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Ode To Billie Joe (Pure Pleasure)Gentry's first 1967 album is a masterpiece, it's a simple as that. An album of hauntingly beautiful songs penned by Bobbie herself bar one track. The album is an uncluttered, straight down the line collection of smoky voiced gems, mostly with the simplest guitar accompaniment, but with a quirky, almost psychedelic twist on each track. The album is in a very similar vein and feel to Rodiguez's stunning Cold Fact which came out three years later, and side by side you would imagine the later album may have been inspired by Bobbie's seminal Ode To Billy Joe. This album can also easily compare with Dusty's In Memphis for it's sheer intimacy and soulful feel and is certainly in the same league musically.
After this first album, Bobbie moved into a more MOR groove, which in a way makes this such a stand out and important album. Very, very highly recommended especially as it has now been re-mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Sean Magee.
- Bobbie Gentry (vocal, guitar)
- Jimmie Haskel, Shorty Rogers (arranger)
Production: Kelly Gordon
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Mississippi Delta
2. I Saw an Angel Die
3. Chickasaw County Child
4. Sunday Best
5. Niki Hoeky
6. Papa, Woncha Let Me Go to Town With You?
8. Hurry, Tuesday Child
9. Lazy Willie
10. Ode To Billie Joe$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BeulahBeulah. It's a small, complicated word with a tangle of meanings.
It's the title of John Paul White's new album, his first in nearly a decade, a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it's a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt.
Beulah is also a White family nickname. "It's a term of endearment around our house," White explains, "like you would call someone 'Honey.' My dad used to call my little sister Beulah, and I call my daughter Beulah. It's something I've always been around."
Beulah is also something much loftier. For the poet and painter William Blake, Beulah was a place deep in the collective spiritual unconscious. "I won't pretend to be the smartest guy in the world," says White, "but I dig a lot of what he's written. Beulah was a place you could go in your dreams. You could go there in meditation, to relax and heal and center B photo credit: Allister Ann 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D yourself. It wasn't a place you could stay, but you came back to the world in a better state."
And perhaps the music on this album originated in that "pleasant lovely Shadow where no dispute can come." According to White, the songs came to him unbidden-and not entirely welcome. "When these songs started popping into my head, I had been home for a while and I was perfectly happy. I wasn't looking for songs. I didn't know whether any would pop back in my head again, and I was honestly okay with that. I'm a very happy father and husband, and I love where I live. I love working with artists for a label that I think is doing good work."
Far from the grind and glamour of Nashville-where he worked for years as a working songwriter before stepping into the spotlight himself-White settled in his hometown of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a wellspring of gritty Southern rock and soul since the 1960s. Together with Alabama Shakes keyboard player Ben Tanner and Shoals native Will Trapp, he founded and runs Single Lock Records, a local indie label that has released records by some of the Yellowhammer State's finest, including Dylan LeBlanc, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and legendary songwriter and keyboard player Donnie Fritts. The label is based in a small ranch house a stone's throw from White's own home, which would come in handy when those songs started invading his head.
"Honestly, I tried to avoid them, but then I realized the only way I was going to get rid of them was if I wrote them down. I got my phone out and I'd sing these little bits of melody, then put it away and move on. But eventually I got to a place where it was a roar in my head, and that pissed me off." Due to his experiences as a gun-for-hire in Nashville, White was reluctant to romanticize the creative process, to turn it into a spiritual pursuit. "Then one day I told my wife I think I'm going to go write a song. She was as surprised as I was. I went and wrote probably eight songs in three days. It was like turning on a faucet."
Most artists would kill for such a downpour, but White was wary of the consequences. He knew that writing songs would lead to recording them, which would result in releasing them, and that means touring and leaving home for weeks at a time. "As soon as I write a song, I start thinking what other people might think of it. I've talked to friends about this: What is it about us that makes us do that? Why can't I just sit on my back porch and sing these songs out into the ether? I don't have an answer for it yet, but I think it's just part of who I am. I need that reaction. I need to feel like I'm moving someone in a good way or in a bad way. I need to feel like there's a connection."
White threw himself into the project, no longer the reluctant songwriter but a craftsman determined to make the best album possible-to do these songs justice. He cut several songs at the renowned FAME Studios in his hometown, where Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Allmans, the Osmonds, Bobbie Gentry, Arthur Conley, and Clarence Carter recorded some of their most popular hits.
One product of those sessions is "What's So," which introduces itself by way of a fire-andbrimstone riff, as heavy as a guilty conscience-the kind of riff you wouldn't be surprised to hear on a Sabbath album. But White's vocals are gritty and soulful, a product of the Shoals, almost preacherly as he sings about earthly and eternal damnation: "Sell your damn soul or get 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D right with the man, keep treading water as long as you can," he exhorts the listener. "But before you do, you must understand that you don't get above your raisin'." It's the heaviest moment on the record, perhaps the darkest in White's career.
