Nostalgic Country Sounds
Stax Country is a unique compilation of rare and unreleased country tracks recorded for the legendary Memphis label
Review by Adrian Peel
The release joins a series of iconic reissues celebrating the 60th anniversary of Stax Records, founded in 1957 as Satellite Records before changing its name in 1961. The label was a major factor in the creation of soul music – its most famous artist was Otis Redding – and also put out gospel, funk, jazz and blues recordings.
Stax Country features 16 country songs recorded in the early-to-mid 1970s and is available on vinyl and CD, as well as on all digital and streaming platforms. The record presents a diverse range of artists who never really enjoyed great success in the music industry.
The album gets off to a very promising start – opening tracks, “Sweet Country Music” by Becki Bluefield and “That Glass” by Eddie Bond are an absolute joy, instantly providing that wonderfully warm feeling of nostalgia that comes from listening to classic country.
There is something Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings-esque about Paul Craft’s “For Linda (Child In The Cradle)”, while “The Finer Things In Life” is a sublime effort by O.B. McClinton, probably the most successful of all the artists on show.
Although a number of the tracks struggle to maintain that exciting early momentum, there are further gems to discover – Connie Eaton’s “I Wanna Be Wrong Right Now”, Cliff Cochran’s “All the Love You’ll Ever Need” and Danny Bryan’s countrified take on The Temptations’ “My Girl” among them.
This is an album that should appeal to fans of that soulful 1970s country sound, which thankfully seems to be making a bit of a comeback of late – thanks to artists like Midland and Sam Outlaw. In fact, I think even non-country fans and admirers of Stax’s more familiar output will find much to enjoy.