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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Marty Robbins

El Paso City – Adios Amigo

Review by Gary Hill

I know Marty Robbins is a country artist. The thing is, a lot of this doesn’t really fit under country music. It’s more like adult contemporary or old pop music. This CD has two classic Marty Robbins discs on one CD and it’s a good one. It’s certainly a great introduction to this important and influential artist.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
El Paso City

This is more of an adult contemporary song with Mexican elements than it is country music. It’s a good tune, though, with a catchy vocal line.

Ava Maria Morales
Another ballad, this one is even more Mexican in terms of the arrangement. The real selling point of this is Robbins’ voice.
I'm Gonna Miss You When You Go

A slow one, this is more or less another ballad. It’s the first track that I’d consider country at all here. It’s sort of a cowboy song and has a great vocal arrangement.

Kin to the Wind

Here is an even slower song. That sort of adult contemporary sound is combined with more country elements in a pretty tune with some nice slide guitar.

Way Out There

This is a lot more uptempo. It definitely has an old time country sound to it. The vocal arrangement is more pop music oriented and rather lush, but the music itself has plenty of country. There is some yodeling in this tune, too.

The Ballad of Bill Thaxton

More of a cowboy song, this has some of that Mexican music in the mix. It’s a classy tune that works pretty well.

Trail Dreamin'

Very slow and very mellow, this one isn’t among the best of the set. Still, it does provide some variety.

I Did What I Did For Maria

The horn section adds quite a bit here. The bass line, though, seems too far up in the mix. It really dominates the song. This feels more like the kind of rock and roll tune Elvis Presley might do. It definitely brings some variety to the set.

She's Just a Drifter

Here’s more of a rocking tune. In fact, this one is less country in the musical arrangement than it is a rock song. The vocals bring more of the country element to the piece, though. Comparisons to Elvis Presley again wouldn’t be out of the question.

Among My Souvenirs

Definitely more purely country in style, this has a more electrified arrangement. It’s a good tune and another slice of variety.

Adios Amigo

A dramatic and powerful ballad, this is pretty. I think of the two albums here, this is the best song on display. It works really well. It’s got some of that Mexican texture and some slide guitar to bring the country. One could consider the string arrangement a bit over the top, but it works somehow.

Yellow Roses

The arrangement here might be a little cheesy, but this ballad about the love of a Father and coming to grips with his young girl growing up works well.

Falling out of Love

A pretty song, this really isn’t country at all. In fact, it’s more of a crooner song, in terms of the arrangement and delivery.

I've Never Loved Anyone More

This ballad is another that’s more like a crooner song, too. There are some hints of country, but overall this is more mainstream than that.

Helen

This ballad is pretty and the lyrical content is quite potent, too. I don’t really think of this as country, but it’s a good song, anyway.

I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)

Now, this song really feels like a jazz tune from the period in which it was recorded. There are some more of those Mexican elements at play here, but overall this is very much a mellow jazz number.

My Happiness

This is cut from much the same cloth as the previous cut. For me, it’s a little more effective than that one.

My Blue Heaven

Still set very much in that jazz balladeer style, this cut is catchy and has some great country guitar playing. It’s one of the best tunes here.

Inspiration For A Song

Another ballad, this is more of a pop music styled piece. I guess I’d chalk it up as folk music, perhaps a bit like some of the music Gordon Lightfoot creates. It’s another that works really well.

After The Storm

This is another ballad, but it’s definitely a country tune. It’s also quite a good one.

 
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