Includes liner notes by Chuck Young.
Liner Note Author: Chuck Young.
This CD collects all 14 tracks from Howard Vokes' 1964 Starday album, Tragedy and Disaster in Country Songs, plus "A Child Without a Name" and "Tomorrow Is My Last Day," which together comprise Vokes' complete output for the label. Vokes is an award-winning country music traditionalist whose open-throat singing style is heavily influenced by Roy Acuff, but his revivalist attitude doesn't prohibit the use of electric instruments, which are sparingly applied throughout his Starday recordings. Most tracks make use of a percussive Luther Perkins-style sock rhythm on electric guitar, while "Tragedy of Chicago" and "Yellow Tomb" make more prominent use of an electric guitar lead. The two non-album tracks exhibit a comparatively commercial production approach with mellifluous steel guitar, although the themes of these songs fit well with the overall concept of gloom and doom. The parade of maudlin stories will seem either terribly bleak or darkly humorous depending upon the listener's constitution. Typical of domestic King and Starday reissues, the CD comes with a one-sided, single-sheet booklet and very brief liner notes. ~ Greg Adams