The Country Rockin' Record

Compilation album with new tracks recorded by Mick Clarke at Rockfold Studio, Surrey 2021

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Mick writes:

A 12 track compilation of country-ish MC tracks, including the current single "North to Alaska", two more brand new tracks and two new remakes of previously released songs.

Years ago when I released my first solo album "Looking For Trouble" I included Hank Williams' "Honky Tonkin'" - I've always thought of country, blues and rock'n'roll as being interconnected in numerous ways, a great example being Jerry Lee Lewis's country stuff on the Mercury label - and how about Ray Charles' fantastically successful country tracks?

Anyway, I found that I had recorded a few new country type tunes, so I thought I'd put them out all together with some old favourites. So here we go..

"North to Alaska" - currently out as a single - my version of the old Johnny Horton hit from the 60s. I love this song.. a strong tune and intriguing lyrics.. Big Sam, George who was his partner and brother Billy too.. great stuff. And here it rocks along with some slide guitar on the Rosetti.

"Silver Threads and Golden Needles". For some reason I was listening to The Springfields' "Island of Dreams".. (why not, it's a great record).. and that lead on to their version of Silver Threads. I noticed what a strong country twang there was in the song and looked into it.. written in 1954 and recorded by Wanda Jackson.. a real Hank Williams kind of feel. So here's a kind of sittin' round the camp fire version with some acoustic slide. Corny as hell but I love it.

"Dust on the Highway". This goes back to touring in Oregon back in the late 1980s. We were driving down the I5 from Portland to do a show or two at the Peacock Tavern in Corvallis - always a favourite bar gig. On this day it really was 105 in the shade.. it was hot. Poor Dennis, our drummer had to get out and put more water in the radiator which then sprayed him with boiling water..(he survived to play the gig). There was hot beer in a dirty can, and a nearby tractor was ploughing a field in the dry heat.. Dust on the Highway. The track appeared on the album "Steel and Fire" and is re-recorded here with a slightly different feel.

Another remake - "Second Hand Dream" from the album "Tell the Truth". And another story .. Touring Italy with the family in my lovely old Cortina 2000E Estate.. slightly tatty wood and leather interior - an air of faded opulence. Well yes it did break down on the way home, but still - many happy memories. Recorded here with some acoustic slide and my Oxfam nylon string guitar impersonating a mandolin. Cool.

Lefty Frizzell! I just like the name. Here's his big 50s hit "If You Got The Money" - classic honky tonkin' rock'n'roll.

"Cruise Control" came out earlier this year as "Foot on the Wheel". It started getting quite popular and I suddenly thought I really didn't want to encourage bad driving practises, so I changed the title. Yeah I know, I'm an old fool, but I like my peace of mind. Great track for that long desert drive.

One of Hank's finest - "Honky Tonk Blues" - from my album "Steppin' Out".

A favourite instrumental - my version of Roy Buchanan's version of Don Gibson's "Sweet Dreams" - from my album "Diggin' Down". Beautiful tune.

"Don't Take That Road" - a funky shuffle with a kind of Hopalong Cassidy rhythm, from the "Bent Frets" album.

Another old favourite, Solomon Burke's "Cry to Me" played in a kind of country fashion with some nice acoustic harp from Dangerous Dave. From the album "No Compromise", featuring Lou Martin on keys and the late Mick Phillips on bass, with Chris Sharley on drums.

And from the Appaloosa days - "Solid State" - again featuring Lou Martin and Mick Phillips, with Mike Hirsh on drums. A rockin' end to the album.

I hope you enjoy my excursion into the world of Country-ish Music. Keep Rockin'. (Y'all).

Mick Clarke - The Country Rockin' Record Photo by Alvito Falcon from the Simply the Blues Festival, Mumbai.