I Wouldn't Change You If I Could

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aec.bfy16699.2 1/17/06 New
$17.84 $20.99

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    I Wouldn't Change You If I Could Bear Family Records
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Review

Review Text Hard acoustic country music doesn't get a lot better than the 30 sides cut by Carl Butler (with the Webster Brothers backing him up) on this collection of his superb OKeh and Columbia singles. The best material on this disc recalls Hank Williams at his peak, but stylistically Butler was more a contemporary of Williams than a follower, even if the first of these tunes was recorded a little more than a year after Hank's death, and though Butler wasn't a songwriter like Williams, he was arguably a better singer with a voice that split the difference between tough hillbilly twang and the smoother tones of a gifted crooner. The other musical reference point here is the Louvin Brothers, given Butler's sincere and impassioned handling of white gospel material (he also covers the Louvins' "Seven Year Blues" here), and though Butler's harmonies with Earl Webster lack the otherworldly beauty of the Louvin Brothers at their best, they're executed with easy skill and emotional power to spare. The cast of musicians tends to change from session to session beyond Butler, Earl Webster, and Audie Webster, but they're uniformly strong throughout, and the results are a joy to hear. It would be some time after these recordings before Butler would gain the chart success he richly deserved with "Honky Tonkitis" in 1961, but I Wouldn't Change You If I Could makes it clear these records didn't fail in the marketplace for a lack of talent or quality material. This is wonderful stuff that will bring a smile to any fan of classic old-school country of the 1950s, and the remastering and liner notes live up to Bear Family Records' typically high standards, adding to the value of an already strong release. ~ Mark Deming

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. That's All Right - 2:14
  2. 2. I'll Go Steppin' Too - 3:41
  3. 3. Kisses Don't Lie - 3:41
  4. 4. I Wouldn't Change You If I Could - 3:50
  5. 5. Till the End of the World Rolls 'Round - 3:33
  6. 6. It's All Left Up to You - 3:31
  7. 7. Glory Mountain - 2:10
  8. 8. That Great Eternal Singing - 2:16
  9. 9. Seven Years Blues - 3:47
  10. 10. Road of Broken Hearts - 3:39
  11. 11. Looking Through the Windows of Heaven - 3:44
  12. 12. Angel Band - 3:19
  13. 13. Hallelujah, We Shall Rise! - 2:17
  14. 14. Walking in God's Sunshine - 2:06
  15. 15. Your Wedding Day - 3:38
  16. 16. If I Could Spend My Heartaches - 3:45
  17. 17. It's My Sin - 3:35
  18. 18. Borrowed Love - 2:29
  19. 19. Where We Never Grow Old - 2:27
  20. 20. Somebody Touched Me - 2:12
  21. 21. Only One Heart - 2:21
  22. 22. Watching the Clock (Tick the Hours Away) - 3:37
  23. 23. River of Tears - 2:22
  24. 24. Cry You Fool Cry - 3:32
  25. 25. Your Cold Heart Told Me No - 3:36
  26. 26. I Know What It Means to Be Lonesome - 3:58
  27. 27. Jealous Heart - 2:26
  28. 28. Nothing I'd Rather Do - 2:13
  29. 29. So Close - 2:11
  30. 30. If You've Got the Money (I've Got the Time) - 2:09

Product Details

Release Date
1/17/06 

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