Jorma Kaukonen ‘Blue Country Heart’ SACD Release

A country-music all-star ensemble has gathered for ‘Blue Country Heart’, the latest release from blues guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and his Columbia Records SACD debut (not DVD-Audio as previously reported).

Blue Country Heart’, a collection of rural blues songs from 1920’s and 30’s America, features Sam Bush (mandolin), Jerry Douglas (dobro), Bryon House (upright bass) and special guest Bйla Fleck (banjo), whose own DVD-Audio release ‘The Bluegrass Sessions’ – reviewed here – has been widely praised. The sessions, produced by Roger Moutenot, were recorded over four days in the Masterlin studio, historical recording venue for the likes of Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton.

Jorma Kaukonen commented: “When I started out playing the guitar I was playing a lot of old-timey music and what passed for bluegrass. ‘Blue Country Heart’ is not really blues in the traditional blues sense, although that’s pretty much where I am coming from as a player. There is a bluegrass flavour to it because of the guys involved in the sessions, but it’s not bluegrass in a strict, traditional sense either. It’s a lot of this singer-songwriter stuff from the depression era that has stuck with us over time. Stylistically it’s very eclectic stuff but the tunes really register with people in the way that great folk songs do. A lot of these tunes are just part of our cultural subconscious as Americans. Like Jimmy Davis’ ‘You Are My Sunshine’. Now that’s a song that most people know because it’s been passed down through the generations, but probably not too many people know that it was written by the former Singing Governor of Louisiana. That’s a bit of trivia that escapes most people but the tune has stayed with us.

The track list includes ‘Red River Blues’ by Jimmy Davis and Jimmy Rodgers’ ‘Waitin’ for a Train’, ‘These Gambler’s Blues’, ‘I’m Free From the Chain Gang Now’ and ‘Me and My Old Guitar’. Songs by the Shelton Brothers, Slim Smith and the Delmore Brothers are also featured, as are pieces by Washington Phillips, such as ‘What Are They Doing In Heaven Today’.

Blue Country Heart’ will be released as a multi-channel 3/2.1 SACD on June 11th 2002.