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Vic_from_TX  02/29/2008          
Last Of The Breed 2 CDs
I cannot believe "Last of the Breed" has no reviews, so here it goes...Ray Price has done more single-handedly for music from the Lone Star state than all other TX musicians put together and is the single most important figure in country music alive today. When he steps into the studio you know he's there to deliver a TOP NOTCH album. Before you even open it up, this cd is "Last of the Breed." Hatch Show Print did the cover artwork. Produced by the great Fred Foster and boy does this guy know how to get it just right. Titles represent some of the greatest songwriters ever, many of which come from the Lone Star state. The musical arrangements are absolutely brilliant...Great lyrics coupled with a great musical score, now; this is what makes real country music, real country music. Musicians include the legendary Johnny Gimble, Buddy Emmons and Boots Randolph along with Gordon Mote on piano each doing exactly what they was born to do. Highlights include; Ray Price, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard together paying tribute to and preserving the artistic integrity of Jesse Ashlock, Floyd Tillman, Mickey Newbury, Harlan Howard, Leon Payne and Gene Autry with Jimmy Long. Now, I actually lost sleep worrying and wondering if "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down" was going to be one of the lucky titles to make it on this record. The boys did Harlan Howard mighty proud!!! I also wondered why Willie Nelson did not include "Going Away Party" on his recent tribute to Cindy Walker album, I mean he had the Jordanaires in the studio...then, I heard this song again for the first time (if this makes sense) with Ray Price singing it the way it oughta be done with the magnificent Jordanaires backing him up and Willie, willie-ing it up...down to that last verse. Payne's "Lost Highway" is masterfully reworked, startin' out with Gimble's fiddlin', followed by Willie's vocals then Ray comes in backed by the Jordanaires to create a Grammy Award winning storytelling experience. Also included is Newbury's "Sweet Memories," one of the greatest "mood" songs of all time. This cut takes you back to that same place and magically recreates that same feeling you experienced the first time you heard this lonely song back in the day. This record's got it all, including Merle's great, real-deal country talkin' song: "Sweet Jesus." I truly admire Merle Haggard for this one. This 2 disc cd is by far without a doubt the best thing to come out of Nashville in years.

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