Country Club

Country Club

by John DoeJohn Doe


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Punk rock has produced few singers with the strength and chops of X's John Doe, and the force and presence of his vocals (and songwriting) on albums like Wild Gift and Under the Big Black Sun rank with the most satisfying rock & roll of the 1980s. But on Doe's recordings with X's acoustic incarnation, the Knitters, and on his debut solo album, Meet John Doe, he showed he was every bit as gifted with country-influenced material, and for years a handful of X fans has been patiently waiting and wishing for Doe to cut a straight-ahead country album. It took a while, but Doe has finally done it, and he's done it right; Country Club is a collaboration with the great Canadian roots rock combo the Sadies in which they interpret a handful of classic country sides in a style that fuses the moody late-night atmosphere of Nashville's countrypolitan era with the straightforward guitar-based sound of vintage Bakersfield acts like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. As musicians, the Sadies are as tight and as capable as anyone walking into a recording studio these days, and their touch on these songs is all but flawless, fusing Prairie soul with a high lonesome sweetness and a subtle but expressive sense of aural adventure that turn their interpretations of "Night Life" and "Till I Get It Right" into something truly special. And Doe's vocals are a wonder; he never forces false melodrama or histrionics into these performances, but uses his rich, roomy voice to explore the spaces within these tunes with patience and a heart as big as all outdoors. Most country fans have heard "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "Detroit City," and "I Still Miss Someone" a few hundred times (at least) from dozens of artists, but Doe makes the heartache in their lyrics real and genuine, and few performers of the Nash Vegas era can match the innate understanding of classic country weepers that Doe reveals on this set. Doe and the Sadies contribute one new song each to these sessions (the band also tosses in two brief instrumentals), and "It Just Dawned on Me" and "Before I Wake" are good enough that you wouldn't guess they weren't copyrighted in the 1960s if you didn't read the credits. Plenty of rock singers have tried to honor the sound and traditions of period honky tonk music over the years, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one who sounds as ineffably right singing this stuff as John Doe, and Country Club is a casual, no-frills masterpiece.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/14/2009
Label: Yep Roc Records
UPC: 0634457219229
catalogNumber: 2192
Rank: 55907

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Doe   Primary Artist
Sean Dean   Bass
Bruce Good   Autoharp
Eric Heywood   Pedal Steel Guitar
Don Bonebrake   Vibes
Bob Egan   Pedal Steel Guitar
Dallas Good   Guitar,Keyboards
Travis Good   Fiddle,Guitar,Mandolin
Kathleen Edwards   Vocals
Margaret Good   Vocals
Cindy Wasserman   Vocals
Mike Belitsky   Drums

Technical Credits

Bill Anderson   Composer
Johnny Cash   Composer
Merle Haggard   Composer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Willie Nelson   Composer
Mel Tillis   Composer
Exene Cervenka   Composer
John Doe   Composer
Roger Miller   Composer
Larry Henley   Composer
Carl Belew   Composer
James Bailey   Publicity
Walt Breeland   Composer
Paul Buskirk   Composer
Ken Friesen   Engineer
Hy Heath   Composer
Red Lane   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Danny Dill   Composer
Ryan Freeland   Engineer
W.S. Stevenson   Composer
Sadies   Composer
William Trader   Composer
Roy Cash   Composer
Paul Dalen   Management
Amanda Schenk   Cover Photo

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