Monday, January 19, 2015

CD: HOWARD VOKES - Down In Nashville

HOWARD VOKES
Down In Nashville
Down In Nashville Tennessee - If I Should Come Back My Darling - New Kensington Waltz - Too Late - Heart Of A Clown - I Talk To Myself About You - We Could - There's A Dream In My Heart - Me Any My Broken Heart - I Can't Get You Off My Mind
 
These days, there is such an uproar about the lousy music coming out of Nashville called 'country.'  Most listeners, especially those that have followed country music over the years, are especially disappointed at the short-cut electronically and digitally produced imitation of the real-deal.  Even young singers like Corey Smith (from Georgia), a great traditional country artist with a new record out called "Fast Track," is totally aware of the direction the music has taken.  His work is very similar to what I am listening to in the works of Pennsylvania's King of Country Music, Howard Vokes.  Young Corey had this to say, "The reality is that country music has swung too far into this fake plastic place that is the antithesis of what country music is." I don't believe it can be said any better, but as I listen to this new CD by Howard Vokes, I can understand where young Corey is coming from.  Howard Vokes has been in country music for over 60 years, and he's still singing and recording the real-deal.  This particular CD shows a little rust in the voice, but that makes it all the more believable to me.  Take away that 1% and the remaining 99% is terrific real country music, at its very best. Howard has a very sensitive voice for country music, and this selection of songs, typical lost love country style, he's singing it with all his heart.   He gathered together some excellent musicians for this session, Skeets Martin on lead guitar (exactly as I remember the leads and licks being in the past on these kind of love songs); Howard Vokes Jr (Howard's son of course) is on the bass; and Howard is on rhythm guitar.  This is a really 'take me back in time' kind of country music.  A little sad of course with the lost loves all around him, it's still the easiest, the simplest, and certainly the most heart-felt method of creating and then sharing the 'real' feeling of 'real' country music.  Thanks for the listen Howard, it was great!
 
REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine
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