Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Hey, guess what's back? After more than a year we're firing up Barstool Mountain again. Oh yes indeed. Your number-one source for all songs boozy and swank. And, of course, the official home of our Top 100 Drinking Songs from a couple of years ago. Check it out!
With that out of the way, let's check in with a Country'n'Western feller we think is pretty nifty.
Eddie Noack gets a lot of nods from the rockabilly crowd for some reason, probably for his work under the name "Tommy Wood". Don't really see it myself, as he's pretty much a hard floor honkytonker, but to each their own, and anything to spread the word, methinks.
We'll skip most of the ephemera, which you can find easily on the world wide internet series of tubes and wires, and give you a brief overview.
Noack recorded a whole slew of songs for various regional labels (notably, for our purposes at least, Starday and K-Ark) after winning a singing contest in the late '40's. Some of his most notable tunes are "Psycho", "Too Hot To Handle", and "Gentlemen Prefer Blonds". Most of them failed right out of the gate, in some cases due to the "mature" and "unsavory" subject matter. Even after being "rediscovered" and covered by the likes of George Jones, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb and Elvis Costello, Noack never really gained a foothold in the big, big Country world.
And that'd be about the end of it, if not for the glorious obsessiveness of collectors and archivists. There's a wealth of great "old" music out there constantly being compiled from dusty vaults for our listening enjoyment, and Noack has been particularly well-cared for. Good for us.
Having gotten a degree in journalism, you can hear Noack's unique take on the populist lyricism of Country, with a Hank-like simplicity that says more in a phrase than a million contemporary Nashville Hats could wish for in their wettest dreams. But simple aint simple, and Noack delves into a little darkness (at the edge of town) in his songs. Rape, murder, hopelessness, etc. But don't be fooled by his darker side, as he can swing the chandeliers to the floor with a honky tonk stomper worthy of the best of 'em. Twangdrawling through the heartache, love, hopes and dreams of all the days, Noack takes us to the bar, offers us a swallow of a drink both bitter and euphoric, and invites us to dance the day into the morning.
"Psycho" is not Noack's own song, but he takes it, and makes it definitive. It's his most famous tune, so we thought we'd throw it in for a hook. You can't go wrong with any tune by Noack, but the three tunes following "Psycho" are our personal favorites (but only because we had to limit ourselves. Enjoy.
Eddie Noack: Psycho (mp3)
Eddie Noack: Relief Is Just A Swallow Away (mp3)
Eddie Noack: Barbara Joy (mp3)
Eddie Noack: Firewater Luke (mp3)
Eddie Noack: Walk 'Em Off (mp3)
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