The Blue Sky Boys

Blue Sky Boys [JSP]

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A typically excellent budget-line reissue from the box set specialists at JSP, The Blue Sky Boys is a 121-track set on four discs for anyone who values the music itself over fancy packaging or extensive liner notes. Bill and Earl Bolick were part of the second wave of country music stars, the groups who appeared in the mid-'30s as the country was struggling to right itself under the weight of the depression. From 1936 to 1950, the Bolicks were one of country's most beloved acts, with their strictly acoustic sound and devotion to gospel tunes. All of the Blue Sky Boys' key records from this 14-year period are included here, including hits like "Kentucky" and "The Sunny Side of Life," alongside fan favorites "I'm Just Here to Get My Baby out of Jail" and their take on the Elizabethan murder ballad "The Butcher's Boy." So deeply earnest that they would seem ripe for mockery by modern alt-country hipsters -- see "I Love Her More Now Mother's Old" and "I'm Going to Write to Heaven (For I Know My Daddy's There)" -- the Blue Sky Boys are so angelic of voice that it's impossible for even the most churlish to giggle at this blend of country and traditional gospel.

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