Sex, religion, bootleg booze and inner city grit!
By Blurt Staff
A couple of years ago, in 2012, Light In The Attic’s Country Funk 1969-1975 (Volume I) stirred up a slew of interest in a genre “created not from geography or shared ideology but a term applied retrospectively based solely on the feel of the songs: hip-swinging rhythms with bourbon on the breath… [combining] the elation of gospel with the sexual thrust of the blues; country hoedown harmonies cut with inner city grit.” Compiled from tracks dating from the late ‘60s to the mid ’70s, from the likes of Bobbie Gentry, Johnny Jenkins and Link Wray, Country Funk was the sound of country music blending with sounds and scenes from coast to coast, white America’s heartland music blending with the melting pot as the nation assessed its identity in advance of its bicentennial year.” (Read the BLURT review here.)
Light In The Attic has followed up that first 16-track disc with a second volume, Country Funk (Volume II )1967 – 1974, and a new set of loose-talking, lap steel-twanging tracks. On the single CD / 2xLP volume you’ll find household names like Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Kenny Rogers, Jackie DeShannon, JJ Cale, Bobby Darin and Dolly Parton. You’ll also find obscure artists like Bill Wilson, whose lost Ever Changing Minstrel album was produced by the feted Dylan producer Bob Johnston, and Thomas Jefferson Kaye, noted producer of Gene Clark’s opus No Other. Gene Clark’s here too, as half of Dillard & Clark, wringing raw emotion from The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down”.
Other artists featured include Donnie Fritts, the Great Speckled Bird, Hoyt Axton, Jim Ford (whose classic “Rising Sign” can be heard above), and Billy Swan.
Compiled and presented once again by the team behind Volume I (DJ and music supervisor Zach Cowie plus Light In The Attic’s Matt Sullivan and Patrick McCarthy), the release also includes a reunion of writer Jessica Hundley and Jess Rotter (original album/label artwork and new illustrations by) in the form of a comic book called “The Hot Dawgs”.