Cowboy Copas

Copasetic

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Copasetic earns a lot of points for being the best-mastered Cowboy Copas CD yet, and for including the mammoth number one hit "Alabam," which did not appear on any of King/Starday's Copas reissues. Copas was an important artist who nearly single-handedly kept King Records afloat in its early years, but today he is most often remembered for having died in that fateful plane crash with Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins. The mix of hits and rarities on Copasetic does a good job of demonstrating what Copas was all about: tight, Western swing-influenced hillbilly music with mellow vocals, like a deeper-voiced Floyd Tillman minus the honky tonk lyrics. Copas was often joined by premiere guitarists such as Roy Lanham and Merle Travis (his artistry is impressively heard on two takes of "Hangman's Boogie"), and Copas turns in some accomplished flat-top picking himself on "Tennessee Flat Guitar." Lengthy notes by Dave Sax add to the historical value of this set, as do the handful of truly rare sides. Copasetic emphasizes Copas' early years and misses fully half of his hits, so buyers can hope for a second volume to wrap up the story of this great but underappreciated country artist.

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