Audiophile: Vinyl, June 2019

hfnalbum.pngTony Joe White
Homemade Ice Cream
Analogue Productions APP-2708-45 (two 200g 45rpm LPs)

This superb reissue is a fitting tribute to the finest purveyor ever of 'Swamp Rock', White having passed late last year. Although best known for composing the Elvis hit 'Polk Salad Annie', and 'Rainy Night In Georgia', a smash for Brook Benton in 1970, his own LPs were also something special. Three seconds into this 1973 release and your jaw will drop: the most melodic, tactile lower registers this side of a Kodo album. Every composition mixes wit, wisdom and winsomeness, with musicianship of the highest order – it was recorded in Nashville with sidemen including David Briggs and Norbert Putnam. Above it all, though, is a voice so textured and deep that it makes J J Cale sound like Klaus Nomi. KK


Julie London
Julie Is Her Name
Analogue Productions APP-3006-45 (two 200g 45rpm LPs; mono)

Any reissue of a reissue of a reissue needs to add to the canon. This is a new version of the BoxStar edition in 2009, but as that was a truly spectacular release, how could it possibly be bettered? God knows what magic Bernie Grundman managed in remastering this from the original 1955 tapes, but it's even more open and detailed. The brilliance of this mono LP is that its minimalism – just Ms London backed by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass – needs no directional component to up its presentation. You'll soon forget it's mono. 'Cry Me A River', 'Can't Help Lovin' That Man' and ten more from the huskiest, sexiest voice… ever. KK


Buck Owens
On The Bandstand
Sundazed LP5554 (coloured vinyl)

Yes, the 'Capitol Sound' also applied to its other artists, not just for the Nat 'King' Cole or Dean Martin releases. Here you get to wallow in the richness of the Country & Western strain known as the 'Bakersfield Sound', a sharp, punchy, rock-inflected evolution of the genre pioneered and perfected by Owens. It was a back-and-forth rock, owing as much to C&W as it did the blues. This LP from 1964 contains a mix of vocal tracks and instrumentals, showcasing the skills of both Owens and his amazing band, a feast for fans of fiddle and pedal steel. If you still think yee-hah country is a bit corny, a year later The Beatles would cover his hit, 'Act Naturally'. KK


Linda Ronstadt

Live In Hollywood Rhino 603497855452 LP (CD: 603497855469)

It's hard to believe this is the first official live album from one of the greatest singers of the rock era. Recorded for HBO in 1980, it was lost/forgotten, then rediscovered and remastered by the genius Bernie Grundman (hmm: his treatment of two of the finest-ever female vocalists in the same month – lucky us!). This contains 12 tracks from the gig, her biggest hits by that date, when she was in her prime. Amusingly, here Ronstadt channelled The Hollies, with three numbers they covered, two of which – 'Just One Look' and 'I Can't Let Go' – were hits for them. Who knew? Ends with a gorgeous 'Desperado' – a sublime package. (Also on CD with the same tracks.) KK