If That Ain't Country
If That Ain't Country
Western Red
Some call it old country; classic country; real country. We call it traditional country, and that's exactly what we do here at "If That Ain't Country". For three hours each week, we feature the very best traditional country, honky tonk, bluegrass and western swing from the golden years 'til today. It's pretty simple but we think you'll like it. Hosted by Western Red - it's US country with an Australian twist, keeping true to the traditions that make country great. With a genuine love and deep respect for the foundations of the genre, the legends are right alongside the best of today's independent artists - a mix you won't find anywhere else. For more information, email: westernred@ifthataintcountry.net. Become a supporter of this podcast (with thanks!!): www.patreon.com/ifthataintcountry
Stoney Edwards - Land Of The Giants
In this week's episode we're featuring an unreleased album for Capitol Records recorded from 1973 by Oklahoma's Stoney Edwards: "The Land Of The Giants". A collection of songs paying tribute to the giants of country music as the title suggests, the project was shelved in the face of the '73/'74 oil embargo and never revisited (at least by Capitol). That situation somewhat sums up Edwards' career - an incredibly talented singer and picker with country credentials oozing from every note, this Seminole, Oklahoma native's life was plagued with bad luck and unfortunate events. We'll dig into Edwards' intriguing back story this week, unearth a good number of gems from his back catalogue and remember one of the few black country singers to ever score a chart hit this side of Charley Pride. Essential listening.
Sep 8, 2023
2 hr 34 min
Sonny Burns: 1959-1968
In this week's episode we're turning the spotlight on Texan Sonny Burns' second attempt at recording success during the years 1959-1968. What little information there is on Burns' career usually centres on his association with George Jones while at Starday Records: it's country music folklore that Burns famously missed (what turned out to be) a hit duet session with The Possum and stymied his own career in favour of bourbon and women. However, after resurfacing in 1959 on TNT Records out of San Antonio, the early 60s saw a reunification with Pappy Daily at United Artists and Burns' lay down some of the finest honky tonk music of the decade, albeit with some added sheen as compared to his Starday material. '59-'68 produced some sensational sides for Sonny Burns and this week we run through a tonne of 'em, thirteen hardcore honky tonk nuggets in total. Dig it!
Jul 21, 2023
2 hr 31 min
The Derailers - Full Western Dress
In this week's episode we're featuring an album from Austin-based outfit The Derailers from the peak of their power: "Full Western Dress" (1999). Riding thousands of road miles as well as the rise in the Americana and alt-country radio scene, The Derailers Bakersfield-infused honky tonk saw them gain strong regional and national success, though it never translated into widespread mainstream radio airplay. A special musical connection and combination between joint frontmen Tony Villaneuva and Brian Hofeldt equated in tight harmonies and catchy, jangly, twangy country music pleasing fans of the hard stuff from coast to coast. The majority of the album was written by the band and earworms are plentiful as Buck & Don - er, Tony and Brian - looked to take it to the next level with their second outing on Sire Records in "Full Western Dress". Quality material!
Jun 9, 2023
2 hr 36 min
The Whites - Whole New World
In this week's episode we're featuring a 1985 album for family band The Whites: "Whole New World". When family patriarch and lynchpin of the group Buck White decided to rejig his band, he needed only look across the dinner table for what became The Whites: daughters Sharon White on guitar and Cheryl on bass along with Buck himself on mandolin (and whatever else needed playing) made the nucleus for this family act's most successful years. Enlisting all-star help in Jerry Douglas on dobro and Ricky Skaggs on fiddle, The Whites took their gorgeous harmonies and pioneered an ever-so-slightly swinging traditional country/bluegrass mash up which appealed to audiences for decades. The fact that nine of the ten tracks from this week's feature album were included in this episode proves "Whole New World" is an absolute delight and just the tip of a top notch and brilliantly selective disography.
Apr 27, 2023
2 hr 35 min
Hoot Hester - On The Swingin' Side
In this week's episode we're featuring a relatively rare lead vocal performance from Kentucky fiddleman Hoot Hester: "On The Swingin' Side". Stints with local Louisville-area bluegrass bands lead to work with legendary road bands including Jerry Reed and Mel Tillis' Statesiders, the latter an outfit which Hester relished his time in for it's professionalism. Fellow Statesider alum Paul Franklin appears on "On The Swingin' Side" to help Hester and an all-star cast through a solid album of covers (Bob Wills pops up, naturally) and some great Hester originals, showing us fans that years before The Time Jumpers, Hester was ready to stretch out on vocals and swing!
