The other week I popped into our local second-hand Buddhist bookshop, It is the books not the Buddhists that are second-hand, although they may be too if they have been reincarnated.
The reason I popped in was to take advantage of their permanent '3 for £1' offer on CDs. Usually there is not much to admire but occasionally you strike lucky, and I did on this occasion. Doubly so, as not only did I find three good CDs but when I got to the counter I was told they were knocking 50% all purchases to try to clear some space. So I ended up paying 50p for the three of them.
The CDs concerned were an early Rosie Flores album, an On U Sound compilation - both of which may feature in the future - and today's record of choice, a double CD anthology from Hightone Records called "Rockin' From The Roots". It came out in 2007, around about the time the label stopped releasing new material. At 17p for 30 tracks, it works out at less than a ha'penny a song.
I know some readers will be familiar with Hightone. Between the mid 1980s and the mid 2000s it was one of the leading labels for American roots music, a sort of Bloodshot for grown-ups. The artists that released records on Hightone included the likes of Robert Cray, Dave Alvin, Joe Ely, Tom Russell, Buddy & Julie Miller, Dale Watson and many more.
All of the above feature on ""Rockin' From The Roots" but I have selected tracks by two acts that I was not previously familiar with. As a bonus I have added one by the magnificent Gary Stewart, in my view one of the three greatest country singers of all time along with George and Merle.
"Can't Let Go" - Randy Weeks
"Truck Drivin' Man" - The Twang Bangers
"Brand New Whiskey" - Gary Stewart
Some of you might recognise "Can't Let Go" from the version by Lucinda Williams on "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road" or the later cover by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Until now I had always assumed it was a Big Lu original, so fully does she inhabit the song, so many apologies to Randy for failing to recognise his excellent work for far too long.