Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Essential Roy Acuff 1936-1949

Roy Acuff is another early country star who influenced almost everyone who came after him. In fact, I was just reading how he directly inspired the Louvin Brothers to start their career. His work at the Grand Ole Opry and with his Acuff-Rose music publishing company catapulted many C&W stars and his importance can still be heard to this day.

In these cuts, the origins of what is now considered traditional country are revealed. Sweet, bluegrass harmonies, fiddling (Acuff's instrument) and mandolin mix with guitar licks, gospel stylings and well-written songs. Classics such as "Wabash Cannonball" and "Great Speckle Bird" are included but many of the others as at least as fine. As I've said before, my favorite country music is that which isn't afraid of its bluegrass and Americana/folk roots, and here this is all worn on the sleeves of the musicians.

This collection really provides an insight to the bridge between older, traditional, string-based bluegrass and vocal-based country music. Pretty damn great!