You ain't goin' nowhere....
Around the end of the 1960s and in to the 1970s, “country rock” was a big thing, particularly in the USA, led, amongst others by Bob Dylan and his Nashville Skyline period. He was certainly not the only contributor, though, The Byrds were just as involved as were Crosby, Stills & Nash (unfortunately not included on here). It was definitely a sub-genre that played a big part in the music of 1968-1972 - those turbulent years of Vietnam and protest that seemed to be longing for something peacefully melancholic. They got it in country rock and this excellent collection of well-known and lesser-known material does the trick in summoning up some of the the spirit of that particular age.
Highlights are the lively country groove of Charlie McCoy & The Escorts’ Harpoon Man, the Johnny Cash-esque blues of The Beau Brummels’ Turn Around, a convincing cover of Dylan’s This Wheel’s On Fire buy Ian & Sylvia, the country ballad of John Hartford’s Gentle On My Mind and The Monkees sounding most un-Monkees-like on Some Of Shelly’s Blues. The Steve Miller Band's Going To The Country is an excellent, rocking number too. Look, it is all good stuff, you van dip into this collection anywhere, to be honest.
Then there is the now-iconic instrumental Stone Fox Chase from the instrumental session men “supergroup” Area Code 615 which is always great to hear.
The contributions from the better-known artists need no introduction either - there is familiar material from Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Kris Krisrtofferson, Leonard Cohen, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Joan Baez, Neil Young and Wings. What is nice about this compilation is that the well-known tracks are juxtaposed with the lesser-known ones.
Personally, I would have included tracks from America, Crosby, Stills & Nash (and with Young), The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Band but that is nit-picking. This is a really good compilation from a good period.
1. Absolutely Sweet Marie - Bob Dylan
2. Harpoon Man -Charlie McCoy and the Escorts
3. It Ain’t Me Babe - Johnny Cash
4. Down In The Flood - Flatt & Scruggs
5. The Way I Feel - Gordon Lightfoot
6. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight - Bob Dylan
7. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere - The Byrds
8. This Wheel’s On Fire - Ian & Sylvia
9. Gentle On My Mind - John Hartford
10. Some Of Shelly’s Blues - The Monkees
11. Turn Around - The Beau Brummels
12. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry - Tracy Nelson
14. If You Don’t Like Hank Williams - Kris Kristofferson
15. Bird On A Wire - Leonard Cohen
16. Hickory Wind - The Byrds
17. Blowing Down That Dusty Road - Country Joe McDonald
18. The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
19. Stone Fox Chase - Area Code 615
20. Girl From The North Country - Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash
21. Driftin’ Way Of Life - Jerry Jeff Walker
22. Behind That Locked Door - George Harrison
23. Beaucoups Of Blues - Ringo Starr
24. Going To The Country - The Steve Miller Band
25. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - Joan Baez
26. City Of New Orleans - Steve Goodman
27. Blue River - Eric Andersen
28. Heart Of Gold - Neil Young
29. If Not For You - Bob Dylan
30. Crazy Mama - J.J. Cale
31. Seven Bridges Road - Steve Young
32. Will The Circle Be Unbroken - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
33. Silver Wings - Earl Scruggs & Linda Ronstadt
34. A Six Pack To Go - Leon Russell
35. Sally G - Wings
36. Matchbox - Derek & The Dominoes, Johnny Cash & Carl Perkins