Mar 24, 2023
2 hr 33 min
I Can Almost See Houston: The Complete Howdy Glenn
In this week's episode we're featuring some unearthed West Coast country on the hitherto-unknown Howdy Glenn from our friends at Omnivore Recordings: "I Can Almost See Houston: The Complete Howdy Glenn" (2023). Glenn's place in country history is significant enough given that he was a black country singer based in California, but add to that fact that Howdy Glenn was a working firefighter for the City Of Inglewood, that he was once signed to Warner Brothers Records AND was nominated for an ACM Award, and you've got some serious intrigue. A full-throated, dynamic and charismatic performer, exactly why Glenn's catalogue remained buried until now is the subject of this week's show and also proved a great opportunity to play some solid 70s country even the most ardent country historians had never heard before.
Mar 2, 2023
2 hr 37 min
BONUS: Interview with Scott B. Bomar on "The Complete Howdy Glenn"
WARNING: Country music nerdity alert! Well, no more than usual I suppose.. Anyway, this time it's something a little different! An unedited chat with music historian and author Scott B. Bomar ("The Bakersfield Sound", "The Byrds: 1964-1967") ahead of his latest project: "I Can Almost See Houston: The Complete Howdy Glenn" set for release on Omnivore Records on Jan. 20, 2023. Audio episode to follow, but this was a fantastic opportunity to pick the brains of Bomar who does for a living what most of us country nerds dream of. His work on the previously unknown Howdy Glenn is going to be fantastic, take a listen to the behind-the-scenes chat.
Jan 16, 2023
53 min
Gene Davis: California Country King
In this week's episode we're featuring the music of one of The West Coast's most popular club draws in Missouri's Gene Davis. Davis tripped over to The Golden State in '53 and his go-getter attitude, tasty guitar licks and solid country vocal saw him hired almost immediately. Establishing himself and The Gene Davis Band (later The Star Routers) as one of the most in-demand acts on the booming LA & SoCal club scene, Davis appeared alongside the area's big names on TV shows, radio and of course on stage: in no uncertain terms helping to lay the groundwork for what is now known as The Bakersfield Sound. Somewhat of a trendsetter in more ways than one, Davis' time at the legendary Palomino Club and the dazzling list of names who passed through his employ over years is testament enough to the man's musical talent and his output (though not a national hitmaker) is worthy of this week's airtime.
Jan 13, 2023
2 hr 34 min
Johnny Dollar - Down Life's Highway
In this week's episode we're featuring a delightful compilation on Johnny Dollar (yes that was his real name), put out in 1982: "Down Life's Highway". Despite the vague album artwork and even more general liner notes, don't be fooled: this is a quality ten song collection of solid (mostly long forgotten) honky tonk gold. Every single song on this album was originally recorded for Chart Records between 1968-1971 (in this reviewer's opinion, Dollar's strongest career output) and there are no duds to be found. High-energy honky tonk with plenty of truck driving tunes, there's a lot of Del Reeves to Dollar's material but the latter remains a lot more obscure outside of rockabilly and hardcore country fans. Take a trip "Down Life's Highway" with Johnny Dollar and enjoy some cracking traditional country music laced with clever, catchy writing and Lloyd Green's steel guitar work.
Dec 3, 2022
2 hr 55 min
Randy Kohrs & The Reel Deal - Now It's Empty
In this week's episode we're featuring the one album release for dobro-maestro Randy Kohrs and his short-lived band The Reel Deal: "Now It's Empty" (2003). Produced by the Iowa native in his own Slack Key Studio, "Now It's Empty" was mostly recorded without overdubs using Royer, Vintage RCA and Fostex ribbon microphones to emulate a 1950s feel. With several originals fitting the mould beautifully, well-chosen covers from the George Jones catalogue, James O'Gwynn and a couple from Stonewall Jackson slide into that old school vibe nicely and Kohrs bluegrass-suited tenor lead vocal gives a strong foundation on which to lean. Production remained understated yet twangy and with steel guitar from the sensational John Hughey (still sounding magnificent even in his late 60s), "Now It's Empty" is a solid album that went under the radar at the time and is worth a re-listen.
Oct 14, 2022
2 hr 33 min
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