Bob Wills And Western Swing

My father was a big fan of old-time country music and especially of Bob Wills.  For those who have not been introduced to country music, Bob Wills was one of the most influential musicians of the western swing style.  Western swing is a combination of traditional country music and big band (imagine twin fiddles, steel guitars, and horns).  He was also influenced by blues and jazz.

When I was younger I used to shun the old country and Bob Wills.  I think that was a typical teenage reaction.  We all have to try to create our own identities and often the first thing we do is reject the things that we perceive as making up our parents’ identities.  However, I’ve long since gotten over that and gotten back into country.  I had bought some Bob Wills tribute CDs from Asleep At The Wheel, who remade a lot of the old songs with modern artists.  However, I recently saw this collection from Proper Records and decided to give it a chance.  I’m still working my way through it (on track 13 of disk 3 right now) and there’s some good stuff in the set.  It doesn’t cover everything (that would be hard to do since he was a prolific performer and writer), so it doesn’t have Across The Alley From The Alamo which is one of my favorite Wills songs.  But overall it’s a good collection of his stuff up to 1950.  My only complaint would have to do with the sound quality of some of the recordings.  My “modern” ears have become accustomed to full-fidelity stereo.  However, that’s not anyone’s fault.  The recorders used at the time simply didn’t have the capabilities of today’s modern equipment.

Of interest is that the set was published by a British company.  It seems almost sacrilegious to be buying a country music CD set from England smile .

Comments are closed.