Monday, February 26, 2018

Orthophonic Joy - The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited

This 2-CD set is dedicated to the famous 1927 Bristol, Tennessee wax cylinder recording sessions that made country music stars out of acts like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, among others. The "Revisited" sobriquet is due to the fact that this is not a collection of the original recordings (which I assume that someone must have compiled in one place by now and I should look for that!) but remakes of the tunes by current country artists such as Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris, Steve Martin and many others who I am not overly familiar with. A narrator tells the story of the sessions and of the original songs, oddly spoken over the initial recordings. This just makes me want to hear the originals all that much more, but that said, the interpretations are all well done and respectful, even when the artist is someone who I would normally not listen to.

Due to the narration, this is not something to put on as usual background music while you go about your duties, but I went through this on a long drive through the desert and it kept me entertained. As I said, I would prefer a compilation of the pioneering recordings but this is absorbing and informative.