I’m indebted to Fred Arnold for introducing The Mavericks into the Chain last week. They have long been a personal favourite of mine and consistently one of the best live acts around. The link this week comes from the word ‘maverick’. In 2005 Chrome Dreams released an excellent and low price 4 CD, 100 song collection of early country music entitled…roll of the drums….’Maverick Country’. As well as names such as Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, The Carter Family and Bob Wills, the collection also featured many little known and obscure artists. It’s a great low-cost entry point for anyone wanting to explore the early roots of what has led us to the americana genre.
Picking a single track from the collection was difficult, there are very many that I could have chosen, but I plumped for Moon Mullican’s ‘I’ll Sail My Ship Alone’ originally released in 1949. This was because I recently found this clip whilst trawling through YouTube (yes, I know what you’re thinking – the cold winter nights must just fly by in our house). Although not dated, the clip almost certainly comes from some years after the song’s original release. Mullican was known as ‘The King of Hillbilly Piano’ and was cited by Jerry Lee Lewis as a major influence. This evident in this clip in both his piano playing but also his stance at the piano and his vocal delivery.
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