Sunday, November 15, 2015

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Collects Buck Owens Best For "Buck'em! Volume 2"

Country singer Buck Owens had a successful career in music and television that lasted over 40 years. He notched 21 #1 singles on the Billboard Country singles chart, he was a co-host of the TV show "Hee Haw" and is member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Omnivore Recordings have been gathering together many of his best songs for an anthology of his catalog. Omnivore released volume 1 back in 2013 and on November 13th, they released volume 2, "Buck'em! The Music Of Buck Owens (1967-1975)." The new 2CD set gathers together 50 of his hits, including the #1 singles "Who Will Mow Your Grass" and "Made In Japan." 

The first disc begins with the up-tempo 1967 single "Happy Times Are Here Again" as Owens seems very comfortable as a country solo artist, also performing alongside his band The Buckaroos. This disc features a previously unreleased alternative version of "Darlin', You Can Depend On Me" and an unreleased outtake of Buck Owens with Bettye Swann singing "Today I Started Loving You Today." Also sprinkled through the first disc are half a dozen live songs as Owens was a huge concert draw in the late-sixties. One of the highlights of the first disc is Owens top ten cover of the Simon & Garfunkel classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

The second disc of classics begins with the country swing of "Arms Full Of Empty" from the 1973 album of the same name. Buck Owens teams up again with Susan Raye on a sweet duet of "The Good Days (Are Here Again)." A string of live songs covers the meat of the this disc as Owens traveled to Japan, Australia and New Zealand to record live albums in the mid-seventies. The treasure on the second disc are the two outtakes "He Ain't Been Out Bowling With The Boys" and "A Different Kind Of Sad," before closing with a cover of the country twang of Jimmy Driftwood's "The Battle Of New Orleans" and the gentler delivery of "Country Singer's Prayer." To find out more about this latest installment in the "Buck'em!" series, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

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