Set the time machine for early morning on KSIB, Creston, Iowa. February, 1950. Hot on the heels of the collectable 10' vinyl Record Store Day EP Omnivore Recordings is proud to present The Garden Spot Programs, 1950, featuring 24 performances, unheard for 64 years, from the one and only Hank Williams! Rescued from obscurity, these shows originally aired over 6 decades ago, and The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 collects material from the four of them now known to exist. From hits to standards to songs rarely (if ever) performed, this is pure Hank Williams, including playful, between song banter. Fully restored to incredible quality, The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 is more like being in the studio when they were recorded than actually listening to them on the radio!
Like 1999's tribute to Gram Parsons, Return of the Grievous Angel, this successful collection revives the tired "tribute" concept and applies it in homage to a key figure in country music. Interpreting songs from across Hank Williams's short and troubled career, a range of high-profile artists use different approaches with equally gratifying results. Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, and Hank Williams III play familiar songs with traditional arrangements (Ms. Crow's yodel is an eye opener); Beck, Mark Knopfler, and Keb' Mo' stay closer to their own idioms. Keith Richards's reedy vocal makes "You Win Again" all his own, and Bob Dylan, who has only rarely lent his services to these sorts of projects, leads his touring band through a blues shuffle on "I Can't Get You Off of My Mind." The estimable Lost Highway label has assembled an illustrious cast to sing the praises of the artist who inspired its name, and in doing so it has created a far better testament to its musical mindset than can ever be captured in the term Americana.
The solo guitar arrangements of these timeless classics are fun to play and will build your fingerpicking skills, expand your freeboard knowledge and show you some really cool licks! You can choose how complicated you want your arrangements to get. Hank Williams' tunes are simple enough for easy strumming and perfect for more advanced alternate-thumb Travis-style picking, so there's something here for everyone. Toby performs each song, then uses it as a jumping off place to explore a variety of exciting guitar moves.
Honky Tonk Blues is an expanded director's cut of an American Masters television special about Hank Williams, and every minute of it illuminates Williams's importance as a seminal artist and American archetype. Produced with an understated fascination for the country legend's gifts and demons that shortened his career, played havoc with his marriages, and led to a haunting death at 29, Honky Tonk Blues builds a seamless profile from rare footage and rich interviews with (among others) Rick Bragg, Big Bill Lister (Williams's longtime opening act), Hank Williams Jr., and members of Williams's backup band, the Drifting Cowboys. Williams's story, including his mentorship in the blues by Rufus "Tee Tot" Payne, childhood loneliness, and emergence as a whole-cloth singer-songwriter "who taught people it's okay to bear your soul in everyday language," is thoroughly compelling and resonates with many American originals (e.g., Kurt Cobain) who followed him. An outstanding documentary.