Neil Diamond. The Jewish Elvis Presley as some have referred to him over the years. But country? That’s probably not what you think of when you think Neil Diamond.
2014 in country music did not see the passing of titans of the genre like we experienced in 2013 when George Jones, Ray Price, Tompall Glaser, and many more passed away, but was more the story of the vital side players, songwriters, session musicians, and storytellers who are so important to making the country music of others sound great.
Arthur Smith, Bob Montgomery, Bobby Keys, Chip Young, Dawn Sears, George Hamilton IV, George Riddle, Ian McLagan, James Alan Shelton, James Hand, Jesse Winchester, Jimmy C. Newman, Larry Henley, Lois Johnson, Neil Reshen, Paul Craft, Pete Seeger, Phil Everly, Ralph Stanley, Ronny Spears, Steve Fromholz, Tommy Ramone, Waylon Jennings, Weldon Myrick, Will Indian, Willie Nelson
Though The Kossoy Sisters were surrounded by the folk revival, much of the inspiration and compositions for their music originated farther south in the Southern Appalachians. Their focus was gospel and primitive country murder ballads. Most importantly, that innocence and purity that the world had scarcely heard since those original Ralph Peer Bristol Sessions was present in their music.
The great American folk singing legend and banjo player Pete Seeger passed away on January 27th, All but appropriate then that on the very next day, January 28th, one of our generation’s most venerable folk musicians, Duluth, Minnesota’s Charlie Parr released his 12th full-length album, and one that arguably mark’s the artist’s most bold, and most ambitious undertaking yet.