If you can listen to "Lost Highway" and not get a lump in yo
OffBeat Magazine | 07/10/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even though Louisiana Hayride product Johnny Horton scored big with the rockabilly shuffle "Honky Tonk Man" and patriotic productions such as "The Battle of New Orleans" and "Sink the Bismarck," his fame rests with these remarkable country ballads. This style came naturally to Horton as he manages to balance both confidence and vulnerability throughout. Collecting material between 1951 and 1960, the earliest recordings--"Shadows on the Old Bayou," "Done Rovin'"--feature fiddles and pedal steel, while later tracks--"Words," "Miss Marcy"--are more polished and include strings and vocal choruses.
While the overwhelming theme here deals with the perils of love, we get a sense of Horton's down-home sense of humor, particularly on "Tetched in the Head." The Ballads of Johnny Horton also includes some of his history songs, including "Comanche (The Brave Horse)" and "Johnny Reb," as well as a predilection for geographic subject matter, "North to Alaska." Horton absolutely wears his heart on his sleeve on every track here. You don't have to even like country music to be slightly more than impressed with this release. If you can listen to "Lost Highway" and not get a lump in your throat, you're stronger emotionally than I. First class packaging as we've come to expect from Bear Family. Recommended.--OffBeat Magazine, June 2010 issue