Some call it old country; classic country; real country. We call it traditional country, and that's exactly what we do here at "If That Ain't Country".
For three hours each week, we feature the very best traditional country, honky tonk, bluegrass and western swing from the golden years 'til today. It's pretty simple but we think you'll like it.
Hosted by Western Red - it's US country with an Australian twist, keeping true to the traditions that make country great.
With a genuine love and deep respect for the foundations of the genre, the legends are right alongside the best of today's independent artists - a mix you won't find anywhere else.
For more information, email: email@example.com.
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Leona Williams - That Williams Girl, Leona
In this week's episode we're featuring the debut album from Missouri's Leona Williams: "That Williams Girl, Leona" (1970). As a young woman in St. Louis working as a beautician by day and playing music several nights a week on the side, connections that Leona Williams made during that time would serve her young career well. A friendship with Loretta Lynn saw Leona move to Nashville and join Loretta's first band "The Blue Kentuckians" and a former bandmate who landed an Opry role helped her to get her first recording session. Leona's traditional-edged style got the attention of industry heavyweight Wesley Rose, and she was signed to Hickory Records in 1967. Rose deliberately helped set her up for a lifetime in country music, and that's exactly how it panned out for this modest gal from The Show Me State. Leona herself will say "she's just as plain as an old shoe" (an expression her mother liked to use), but hopefully the music featured in this week's show will serve to convince you that Leona Williams' 50+ year in country music is testament to an entertainer who had the charisma, talent and drive to deserve it.
The Reeves Brothers - The Last Honky Tonk
In this week's episode we're featuring a 2020 release from The Reeves Brothers: "The Last Honky Tonk". Distilling the best of 70s country down to a twelve-song collection, the most refreshing part of this album lies in it's original material. All but three of the tracks were written by brothers Matt & Cole Reeves who both ooze country music pedigree. The Reeves Brothers come by their throwback sound honestly, without pretence or effort it seems - this gloriously grimy brand of honky tonk IS their sound. Recorded between producer Kevin Skrla's Wolfe Island studios and Sugar Hill in Houston, the result contains significant Haggard overtones and features prolific steel guitar from Caleb Melo. Cole Reeves' twangy vibrato and Matt Reeves gritty growl serve to bring fans of hardcore, traditional country music an album worth it's weight in Lone Star beer and quarters for the jukebox. Get into it!
Hank Thompson & The Brazos Valley Boys - At The Golden Nugget
In this week's episode we're featuring an irresistible live album from Hank Thompson & The Brazos Valley Boys: "At The Golden Nugget" (1961). Recorded over two nights in March of '61 during a six-week, six-night-per-week stint at Vegas' famous Golden Nugget Gambling Hall & Casino, Thompson & band are at the top of their game. Steel Guitar Hall Of Famer Bobby Garrett once said that his three years with Hank Thompson & The Brazos Valley Boys (1960-1963) was the highlight of his illustrious career. On "At The Golden Nugget" we are treated to a prime example of the musical innovation, tight musicianship and infectious brand of western swing and honky tonk that made Thompson so popular during his 50s and 60s heyday. The set list incorporates incendiary instrumental breaks and solos from the accomplished band, delightful casino ambience and Thompson's friendly disposition during and between songs. A glittering example of Billboard magazine's "Top Country & Western Touring Band" at their very peak.
JD Crowe & The New South - Lefty's Old Guitar
In this week's episode we're featuring the first album in seven years for JD Crowe & The New South: "Lefty's Old Guitar" (2006). Never one to be rushed into releasing new material, banjo institution JD Crowe worked more than six years of road and bluegrass festival dates with the nucleus of The New South's line up in perfecting this album. Rickey Wasson is superb on lead vocals for the first time in his tenure with Crowe and Dwight McCall on mandolin and occasional lead offers fine accompaniment. Pioneering since his days with Jimmy Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys, Crowe again brought in Steel Guitar Hall Of Famer Doug Jernigan on several tracks on "Lefty's Old Guitar" (including the title track) and the album's classic country overtones are deliciously plain to hear. A wistful cover of Max D. Barnes' "In My Next Life" (also recorded by Merle Haggard) is the jewel in the crown of this fine collection; a cut from hard country gem Wayne Kemp is an excellent addition in "She Knows When You're On My Mind Again" and a romping cover from fellow Kentucky banjo legend Red Spurlock on "Loneliness" is only a taste of some of JD Crowe & The New South's finest work since the 70s.
Larry Ballard - Honky Tonk Heaven Is A Hell Of A Place To Be
In this week's episode we're featuring the second album (of three) for Michigan's Larry Ballard: "Honky Tonk Heaven Is A Hell Of A Place To Be" (1976). "Discovered" and produced by the legendary Pete Drake, there is precious little information out there about Larry Ballard's three albums for Capitol in the 70s. The second of those, however, features some of the finest country singer/songwriter material you've never heard of. With audible ties to multiple genres a la Gary Stewart of the same era, it's no surprise to learn Ballard has a background in rock 'n' roll. Once the switch to country came, Drake assembled a fine studio group to back Larry Ballard and the steel strains of Paul Franklin are simply delightful. Pictured in a cafe corner booth on the front of the album nursing a half-empty beer, cigarette in hand staring wistfully out the window, such classic country imagery doesn't lead us astray: "Honky Tonk Heaven" has plenty to like for listeners willing to dig past the big names in the record bin.. and it makes you wonder why Ballard seemingly disappeared after 1977.
Kitty Wells & Red Foley - Together Again
In this week's show we're featuring a duet album that time forgot - Kitty Wells & Red Foley and their "comeback" LP on Decca: "Together Again" (1967). First paired together on a record label hunch in 1953/54 in Springfield, Missouri while Foley was hosting the popular Ozark Jubilee TV show - three singles were released on Wells/Foley and all were hits. A full LP followed but busy schedules meant it wasn't until 1967 that the two were truly "together again" for our feature album. On paper, Kitty Wells' high-pitched hillbilly warble and Red Foley's buttery-smooth baritone seems an odd pairing. But it just works. Three singles from the album charted and those cuts were Foley's first (and last) to do so in almost eight years. A somewhat poignant posthumously-released of Scotty Wiseman's "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" became Foley's last single after his passing in 1968, and Wells/Foley's final duet album serves as a pleasing reminder of the talents of two of country's elders (even in 1967) past their respective commercial (but not vocal) peaks.
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THE VERY BEST COUNTRY MUSIC SHOW
This is the very best country,western swing, and bluegrass show out there. I love the commentary and different music. 5STARS!
Excellent Music Podcast
Traditional country is coming back. This podcast is helping us to appreciate the sound of “real country music.” Thank you. Good professional programming.
Just found this podcast. Great music. Classic County music at its best.