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Friday, July 29, 2016

Jazz, old country and the perfection of tone

Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011, at 4:31 PM

I've always liked rockabilly -- Johnny Cash, early Elvis, the Everlies, Ricky Nelson -- but have never been big on rock 'n' roll. Other faves are jazz and what's referred to as old country with George Jones, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and others. Driving at night, I go to KRPS at Pitt State or "The Lake" out of Stockton, and on clear nights I check them out at WSM.

The best way to listen to music is, so to speak, to feel it with your ears -- all the elements and the way they blend, melody buoyed by rhythm and the singer's insights and empathy. Singers and other musicians are quite emotional, but they need more: the perfection of tone. Patsy sounds so soulful because she made every note ring. Like a cryin' steel guitarist, her expression is in her tone.

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James R. Campbell
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