Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Riverrock Midwest Man Hannah Records 1980
So, all over the US, there are these pockets of country/bluegrass scenes that exist in retaliation to the continued destruction of Country music in Nashville. This started happening heavily in the 1970's and continues to this day. Sure, there was the Outlaw scene that was prominent in the 70's and 80's as well as the buzz of Alt. Country in the 90's and 00's, but there has always been a steady stream of regional country music that has nothing to do with the pappy-crap put out by the Nashville machine. These regional scenes are worth looking into, they're rooted in tradition and continue to follow in the footsteps of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Flatt & Scruggs. They don't follow the rules of Nashville and could care less about the current Country charts.
Riverrock used to be one of those bands in the late 70's in the Kansas City area, then they did this. They traveled to Nashville and did this album at a studio called, "The Sound Shop." I assume in an attempt to reach commercial success. They did obtain some marginal local radio play according to their website with this LP, but at what price? This is terrible. It's uber-slick and polished, it has everything to do with Kenny Rogers and nothing to do with Hank Williams. I mean seriously, it was recorded at a place called "The Sound Shop." Like you could just go in, grab a number, wait in line and come out with something that sounds like every other half-hearted piece of crap that was coming out of Nashville (and still is).
The band seems to pride themselves on this release, they even did a special 30 year reunion CD some a while back. I don't know, the slickness of it all just turns me off, you can't seriously call it Country music...it's Country-influenced Pop music. Just would have thought with the obvious Bluegrass roots found on Riverrock's previous albums, Texas, would have been the place to find a producer...but, in Nashville there's plenty of people willing to take your money and give you watered down production. Props for giving it a go, though, I just can't enjoy the results.