Mike Marshall – Gator Strut (1987) [MFSL 2004] {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Mike Marshall – Gator Strut (1987) [MFSL 2004]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 54:04 minutes | Scans included | 2,2 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,05 GB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 7001 | Genre: Country

Mike Marshall is much like Mark O’Connor, a virtuoso on several string instruments, an innovative composer and arranger who refuses to be pigeonholed stylistically, and also an alum of David Grisman’s band. Numerous Grisman alumni turn up on this 1984 release, including violinist Darol Anger, bassists Todd Phillips and Rob Wasserman, guitarist Tony Rice, and even Grisman himself, along with dobro player Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck on banjo, violinist David Balikrishan (who would later co-found the Turtle Island String Quartet with Anger), and pianist Barbara Higbie. Marshall sticks primarily to mandolin on this mostly progressive bluegrass date, though he’s also heard on mandola, mandocello, violin, and guitar. Highlights include the funky original “Gator Strut,” “Ravel” (a solo effort featuring the leader overdubbed on several instruments while adapting a theme by the French Impressionist composer), a joint arrangement with Anger of John Coltrane’s infrequently performed “Giant Hornpipe,” and a brilliant interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight”.

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Lee Ann Womack – Greatest Hits (2004) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Lee Ann Womack – Greatest Hits (2004) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 52:24 minutes | Scans included | 3,68 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 52:01 mins | Scans | 0,99 GB
Genre: Country

Released seven years and four albums after Lee Ann Womack began her career with her eponymous 1997 debut, Greatest Hits chronicles her career to date. The 14-track collection contains all of her biggest hits — “Never Again, Again,” “The Fool,” “A Little Past Little Rock,” “I’ll Think of a Reason Later,” “I Hope You Dance,” “Ashes by Now” — along with the Grammy-winning Willie Nelson duet “Mendocino County Line” from his The Great Divide album, and two solid new songs, “The Wrong Girl” and “Time for Me to Go.” Although there are couple of minor singles missing — “Buckaroo,” “Why They Call It Falling,” “Forever Everyday” — Greatest Hits nevertheless offers a good summary and introduction to the first part of Womack’s career, when she grew to be one of the more popular female mainstream country vocalists of the late ’90s/early 2000s.

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Toby Keith – Shock’n Y’all (2003) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Toby Keith – Shock’n Y’all (2003) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 51:12 minutes | Artwork | 3,97 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 50:22 mins | Art | 996 MB
Genre: Country

Since Toby Keith not only can come across as a loudmouth redneck but seems to enjoy being a loudmouth redneck, it’s easy for some listeners to dismiss him as a backwoods right-wing crank — particularly when he succumbs to such easy impulses as mocking Dixie Chick Natalie Maines in concert and naming his 2003 album Shock’n Y’All, not so cleverly spinning the military catch phrase from the second Iraq war into a bad pun. Those listeners aren’t entirely wrong, since he can succumb to reactionary politics, as on swill like “Beer for My Horses,” but Keith isn’t coming from a didactic right-wing standpoint. He’s an old-fashioned, cantankerous outlaw who’s eager to be as oversized and larger than life as legends like Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson, who bucked conventions and spoke their minds. Sure, Keith enjoys pandering to the Fox News Republicans “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” won him, and his jingoistic ventures don’t have the humanity and humor of Haggard’s protest songs (although to Keith’s credit they display far more humanity than Sean Hannity and are much more genuine than Steve Earle’s post-9/11 songs), but that doesn’t mean Keith doesn’t have a big, warm heart. In fact, on every album prior to Shock’n Y’All he’s displayed a taste for mawkish sentiment, but what makes this album work is that he’s turned that sentiment into warmth while making the record into the hardest, toughest set of songs he’s yet made. Unleashed gave him the clout to make any kind of music he wanted, and left to his own devices, he’s lonesome, on’ry, and mean, a cheerful advocate of redneck libertarianism with a sly sense of humor. All of which wouldn’t mean much if he wasn’t a strong songwriter, and more than any of his previous works, Shock’n Y’All proves that he’s a steady-handed journeyman, crafting songs in the tradition of classic outlaw country. It’s a deliberately hard-driving, hard-drinking, gutsy country album, yet it doesn’t shy away from modernism, best illustrated on “Sweet,” with its funky rhythms and use of “babelicious” (which rhymes with “delicious,” btw). Even with these modern flourishes, the album is firmly within the hard country tradition, with lots of barroom humor, propulsive rhythms, hearty humor, and a humanity that contradicts the rabble-rousing of Unleashed. And if Keith is more of a party-hearty hound than a profound singer — even when he imagines “If I Was Jesus,” it’s only so he can turn water into wine at parties — that’s now an attribute, not a deficiency, since it gives him focus and sensibility. Keith is happy to be a dirty old SOB, cracking jokes, drinking beer, and flirting with the ladies, and that makes Shock’n Y’All a fun, rough, rowdy album that wins you over despite your better impulses. It’s not polite, but Shock’n Y’All is pure Toby Keith, and the best album he’s done to date.

