s a tale with a happy ending except for the Rainmaker.
Way before success came his way Roger Miller was a talented singer-songwriter capable of writing songs of the calibre of The Animal Of Man. It was released by Columbia Records in 1973 and is a dark, ruminative and thought-provoking song that reflects on the car crash that is mankind.
Bobby Bare’s Your Credit Card Won’t Get You Into Heaven was released on Columbia Records in 1980, and is best described as tragic-comedy country style.
Burl Ives released his cover of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’ on Columbia Records in 1968. It finds this troubadour delivering a sombre and reflective cover that dwells on troubled times and those who chronicle them.
Closing Troubled Troubadours is Homer and Jethro’s I Couldn’t Spell PFFFT. This rather strange and ill fated attempt at comedy was released in 1974 and doesn’t work. It’s a rather disappointing end to the compilation.
Troubled Troubadours features sixteen slices of soul baring country music from many familiar faces and what will be some new names. Apart from Homer and Jethro’s I Couldn’t Spell PFFFT it’s another lovingly curated compilation from Iron Mountain Analogue Research which features quality music all the way.
Just like Hillbillies In Hell-Country Music’s Tormented Testament (1952-1974) Volume X which is also being released on the ‘8th’ of June 2020 this a compilation anyone interested in country music will enjoy.
The poignant, powerful and thought-provoking songs by these Troubled Troubadours are about tormented men and women who lay bare their souls, have fought their demons and loved and lost yet survived to tell the tale.
This sounds like a really interesting album. Thanks for reviewing it.
I’m glad that you enjoyed the review. It’s a really interesting concept and could work for so many genres. I’m surprised nobody thought of it before. Let’s hope that there’s a second volume.