JOHN REX REEVES Heart and Soul

JOHN REX REEVES Heart and Soul
A Little Bitty Tear – Back Home Again – Have I Told You Lately That I Love You – Together Again – Am I Losing You – Blueberry Hill – I Guess I’m Crazy – I Love You Because – Distant Drums – Some Days Are Diamonds – The Next One’s On Me – You Don’t Know Me – Blues In My Heart – Dance With Me Molly – South Of The Border – I Can’t Stop Loving You – Am I That Easy To Forget – Down The Road To Daddy’s Dreams – He’ll Have To Go – Welcome To My World
     I received this CD from the owner of the Chicken House Opry down Mountain View, Arkansas, way.  Punjo Reed and his wife Lucy do a remarkable job of keeping traditional country music and comedy alive, and he said, “Bob, you’ve got to hear this John Reeves.  He’s a ‘right-on’ voice doing those great heart songs that Jim Reeves used to do.  I would like to nominate him for induction into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.”
     I knew Punjo must have been on to something, so I took a listen.  Wow!  This guy is not only a nephew of Jim Reeves, he’s a tremendous Jim Reeves sound-alike, he also has his own style and an absolutely beautiful masculine voice so very missing in today’s country music charts.  BUT….John Rex Reeves hasn’t been idle.  Not only does he make absolutely beautiful recordings of beautiful country music, he is very active in the promotion of ‘real’ country music that he calls ‘heart’ songs.  He’s been doing a tribute to his uncle Jim Reeves  in Branson, Missouri, and you can see him regularly on RFD-TV on Saturday nights. 
     John grew up only three miles from his uncle.  They spent time together when John was only a young boy, and when he grew up they played golf together.  As John says it, “Little did I know as a young boy growing up listening to the Louisiana Hayride on KWKH radio in Shreveport, Louisiana, that I would witness Jim get his first big hit, “Mexican Joe” on that program.  There was something about the music of Hank Williams and Jim that became haunting to me.  As I started singing more and more down through the years, I realized that their music touches the human heart as very few singers can do.”
     Usually I spend time in reviews discussing the backing musicians.  Rex’s CD does not list the participants.  However they are Nashville studio musicians, and the best of the lot, spot on.  I really like the mix, it brings back that incredibly distinct country music sound that was so emphatically individual, especially in the 50’s and 60’s.  Emphasis is on piano and lead guitar, and they back John Rex Reeves just right.  Doyle Grisham and John are listed as producers.  John lives in Humble, Texas, but he spends a great deal of time in Branson.
     All of the songs on this CD are especially well done.  If I had to choose a favorite or two, it would have to go back to that original Jim Reeves sound which John does so well.  Put “A Little Bitty Tear” and “He’ll Have To Go” at the top of the list.
     If you like your country music that sounds like it comes from the heart, this is indeed your cup of tea.  Anyone who was a fan of Jim Reeves will find this to be one of the most refreshing ‘new’ reminisces in music today.  John is not just sitting in Texas waiting for something to happen either.  He’s been touring England, Scotland, Norway, and Australia.  He’s been out four times now, and that creaking sound you hear, is the ‘opening of the door’ for John Rex Reeves.
     I really like what John wrote in his own liner notes.  “Each generation has its own music, but as far as I’m concerned, the music of the 50’s and 60’s had that magic to touch the human heart.  Nashville gave music a genre that stands alone back then.  The wonderful lyrics and soulful melodies will never die.  The same goes for early pop singers.  Frankie Lane, Al Martino, Frank Sinatra gave us their best in ‘heart’ music.  More heart songs came out of this era than any other.”
     Oh, I forgot.  He also listed Patti Page in his ‘heart song’ favorites.  It was so cool for us to have Patti Page at our festival in LeMars, Iowa, in 2010, to be inducted into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.  Perhaps this year, we will not only induct John Rex Reeves, but also have him accept for his Uncle Jim Reeves.
ORDER CD’S FROM: John Rex Reeves, P O Box 2014, Humble, Texas 77347


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