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Stockfisch Records – Analog Pearls Vol.1: Waylon Jennings (2014) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Stockfisch Records – Analog Pearls Vol.1: Waylon Jennings (2014)
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 30:53 minutes | Scans NOT included | 1.25 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans NOT included | 576 MB
Genre: Country

Stockfisch-Records is releasing a new series called ‘Analog Pearls’ with the artist Waylon Jennings. These old analogue recordings were chosen because of the fantastic sound. For the new series Günter Pauler is looking in archives and is searching for grantors of a license. Before releasing as “Analog Pearls” the tracks have been carefully remastered at Stockfisch-Records.

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Gary Allan – See If I Care (2003) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Gary Allan – See If I Care (2003) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 41:46 minutes | Scans included | 2,61 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 41:09 mins | Scans | 865 MB
Genre: Country

While Nashville hitmakers Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney rose from clunky B-level stars to bankable stadium fillers, Gary Allan quietly tapped his foot waiting for the rest of the world to get hip to his cool. On his fifth album, the California surfer/singer–finally nominated for the CMA Horizon award in 2003–gets back to the smoldering alt-country-goes-mainstream groove that made 1999’s Smoke Rings in the Dark so brilliant, but which he’d abandoned on 2002’s Alright Guy.

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Jerry Garcia, David Grisman & Tony Rice – The Pizza Tapes (2000) [HDTracks FLAC 24/88,2]

Jerry Garcia, David Grisman & Tony Rice – The Pizza Tapes (2000)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 1:03:46 minutes | 1,35 GB | Genre: Country
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet | © Acoustic Disc

Legend has it that a pizza delivery boy lifted Jerry Garcia’s cassette tape of two evenings worth of very special music from his kitchen counter, thus paving its way into underground tape trading circles and giving a handle to these incredible performances. Now at last, from the vaults of Dawg Studios comes the sonically superb official release of this historic jam session, the only meeting of guitar greats Jerry Garcia and Tony Rice, introduced to each other by their mutual friend and musical associate, mandolinist/ producer David Grisman. The Pizza Tapes capture these virtuosos at a rare moment in time, free of pressure, hassles or any given agenda other than making music and having plenty of fun.

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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will The Circle Be Unbroken (1972/2013) {40th Anniversary Edition} [HDTracks FLAC 24/192]

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will The Circle Be Unbroken (40th Anniversary Edition) (1972/2013)

FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 118:44 minutes | 4,53 GB | Genre: Country
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | © Capitol Nashville

 

Will the Circle Be Unbroken is the timeless 1972 classic by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It features breathtaking collaborations, steeped in tradition while pioneering a new form of Americana. This triple-Platinum album features an array of accomplished country songwriters and musicians including Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, Jimmy Martin and many others. It showcases thrilling compositions by luminaries including Scruggs, Acuff, Travis, Martin, Hank Williams, Joni Mitchell and more.Will the Circle Be Unbroken united fans of country and rock music, reaching #4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums. In 2005, the album was selected for the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.

