Monday, August 8, 2011


Louvin Brothers - Tragic Songs Of Life (1956)

The Book calls this release “one of Country’s essential bedrock releases”. As I sit here letting the Louvins’ sweet harmonies wash over the gyri and seep into the sulci of my brain, be-numbed and struck mute by overpowering sense-memories throwing me back, back, back... I find myself riding shotgun by my father’s side in his filth-caked pick-up truck, sitting on blueprints for part of a neighboring village's sewer system, my feet parked among tools and boxes and papers, the space between the back of the bench-style seat and the cold metal behind it stuffed to the bursting with more tools, manuals, plans, contracts and papers of all kinds, the air blowing cold and wet through our open windows – we both liked the windows down, unless it was incredibly cold – the smell of whatever New Brunswick season it might be rushing and swirling all around us, the radio on one of the few AM station that came in clearly – in the day when Country music really was “country” music, even in French – my dad’s beautiful, gruff voice harmonizing in his distinctive falsetto… I’m sorry, where was I?

Had I heard it before? In a manner of speaking, I grew up on it.
Did I like it before? “Like” is not the word I would use.
Do I like it now? “Like” is still not the word I would use.
Am I keeping it? Not sure yet.
Why Not? It’s just too much. Those harmonies and waltz tempos and mandolins make me beyond sad. These songs don’t inspire… they stupefy.
Standout Tracks? They’re all equally powerful. You can tell Kurt Cobain was a really big fan… and why.

No comments:

Post a Comment