Friday, February 27, 2009

I like this Carver more than just a whittle...

More bad puns, what can I say? But if you are a fan of classic, quality 60's country music, then here is some good stuff for ya, no joke. I picked this album up somewhere many years ago with no idea who the guy was, but my love of honky-tonk and related music made me think that the album cover looked promising enough to part with the change it probably cost me. I was immediately surprised to hear such good quality stuff from this unknown (to me) artist. It's not quite honky-tonk as much as it is classic country of the 60's when it was recorded. Reading up on Johnny Carver more recently I have learned that he had a pretty long and successful career although he never quite made it to being a household name. He had some chart success and seems to be well respected within the inner circle of country artists (just ask Faron Young from the back cover picture included in the download). This one album is all I know of him and, from what I can tell, none of his albums are in print at this time. There does seem to be a skimpy collection out there on CD but I was surprised to see that it didn't include any work from this album. To me this album stands up there among the better albums I have heard from this genre. I might draw a slight comparison to Buck Owens, but this is probably a bit less edgy than that great Bakersfield sound Buck crafted. This album is full of short pop country with great instrumental support. Unfortunately the cover gives absolutely no credits but I would bet this one includes a collection of Nashville all stars. It's a shame they don't let the instrumentalists take a few more solos because the playing is impeccable throughout, but mostly serves as just background to Carver's solid vocal work. There is plenty of pedal steel, electric guitar, even some vibraphone, fiddles, Cramer style piano, good stuff. All the songs are short and sweet, mostly 2 verses with a couple choruses, not much more than 2 minutes each, like a punk rock album from the 70's! But I think the quality of the songs themselves is very good, especially side two where every tune is a keeper in my estimation. Side one isn't far off. My favorite cuts are probably "Lie To Me" (very memorable tune) and the lonely "Apartment #9". Of course, "Sybil's Rights", though not my favorite melody on this album, gets kudos from an old punster like me. I'm glad I finally got around to preserving this one in digital format and I hope you will enjoy it as well, at wheast a whittle...

Johnny Carver - You're In Good Hands With Johnny Carver - 1968
Liberty Records LP-12380

Your Lily White Hands
Sybil's Rights
So Goes My World
New Lips
What If It Happened To You
You're In Good Hands

Lie To Me
Apartment #9
The Tip of My Fingers
You Are That Something
Don't Monkey With Another Monkey's Monkey

(no credits available)

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