Tuff & Stringy Sessions 1966-68 CD (2003)

Artist: Clarence White

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Product Overview


Label Big Beat
SKU 62282442
UPC 029667422727
UPC 14 00029667422727
Format CD
Release Date 4/29/2003
Author Clarence White
Associated Artist/Work The Flying Burrito Brothers
Technical Info
CatalogID 227
Lable Name Big Beat Records (Dance)
Released 04/29/2003
Original Release 2003
Number of Discs 1
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel includes: Clarence White (guitar); Gary Paxton, The Spencers, Wayne Moore, Sanland Bros, Darrell Cotton, Jack Reeves, Dennis Payne, Great Love Trip.
Recorded between 1966 and 1968.
Though this is by no means the best of Clarence White's guitar work -- or even necessarily the best of his session work from 1966-1968 -- it's an important document of no less than 26 rare tracks predating his joining the Byrds. These recordings, often but not always released on the Bakersfield International label (in fact a few were previously unreleased), find White perfecting his transition to the electric guitar and country-rock from bluegrass. The confusing aspect of this phase of his career, on record anyway, is that White's presence is the only real thread running through these recordings, most (though not all) of which feature him only as a session man, rather than as the billed or featured artist. It's quite a crazy quilt of disparate tracks, combining, in varying degrees, country, pop, rock & roll, folk, and folk-rock, with some blues, R&B, Byrds, Beatles, and Cajun licks thrown in. That might not make it the easiest listen in the world, but the variety also makes it fascinating, as White fishes around numerous mixtures of country and rock on obscure recordings by Gary Paxton, Wayne Moore, the Sanland Brothers, Darrell Cotton, Gib & Jan, Jan & Clarence, Jack Reeves, Dennis Payne, the Great Love Trip, and other names known to very few, even in the record-collecting world. Alongside these are eight tracks credited to White himself, some of them previously unreleased. White and the artists explored an almost zany range of tangents, occasionally using sitar, Mellotron, and guitar through a Hammond organ Leslie unit, not to mention nut pulls for bending strings.
What keeps this from being as good as it is historically interesting is the material, which is only average (if often ear-perkingly quirky) for the most part. Some of the tracks rise above that level, though, like the Byrds-like country-rock-psychedelia of the Spencers' "Make Up Your Mind," with some great fuzz effects, the blunt Dylan-ish folk-rock of Darrell Cotton's "Don't Pity Me"/"If We Could Read" single, and the beautiful country ballad "She's Gone" by Gib & Jan (though another recording of the song from the same era, by the Gosdin Brothers, is better). Especially worthy of note are a couple of previously unissued circa-1966 electric rock recordings by White's just-ex-bluegrass band the Kentucky Colonels, particularly the Beatles-influenced folk-rock of "Made of Stone" (co-written by Eric Weissberg); these might be the first studio tapes of White playing electric guitar. The lengthy liner notes by compiler Alec Palao do a great deal to chart White's progress during this particularly blurry and hard-to-follow juncture in his career. It should be noted that this is not a complete overview of White's session work during the time, which also included tracks with the Byrds, the Everly Brothers, Rick Nelson, Gene Clark, and others not represented on this compilation. ~ Richie Unterberger
Professional Reviews
Uncut (6/03, p.116) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A fascinating glimpse of the great man's development as solo artist and innately sympathetic sessioner on the cusp of Byrdsdom..."
Disc 1
1 Hong Kong Hillbilly (Nashville West)
2 Mother-In-Law
3 Make Up Your Mind
4 Grandma Funderbunk's Music Box
5 Guitar Pickin' Man - (previously unreleased)
6 Vaccination for the Blues
7 Don't Pity Me
8 Gotta Go See the World
9 Everybody Has One But You - (previously unreleased)
10 She's Gone - (previously unreleased)
11 Tuff and Stringy
12 I'm Tied Down to You
13 Hey Juliana
14 Last Date
15 I'll Live Today
16 Not Enough of Me to Go Round
17 Riff-Raff
18 If We Could Read
19 Rocks in My Head
20 Made of Stone - (previously unreleased)
21 Buckaroo - (previously unreleased)
22 Adam and Eve - (previously unreleased)
23 Why Can't We Be
24 Nature's Child - (previously unreleased)
25 Tango for a Sad Mood
26 If We Could Read - (previously unreleased)

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