Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Truck Driving, Socialism And Hillbilly Music - Update

A few posts ago I mentioned a large collection of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos music at Archive.org and in making my way through this big collection the last couple of nights as I head out to Holbrook I've come across some splendid surprises I wasn't aware of when I wrote the post.

First, it's a lot more than 100 songs. At least four of the mp3 files are complete albums, which I wasn't aware of. One of these albums is called The Instrumental Hits 1965. Sometimes you hear rock or country groups composed of the basic electric guitar, drums, bass guitar, etc., put an instrumental cut on an album, and usually it's something they've worked hard on. The songs are rarely hits but the band puts them on the album because they like them and are proud of them. This is an entire album of that. They really do some cooking, in a variety of musical styles, giving it their treatment of course.

And of course they do Orange Blossom Special (the 2nd song) where you can hear Don Rich rock out on his native instrument, the violin. Throughout this collection there are occasional tunes where Rich does some things on the fiddle I didn't know could be done. Lots of country fiddle players play two strings at once, but Rich has a way of starting or stopping one of the strings within a single stroke of the bow, and often this second string is being fingered, with the other hand, differently than the first string so the two strings are each playing something different. It's quite amazing.

Rich also does some real fancy guitar picking ma'am on the album and whoever was playing Hawaiian steel guitar for them at the time does some right excellent work here, too. There's also some innovative drumming here by Willie Cantu, their drummer then, a Mexican-American kid from down around Corpus Christi.

In this overall collection, there's some selections where it sounds like they weren't trying all that hard. There's a lot of the kind of sentimental country song that was popular during their era. But there are some real gems here, too.

My truck has been running lousy on the way back from Holbrook so I can't really concentrate on anything but that on the way home. I drive out with an almost empty trailer and am loaded coming back, and with that weight on, sometimes it's losing power, then it will take off and run fine. I've taken the truck to several people and so far no one has guessed right on what it might be and I'm learning a lot about truck engines I never knew before. I had just got the business and regulatory aspects of doing this more or less under control when the truck problems began, but when I do have it running right I'll be able to give that ride I promised.




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