Terry Allen Best of The Sugar Hill Years
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- Released: July 16, 2007
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Sugarhill
- 1.Amarillo Highway
- 2.What of Alicia
- 3.Helena Montana
- 4.Gimme a Ride to Heaven Boy
- 5.Truckload of Art
- 6.X - Mas on the Isthmus
- 7.New Delhi Freight Train
- 8.Flatland Boogie
- 10.Red Bird
- 11.Peggy Legg
- 12.Wilderness of This World
- 13.Beautiful Waitress
- 14.Give Me the Flowers
- 15.Cortez Sail
- 16.Oh Hally Lou
Adapter: Donnie Maines.
Personnel: Cary Banks (guitar, electric guitar, marimba, hand claps); Peter Kaukonen (guitar, mandolin); Lloyd Maines (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, dobro, banjo, tenor banjo, drums, dumbek, tambourine, hand claps); Guy Clark (acoustic guitar); David Byrne (electric guitar); Leslie Blackburn (viola); Jack Bowden (pennywhistle); Joe Ely (harmonica); Bukka Allen (accordion, harmonium); Ponty Bone (accordion); Jack Delahunty, Stan Smith (clarinet); Don Caldwell (saxophone); Tommy Anderson (trumpet, tuba); Russ Standefer, Mark Rubin (tuba); Monte Williams (Clavinet, synthesizer); Alan Shinn (marimba, congas, castanets, tambourine, percussion); Glenn Fukunaga (upright bass); Donnie Maines (drums, congas, claves, tambourine, hand claps, percussion); Davis McLarty (drums, djembe); Curtis McBride (drums); Mike Meyers (congas); Kenny Maines (tambourine, hand claps); LaTronda Maines (hand claps).
Audio Remasterer: Dominick Maita.
Liner Note Author: Michael Ventura.
Photographer: Douglas Kent Hall.
Unknown Contributor Role: Tommy Anderson.
Terry Allen might loosely be described as a singer/songwriter who developed his idiosyncratic style within the Texas roots scene during the 1970s. Loosely, that puts Allen in line with singer/songwriters like Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, though he has more in common with a writer-singer like Butch Hancock. But what Hancock and Allen share is less a common style than a penchant for eccentricity. This eccentricity, fueled by a left-of-center sense of humor and a sardonic, nasal-tinged vocal style, is on full display on Best of the Sugar Hill Years. The collection includes a generous sampling of Allen's work, serving as a solid one-disc introduction. Here, one can listen to true oddities like "Gimme a Ride to Heaven Boy," a five-minute narrative about picking up a hitchhiker who claims to be Jesus Christ. The thing is, within Allen's world view, the hitchhiker, who eventually pulls out a gun and takes the car, may be Jesus. If this sounds overly odd or trivial, it isn't. Allen's gifts as a musician are multiple, allowing him to combine the song's country-rock arrangement, a well-written lyric, and his vocal delivery into a strangely effective work. There are a number of winning selections from Lubbock (On Everything), an album worth owning in its entirety, and one of Allen's best recent compositions (with Guy Clark), "X-Mas on the Isthmus." For those bored with the same old, same old, Best of the Sugar Hill Years will open up new vistas. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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