Ocie Stockard was the banjoist with Milton Brown's Brownies, a pioneering Western swing band. After Brown died in a car accident, the remains of his band fell apart. Some of the members regrouped under Stockard's leadership, and in 1937 they had a marathon recording session that resulted in 14 titles. The music was quite jazz and swing-oriented, without neglecting its country roots. A part-time trumpeter, Harry Palmer, who worked normally as a grocer at the time, is one of the solo stars on what would be his only recording date. Also quite prominent are the fiddles of Johnny Borowski and Buck Buchanan. While Stockard takes the majority of the vocals, four other musicians also have their chances to sing. The tunes, which include "There'll Be Some Changes Made," "How Come You Do Me Like You Do," "Just Blues," and "Bring It On Down to My House" among the high points, are joyful and swinging, with the fiddles sometimes purposely taking ideas from Joe Venuti. Also on this definitive CD are Stockard's two other sessions as a leader: six titles from 1941 and four from 1946. These are more country-oriented (the trumpet is gone) but still strongly influenced by swing. The lengthy and informative liner notes by producer Cary Ginell add to the value of this perfectly conceived reissue. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow