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CD of the Week

March 30, 2007

Art is turning 40! Therefore, my CD this week will be a response to his. Art blogged that the CD of the week is basically anything by Buck Owens. I have to admit that my earliest memories of Buck were when he was past his prime and hosting Hee-Haw, which I am utterly convinced that we only watched because the other networks literally shut down on Saturday nights.

I fell in love with Buck’s music later, when I heard his early stuff with Don Rich. I heard that Buck once said that his musical life died when Don died. Buck’s music was an influence on country singers, country twangers, and rockers alike. If you don’t like “Buckaroo,” “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass,” “Tiger By The Tail,” or “Streets of Bakersfield” then I just don’t know what to think aboutcha.

So that leaves me to ask the question: “What if Buck loved the Beatles as much as the Beatles loved Buck?”

One possible answer lies on this album: Reverb Deluxe by the Derailers.

Man, this is a great album. It’s really the only Derailers CD I own. I’m almost afraid to buy any others simply because this one is so perfect. The album is named after the famous Deluxe Reverb amplifier by Fender, and the cover is an extreme close-up of the bridge area of a vintage Fender Telecaster. Gee, guess what guitar sound is all over the album? Could it be….Telecasters thru Deluxe Reverbs? Why, even the guitar on the cover is finished in sparkle – just like the matching Teles often played by Buck and Don.

Don Rich’s Fender Telecaster

This CD approaches every Fender fan’s ideas of perfection – the guitars are pure California, encompassing both the Bakersfield twang of Buck and Don as well as Merle and Roy, and the surfy, summery sounds of the Beach Boys. Tony Villanueva (no longer with the group) and Brian Hofeldt honk along in perfect vocal harmony reminiscent of John and Paul (the Beatles, not the Apostles) as well as perfect guitar synergy.

The guitar instrumental “Ellen” is a true standout as are “Dull Edge of the Blade,” “California Angel,” and “Can’t Stop a Train.” Pop this CD in the car, open the windows and the sunroof, crank it up loud, and enjoy a beautiful spring day.

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