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CD Review: ALLEN KARL & DONNA CUNNINGHAM – Doin’ Those Country Covers

ALLEN KARL & DONNA CUNNINGHAM

Doin’ Those Country Covers
Storms Never Last – Your Name Is On My Lips –
Almost Like A Song – Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends – The
Middle Of A Heartache – If That’s The Way You Want It – Sweet Thang –
Let It Be Me – Never Knew Lonely – Are You Teasing Me – It Really
Doesn’t Matter Anymore – You Needed Me
 
It’s always been a real pleasure for me to listen to some
‘real’ country artists like Donna Cunningham and Allen Karl.  Donna is
from Ohio and Allen is from Maryland.  They teamed up in Nashville, a
number of years ago, forming a whole new concept on how to get ‘real’
country music out to the listeners that really like it, and this CD is
one of those ways.  It’s on Century II Records in Nashville under the
direction of Allen.  They have covered a lot of ground making all this
happen, with a majority of their success being on the many charts of
country music in Europe, which is far different than the bought and paid
for charts of America.  Both of these artists have been at the top of
those European charts for the last ten or twelve years.  No wonder, all
you have to do is listen to their voices on the very first track, know
and feel what ‘real’ country music is all about.  They are both
incredible vocalists, each on their own merit, but together they are
even better.  The recorded backing by excellent ‘real’ country music
makers just makes one who really appreciates country music as it has
traditionally been written, created, vocalized, and recorded, wonder
what in the world happened to ‘country’ music in general to abandon the
entire ‘roots’ system of what country music has been to so many people
for such a long time.  Newer, younger, much more money and certainly a
penchant to ‘cheat’ the system is what has happened much to the distress
of those who have no affiliation with ‘modern’ country music at all. 
And worse, every time a fan speaks out on behalf of the tradition and
classic style of the music they are accused of being an old fart and
jackass because they will not allow the music to ‘change.’  That seems
such a rough charge, the music has changed ever since it began but it
always stayed true to the roots and therefore kept the music inside its
own genre of understanding.  Today it’s merely a ‘rap-pop’ presentation
without  even using the traditional country music instrumentalization. 
Fiddle and steel guitar have been abandoned in todays country music, but
not so in the presentations of Allen Karl and Donna Cunningham who
simply keep on keepin’ on keeping country music country. The selection
of their material is also very keen.  The very first song, “Storms Never
Last” is an excellent way to represent what they are doing. Being a
harmonica player myself, I surely appreciated that very instrument in
song number two “Your Name Is On My Lips.”  Another of my favorites is
“Are You Teasing Me,” a very traditional country song pulled right out
of the very cradle of country music. The Allen Karl/Donna Cunningham
version of this old song is incredibly well done.  I can’t wait to hear
what they are going to do next in their duet presentations.  A tip of
the hat and a five-star 
note of appreciation for this continued ‘real’ presentation of ‘real’ country music.
MUSIC REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International

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