My Kind of Music – Ray Scott
North Carolinian Ray Scott isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. “A lot of people name off artists as influences and I have those, too, but the biggest impression on me was my dad,” says Scott. “He was a singer, and I heard his interpretations of all those great country songs growing up. I realize more all the time that listening to his versions and comparing them to the originals I heard on the radio taught me a lot about how to make a song your own.”
Ray makes his own music, as evidenced by the title track. His music reeks of his rural, farm-life upbringing. “Plowboy” is such a song that salutes his past, as is “Dirty Shirt.” “Fly With an Angel” is a gut-wrenching ballad that shows this boy can mix it up. A nice debut by the Tar Heel. B+
21 Number Ones – Kenny Rogers
Kenneth Donald Rogers is 67 years old, and through his five decades on the charts he’s had as many hit records as his current age. But hit records don’t always mean a No. 1 spot on the chart. A few of Kenny’s memorable records that failed to hit No. 1 include “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” “A Love Song,” and “Love the World Away. And guess what, they’re not on this latest CD.
But 21 of “The Gambler’s” top hits are packaged here, including his first No. 1, “Lucille,” and his last one, “Buy Me a Rose” (with Alison Krauss). Other ladies joining Kenny on his top hits include Sheena Easton (“We’ve Got Tonight”), Dolly Parton (“Islands in the Stream”) and Dottie West (“Every Time Two Fools Collide”). This is a great, affordable collection to keep in the rig. A+
Black Cadillac – Rosanne Cash
In a two-year period, Rosanne Cash lost her mother, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, her stepmother, June Carter Cash, and her father, Johnny Cash. The songs on this record were recorded early in 2005 and reflect the changes in her life. “Loss was a door to appreciation, and to a new sense of my own ancestry,” Cash explains. “I also came to understand that relationships founded on love do not end when one person leaves the planet.”
At 50, Rosanne has garnered accolades and hit records all on her own, including the classics “Seven-Year Ache” and “Runaway Train.” Most of the 13 tracks on this latest collection run in the emotional, deep-mind category. The title track, “House on the Lake” and “I Was Watching You” are among the best. B
Greatest Hits – Ricky Nelson
Ricky Nelson was one of the most successful artists of early rock and roll, and also found success on the country chart with hits like “Stood Up” and “Poor Little Fool,” which are included on this disc. Just two years after his debut, Nelson had charted 15 hits – and seven of them sold more than a million copies! Only Elvis sold more records. Throughout the 1950s, Nelson appeared on television’s “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” which Ricky starred in with his family. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, two years after his untimely death at 45 in a plane crash.
This 25-track Capitol Records collection is a great 1957-1963 journey – with one exception – Nelson’s 1972 comeback, “Garden Party.” Among the hits: “Hello Mary Lou,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Fools Rush In” and “Travelin’ Man.” A