CHARLIE McCOY Lonesome Whistle (A Tribute to Hank Williams, Sr.)
I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow – Lovesick Blues – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Your Cheatin’ Heart – Cold Cold Heart – Mind Your Own Business – I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You – My Dream – I Saw The A Light – Long Gone Lonesome Blues – Jambalaya – You Win Again – The Hank Williams Song
I remember it so well. It was the cool of the evening, the sun had just gone down. We were gathered at the fair grounds in Missouri Valley, Iowa. The gloaming had just passed, a huge full harvest moon was just rising, a light orange in color. Charlie McCoy was there to be inducted into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame. Lots and lots of people sitting in lawn chairs, comfortable, easy going country folks. Charlie came on, did a couple really good songs, we inducted him into the Hall of Fame with a standing ovation from the country folks. Then he went into “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” just as the moon rose in its fullest splendor right behind him. Yep, there were lots of folks crying as he played his harmonica so sentimentally and full of soul spirit. It sure moved me, the tears were still streaming down my face long after he had left the stage. This brand new CD by Charlie, is a re-capture of that magic moment, at least for me. Only this time he’s doing an entire CD project devoted in tribute to the songs of the great Hank Williams. Country music at its best. No holds barred, no over production, no phony hype….COUNTRY MUSIC AT ITS BEST!
Charlie is well known as the best harmonica player on planet earth, and this album certainly tends to make that accusation true. These songs are so well done in his hands, or should I say his harmonica. What’s also really neat, is that Charlie asked some special friends to come in and help out. Each of these great songs has a little introduction with each of his special friends. Imagine….Jett Williams talking with Charlie, and then singing “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” Ricky Skaggs and Roy Clark talk about their experiences with Hank Williams, and then sing “Mind Your Own Business.” Super neat idea and well done with with Charlie who is a gracious down-to-earth guy who simply loves great country music, and his heart and soul is devoted to playing it well. The whole project is kind of like a once-in-a-lifetime radio show with the best in the business chatting home-like with their host, Charlie McCoy.
I always like to mention the musicians helping out behind the main attraction. In this case, it’s obvious they are all Hank Williams and Charlie McCoy fans. Pig Robbins, Dirk Johnson, and Rodger Morris on piano; Dennis Crouch and Dave Martin on bass with a special appearance by Cedric Rainwater (who actually played in the Drifting Cowboys). Bob Mater and Tommy Wells on drums; Leigh Reynolds and Michael Spriggs on acoustic guitar. Charlie also mentions Hank Williams on guitar too….well he did one song “I Saw The Light” overdubbing the original Hank song, along with Jett Williams doing vocals. Jimmy Capps, Bill Hullett, Roy Clark and Sammy Pruett (also a member of the original Drifting Cowboys); Russ Hicks, Mike Johnson, Weldon Myrick, Don Helms (another original Drifting Cowboy); Harold Bradley on the electric sitar; Loretta Brank, Hoot Hester, Kenny Sears on fiddle along with another Drifting Cowboy original Jerry Rivers. Ricky Skaggs on mandolin and Rob Ickes on Dobro. That’s an incredible line up, and the end result is pretty incredible too. Anybody who ever liked Hank Williams music is going to love this one.
Charlie McCoy and Jett Williams are both in our America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame. Charlie is also in Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, but Roy Clark and Ricky Skaggs are not in ours. I’m hoping Charlie will nominate one or both of them, and send them back to the country for the honors. Thanks for the memories Charlie. And by the way, the Rural Roots Music Commission will be picking their CD of the Year awards for 2012. If I were you Charlie, I’d set some time aside to pick up “Instrumentalist of the Year.”
ORDER THIS CD DIRECT FROM: Charlie McCoy P O Box 50455, Nashville, TN 37205