Album Details

November 15, 2002
Country, Traditional Country

Album Review

Wayne Raney's considerable legacy hadn't been well served by the CD era at the time of this 2002 release. This 25-track anthology is a good if imperfect start to correcting that imbalance. It's imperfect because it doesn't by any means have every significant King side waxed by this important country-boogie singer and harmonica player. In fact, it hardly renders the best prior CD compilation of Raney's work (Songs of the Hills) redundant, since about half of the songs on that budget-looking disc don't appear here. Still, it's a good survey of material that Raney cut at King in the late '40s and early '50s, including his big hit "Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me" and such galvanizing hillbilly harmonica boogies as "Fast Train Through Arkansas," "Catfish Baby," and the great "Jack and Jill Boogie" (which clearly anticipates the riff exchanges of rock & roll). There are some nice close harmony ballads like "Lonesome Wind Blues" with clearer roots in old-time music. But there are a surprising number of tamer, more country-oriented performances that aren't nearly as raw and exciting as his hot harmonica boogies, particularly the later the year of recording, and Raney's voice is much less effective when he isn't bolstered by harmonizing singers. Yet it's a valuable package overall, boosted by liner notes giving a thorough overview of Raney's career. The CD has a previously unissued, undubbed version of his 1952 single "Undertakin' Daddy" (the overdubbed version from the released single is also included).
Richie Unterberger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Fox Chase
  2. Fast Train Through Arkansas
  3. Jole Blon's Ghost
  4. Jack and Jill Boogie
  5. Don't Know Why
  6. Lost John Boogie
  7. Lonesome Wind Blues
  8. Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me
  9. Del Rio Boogie
  10. Red Ball to Natchez
  11. I'm Square Dab from the Country (And the Country's Still in Me)
  12. Pardon My Whiskers
  13. I Feel a Streak of Love Coming On
  14. I Ain't Nothin' But a Tom Cat's Kitten
  15. If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time
  16. Real Hot Boogie
  17. I Had My Fingers Crossed
  18. You Better Treat Your Man Right
  19. Blues at My Door
  20. Catfish Baby
  21. Undertakin' Daddy
  22. When They Let the Hammer Down
  23. The Child's Side of Life
  24. Adam Come and Get Your Rib
  25. Undertakin' Daddy [#]