My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Tag Archives: The West Wing

The 10 best reissues of 2011

I probably spent more money on reissues of old music this year than I did on new music, although I purchased lots of new music. Here is my list of the best reissues of 2011 – just one man’s opinion, listed in no particular order.  No fellow travelers such as Americana, just real country music (at least in my top ten).

 

JESSI COLTER – I’M JESSI COLTER / DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

The Australian label Raven, has issued a number of American country music albums, usually in the form of two-fers. Here Raven presents two albums from the talented Jessi Colter, mother of modern day artist Shooter Jennings and widow of legendary performer Waylon Jennings. While Jessi wasn’t the most prolific recording artist and is actually well served by several of the anthologies available, it is nice to have two of her Capitol albums available, as she originally conceived them.

Her first album for Capitol Records, I’M JESSI COLTER (1975), spawned the #1 Country / #5 Pop hit “I’m Not Lisa” and the follow-up hit “What’s Happened To Blue Eyes”. The album was produced by Waylon Jennings, and features many of the musicians who played on his albums (Reggie Young, Weldon Myrick, Ritchie Albright, Jim Gordon ) but no one would ever mistake the arrangements as anything that would ever appear on a Waylon album, as he deftly tailors the production to fit his bride’s  individual talents. An early take on “Storms Never Last” minus Waylon, is my favorite track on the album. DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH (1976) wasn’t quite as successful reaching #4 on the Country chart and yielding the hits “I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name” (No.29 Country) and “You Hung the Moon (Didn’t You Waylon?)”. The title track “Diamond in the Rough” gives Jessi a chance to stretch and show her blues sensibilities.

This set includes a nice and informative booklet and three bonus tracks from a later Capitol album. If you have no Jessi Colter in your collection, this is a good starting point. Read more of this post

Special spotlight – 9 to 5: The Musical

The Marquis in New York City, taken by yours truly!

The Marquis in New York City, taken by yours truly

Last week I had the opportunity to go to New York City to tour and visit, for the first time in my life. We did all the usual tourist things, but my favorite part? Going to see the brand new musical, 9 to 5. It was in the Marquis Theatre, right on Times Square, right in the middle of the bustling center of the city. Based on the 1980 film Nine to Five, starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin, with music written by Dolly herself, it was quite a treat. The musical even features the song “Backwoods Barbie”, from Dolly’s latest album.

Now I’m sure many of you have seen the movie, but I had not, so I had no idea what it was about, making it a fresh experience for me. For those of you who don’t know much about the plot, 3 women in an office, circa 1979, deal with their lying, hypocritical and egotistical boss. The plot has a lot to do with independent women in a place and time that was harsh to women.

Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty

Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty.

The 3 starring roles were played by Allison Janney (From the West Wing), Stephanie J. Block (Was Elphaba in Wicked, previously) and Megan Hilty (Was Glinda in Wicked previously) and they were all fantastic. They could all sing, of course, but Megan Hilty had an especially big *ahem* dress to fill, seeing as she plays Dolly’s role. They excelled, with Hilty doing an entertaining Dolly impression, and they were all very entertaining to watch!

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