At the other end of the spectrum is "The Martyr," one of the catchiest tunes White has ever penned. The spryness of the melody imagines Elliott Smith wandering the banks of the Tennessee River, yet the song is shot through with a pervasive melancholy as White wrestles with his own demons. "Keep falling on your sword, sink down a little more," he sings over a dexterous acoustic guitar theme. This is not, however, a song about some unnamed person, but rather a pained self-diagnosis: "These are the wounds that I will not let heal, the ones that I deserve and seem so real." White knows he's playing the martyr, but he leaves the song hauntingly open-ended, as though he isn't sure what to do with this epiphany beyond putting it in a song.
The rest of Beulah was recorded in the Single Lock offices/studio near White's home. "I can be more relaxed about the process. We can all just sit there and talk about records or baseball without feeling like someone's standing over our shoulders. That's a big deal to me, not to feel pressured. And I'm only about twenty yards away from home, so I can walk over and throw a baseball with my kids or make dinner with my wife."
Some of the quieter-but no less intense-songs on Beulah were created in that environment, including the ominously erotic opener "Black Leaf" and the Southern gothic love song "Make You Cry." As he worked, a distinctive and intriguing aesthetic began to grow clearer and clearer, one based in austere arrangements and plaintive moods. These are songs with empty spaces in them, dark corners that could hold ghosts or worse. "There were certain moments when Ben and I would finish up a song, listen back to it, and think how in the world did we get here. But that's just what the songs ask for. These are the sounds in my head. This is the sound of me thinking and living and breathing and doing."
Once White had everything assembled and sequenced, it was time to give the album a title, to wrap everything up for the listener. Beulah stuck-not only because of family history or Blake, but because White realized that making music was his own trip to Beulah. "If you had to sum up what music is for most people in this world, it's that. It's that escape. It's that refuge. You go there and you come back and you use that to help you with your life. You always have that as a place to go."1. Black Leaf
2. What's So
3. The Once And Future Queen
4. Make You Cry
5. Fight For You
6. Hope I Die
7. I've Been Over This Before (Feat. The Secret Sisters)
8. The Martyr
9. Hate The Way You Love Me
10. I'll Get Even$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Band PerryDaddy rocked us to sleep with the Rolling Stones; Mama woke us up with Loretta Lynn. So we get it honest. - Kimberly Perry
Inheriting a cross-pollinated love of country and rock & roll from their parents, The Band Perry - siblings Kimberly, Reid, and Neil Perry - say that they bleed the bright red blood of American music. The three have always felt the drive to perform and create music, sweating out the summers in Mobile, Alabama playing in any dusty roadhouse or church that would have them. Kimberly strapped on her first Gibson - and fronted her first high school band - at age 15, employing Reid, then 10, and Neil, only 8, as her roadies. Changing guitar strings and polishing cymbals for their big sister lost its charm after awhile, so the brothers formed their own band, opening for Kimberly's band.
My bass and I've been attached at the hip since I was 10 years old, says Reid. While most of my friends were playing little league, I was sitting in my room learning Rolling Stones' and Beatles' bass lines. It's really all I've ever known. Even as the three worked in different bands, the siblings would spend nights at home playing together: I remember sitting out on our front porch singing old Hank Williams and Bobbie Gentry songs in three-part harmony, hoping to channel the spirits of old country through musical sÉance while fighting off the southern Alabama mosquitoes, says Kimberly. We always knew we'd take the stage together - all we were waiting on was the right moment. That moment came in July of 2005, when - after years of writing together - the siblings decided to join forces as one band. The Band Perry was then invited by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company to open all of the dates on their New Faces Of Country Tour that year.
In the summer of 2008, after spending a few years on the road honing their sound, TBP met longtime Garth Brooks manager Bob Doyle. Partnering with Bob and Josh Pegram, The Band Perry spent the fall and winter of 2008 writing in Nashville and collecting songs for their first country recording session.
The three of us bring different strengths into the writing room, Neil points out. Kimberly carries in a bag of melodies and lyrics, Reid always has some really great musical ideas in his back pocket, and I bring in a sense of humor and some thread that ties it all together.
The new recordings caught the ears of Scott Borchetta and Jimmy Harnen, the CEO and President of Republic Nashville, signing to the new label in the summer of 2009.
When talking about The Band Perry, each member of the trio stresses how much family figures into the mix: Reid, Neil and I share genes and a musical pedigree, Kimberly explains. We read the same classics and cook from the same recipes. With all of our likenesses though, I believe it's our distinctions that stir up the magic when we create. When the three of us sit down to write songs together, we pull from all of our individual perspectives and happenstances to create the most interesting song concoctions.
There's a tightness between the three of us that goes way beyond even best friends, Neil adds. Family vocal harmonies can't be fabricated. And, besides - the three of us know that through the thick and thin of life and the music business, we're watching after each other.
Blood runs thick. The music business can be hard, but the three of us are committed not only to our lives in music, but to living them together, Reid says. I think the security of knowing that about each other allows us to be uninhibited when we create. It's a democracy. It's a safe haven.
We've walked a long way to find your ears, Kimberly Perry finishes with a grin. So play us long and play us loud. The Band Perry is here, and we just have so darn much to say.1. You Lie
2. Hip To My Heart
3. If I Die Young
4. All Your Life
5. Miss You Being Gone
6. Double Heart
7. Postcard From Paris
8. Walk Me Down The Middle
10. Quittin' You
11. Lasso$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now