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Highways & Honky Tonks
Heather Myles
Highways & Honky Tonks
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Just when it feels like the end days of hard, imaginative country music are upon us, a release such as this appears and dashes despair. With her first outing for Rounder, Myles has made one of 1998's finest--setting her ow...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Heather Myles
Title: Highways & Honky Tonks
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rounder / Umgd
Original Release Date: 9/1/1998
Release Date: 9/1/1998
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock
Styles: Americana, Roadhouse Country, Neotraditional
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 011661314726, 011661314740

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Just when it feels like the end days of hard, imaginative country music are upon us, a release such as this appears and dashes despair. With her first outing for Rounder, Myles has made one of 1998's finest--setting her own standard for country music at millennium's end, writing every song save two classics, and singing all hell out of every line. There's nothing slight, nothing wasted in these 12 songs; the original material is unfailingly strong and effortlessly inventive. Her band--featuring Bob Gothar, Pete Anderson, Marty Rifkin, Gary Brandin, and a propulsive rhythm section--marshals various styles and colors. Shades of progressive bluegrass and Tex-Mex emerge, as well as echoes of Buddy Holly's sound, resulting in taut country rock that nods as often to the Byrds and the Burrito Brothers as to Myles's formative Bakersfield background. --Roy Francis Kasten

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CD Reviews

Bakersfield Country Alive and Kicking
William W. Smith | Basking Ridge, NJ USA | 01/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are several commercial "schools" of country music. One of them is the Nashville Sound that rose to pre-eminence with its crooners, background singers, strings and lush, syrupy arrangements. Another was the Texas Swing school, which gave birth to the Austin sound of Waylon and Willie. But my favorite of the competing schools of country was the so-called Bakersfield Sound. Two of its most famous members were Buck Owens (in his pre-Hee Haw days) and Merle Haggard in his Capitol Records years. The sound was harder, twangy-er and more band-oriented than the music being played "back east".I always liked this sound best. And as a teenager at a New England prep school, I collected all the early Buck Owens and Merle Haggard records as they came out on Capitol. Later, Buck and (to a lesser extent) Merle got co-opted by Nashville. But the sound and spirit lived on. Buck Owens had a great band, fronted by vocal harmonies of Don Rich. Merle Haggard's Strangers produced a sound so distinctive you could recognize it after about two bars. And Bonnie Owens provided a harsh harmony with Merle that stood in stark contrast to the Jordanaires harmonies that backed Nashville tracks. Heather Myles does this music better than anyone else today. And she makes it fresh and contemporary, never nostalgic. And while she probably wouldn't want to characterize herself as a proponent of the Bakersfield School of Music, she has all the ingredients that make this music so great. If you want to get a completely different take on country music than you'll get from, say, Reba MacIntyre, you really ought to give a listen to Heather Myles. She's terrific."
Where is the justice?
William W. Smith | 09/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"We live in a world like hacks like Shania Twain and Garth Brooks rule the "country" charts with their painfully clinched, and utterly contrived songs, and genuine and startling talents like Heather Myles, Iris DeMent, and Kelly Willis, struggle to get heard. Well hear this disc people, it is a stunner.Blessed with a voice that'll knock your socks off, Myles sings ten songs she wrote or co wrote, and throws in two covers for good measure. Not a moment is wasted. The fact that commercial country radio ignores such great cuts like "You're Gonna Love Me One Day" and "True Love" just goes to show that there is no justice in the music world these days."
Country Queen
Meathook Williams | Warwick, Massachusetts | 08/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Someday it just might happen. Someday you could tune in to a country station or perhaps CMTV and actually hear some country music, real country music. On her third studio album (she's also got a killer live CD as well) Heather Myles dishes out more of the real thang, and it's my favorite to date. Her first was released seven years ago, and she's still not a houshold name, to the great shame of the industry. Though there are a very few uncompromising women making this kind of music ( Joy Lynn White and Lee Ann Womack spring to mind ), most of what emanates from Nashville is pop. Yes, I suppose Shania has talent, but it has precious little to do with country music. But on this disc you can find a hefty dose of heartache and steel guitar. Yep, and she writes 'em all herself to boot. Clever but meaningfull lyrics intermingle with authentic, tearjerkin' playing. She has a wonderful duet with Mr.Country; Merle Haggard "No One Is Gonna Love You Better" and she holds her own and then some. It's an instant classic. "Who Did You Call Darlin'" is a nice tex-mex number with the requisite button accordian (no credit given for some reason...zat you Flaco?). Scott Joss and Pete Anderson from Dwight Yoakum's band are on hand with some tasty fiddle playing and guitar work repectively. The songs all have a hook, but not the inane crapola you hear on the radio. She really is the sweetheart of the rodeo, and my absolute fave since she burst onto the scene in 1992. Another highpoint is the only non-original: Charlie Pride's megahit "Kiss An Angel Good Morning" and, even as a major Pride fan, I have to say I like this one even more. Her superb voice is distinct, and finds a home "right quick". "Broken Heart For Sale" is as moving as anything Loretta or Emmylou have ever come out with, and that's surely saying something. It all sounds effortless in the way only a major talent can make it seem. When we look back on this period of country music, Heather Myles will undoubtedly loom large with the handfull of standout artists that were....well, artists. Nobody does it better. My only complaint is my standard one; at thirty seven minutes it could be longer. But that means that you'll be hungry for more."