Monday, December 7, 2015

CD: JOHNNY HEAP - Retrospectfully Yours

Retrospectfully Yours
BJ The DJ - Modern Cinderella - Reminiscing - Travel By Train - For The Good Times - Roll Along Kentucky Moon - Star of Love - There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight -Ridin' With A Smile And A Song - The Convict And The Rose - Treasures Untold - Katrina - Wedding Bells - Last of the Kellys - Til The End of the World - Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain - I Don't Hurt Anymore - I Love you Because - Any Old Time - The Hordern Tree - Where No One Stands Alone - Ain't Misbehaving - My Heart Is Where The Roper Flows Tonight - The One Rose - I Went In To Hear The Music - I Really Don't Want To Know - Another Stretch of Track - Lonely Street
It absolutely amazes me at the large quantity of really really great country music on planet earth that is so much better than what we hear in pop-rock-rap country music today coming from Nashville.  It boggles the mind to 'know' that country music as it was originally meant to be written, recorded, and performed has been so drastically altered. Obviously to suit the very very small 'percentage' of country music 'money' producers, artists, and fans who have made those changes.  I was unaware of Johnny Heap until a friend, Paul Hazell, who does a radio show called 'World of Country' from Uckfield in East Sussex, England, sent me this recording.  To understand the genuine country sound of Johnny Heap you need to know a little about him.  He started in the mid-50's as a DJ as well as a radio vocalist.  This eventually led to an invitation to be part of the Rick & Thei Carey touring show, a prestigious show in Australia. This eventually led him to a recording career on his own, and a massive following because of the extremely gifted vocals he recorded.  This particular CD sent to me by Paul Hazell, is a compilation of some of Johnny Heap's greatest recordings.  As I listen to the backing and the manner in which they were recorded, this is some of the very best country music in the classic and traditional style I've ever heard from an artist I had never heard of. Heap was inducted into the 'Hands of Fame' in Tamworth in 1980, which has immortalized his incredible contributions to 'real' country music.  Johnny Heap had sort of retired from the music business in 2006, age and a fading interest in 'real' country music the culprit.  Then this same Paul Hazell began to play Johnny Heap's song "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight" on his radio show which immediately captivated a 'new' audience for the music of Johnny Heap.  I have received a number of albums from Australia and New Zealand country artists, and like them all mostly because they still stay true to the distinctive country music elements that are so missing in today's commercial country music, but I must admit Johnny Heap stands head and shoulders above many of them.  The song Paul played by Johnny Heap, has a rousing fiddle introduction and stays on track throughout, no wonder so many people in England starting listening to Johnny Heap again.  His delightful voice and selection of material is immaculate.  I've already become a fan of Johnny Heap and will be forwarding this delightful five-star CD to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their listening pleasure and of course for their selection of "CD of the Year" awards.  I would surmise that Johnny Heap is going to come out at number one once again.
for Country Music News International

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