Friday, February 06, 2009

Charlie Louvin "Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs"


I had a good response to the recent Hillbilly Murder Ballads post, so here's another. Charlie Louvin, the surviving half of the Louvin Brothers (the best brother duet group of all time), is 82. Just before Christmas he released an album entitled Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs. The first Louvin Brothers album was called Tragic Songs of Life (1956), so the new one carries on the proud tradition.

Each track has a small sound clip on the page - listen to "Down with the Old Canoe" - it's a tale of Belfast's own Titanic which sank nearly 100 years ago.

The other side of Charlie Louvin can be heard on the other album he released in 2008 - Steps to Heaven, where he sings with a black gospel choir and band - on Precious Lord he really sounds like Thomas Dorsey. Back in 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy with this album - check out his version of the old Jimmie Rodgers song "Waiting For A Train" - it has a great country bluesy swing.