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Johnny Cash – Silver (1979) [Reissue 2003] {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Johnny Cash – Silver (1979) [Reissue 2003] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 37:30 minutes | Artwork | 3,3 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 37:15 min | Art | 736 MB
Genre: Country

Silver was a below-average Cash outing, due both to the routine material and the mixed attempt to update his sound with more modern production techniques. Brian Ahern, who produced Emmylou Harris, was at the helm of a set that often put a more contemporary sheen on the sound with filters and phase shifters. Plenty of session help was on hand as well, sometimes on trumpet and French horn, and it’s usually not a great sign when the list of players on some tracks run to more than a dozen. The idea was probably to make Cash sound less old-fashioned; the ironic result was to make it sound more dated and flat than most of the rest of his catalog, without comparing to his better recordings in the quality of the content. Still, erratic production can’t smother Cash’s strengths, and the record’s not terrible, just uninspired. Some of the better songs include his reading of Tom T. Hall’s “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore”; a cover of “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” (a song that’s hard to ruin) with contributions from Ricky Skaggs, Wayne Jackson, and the Carter Family; and veteran cohort Jack Clement’s memorably titled “West Canterbury Subdivision Blues.” George Jones adds harmony vocals to “I’ll Say It’s True,” and the 2002 CD reissue on Columbia/Legacy adds two previously unreleased duets with Jones on remakes of the late-’50s Cash recordings “I Still Miss Someone” and “I Got Stripes”.

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Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison (1968) [Remastered Reissue 1999 (2002)] {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison (1968) [Remastered Reissue 1999 (2002)] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 55:49 minutes | Scans included | 3,27 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,05 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Genre: Country

Folsom Prison looms large in Johnny Cash’s legacy, providing the setting for perhaps his definitive song and the location for his definitive album, At Folsom Prison. The ideal blend of mythmaking and gritty reality, At Folsom Prison is the moment when Cash turned into the towering Man in Black, a haunted troubadour singing songs of crime, conflicted conscience, and jail. Surely, this dark outlaw stance wasn’t a contrivance but it was an exaggeration, with Cash creating this image by tailoring his set list to his audience of prisoners, filling up the set with tales of murder and imprisonment — a bid for common ground with the convicts, but also a sly way to suggest that maybe Cash really did shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die. Given the cloud of death that hangs over the songs on At Folsom Prison, there’s a temptation to think of it as a gothic, gloomy affair or perhaps a repository of rage, but what’s striking about Cash’s performance is that he never romanticizes either the crime or the criminals: if anything, he underplays the seriousness with his matter-of-fact ballad delivery or how he throws out wry jokes. Cash is relating to the prisoners and he’s entertaining them too, singing “Cocaine Blues” like a bastard on the run, turning a death sentence into literal gallows humor on “25 Minutes to Go,” playing “I Got Stripes” as if it were a badge of pride. Never before had his music seemed so vigorous as it does here, nor had he tied together his humor, gravity, and spirituality in one record. In every sense, it was a breakthrough, but more than that, At Folsom Prison is the quintessential Johnny Cash album, the place where his legend burns bright and eternal.

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Willie Nelson – Stardust (1978) [Japanese SACD 2001 #SRGS 4563] {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Willie Nelson – Stardust (1978) [Japanese SACD 2001 #SRGS 4563]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 36:27 minutes | Scans included | 1,5 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 672 MB

Country crooner’s classic collection of easy-going pop standards features the songs Moonlight In Vermont, All Of Me, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore & others. It was arranged by Booker T. Jones & recorded in Willie’s inimitable style in Emmylou Harris’ house.

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