Various Artists

Country, Vol. 2: Country Gospel 1929-1946

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Country, Vol. 2: Country Gospel 1929-1946 is another volume of early recordings exploring the roots of American music put out by French label Frémeaux & Associés; but where most of their other collections focused on early black spirituals, this one focuses on white artists such as Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, and the Carter Family. Again, Frémeaux & Associés has put together a nice collection focusing not only on the bigger names mentioned above, but also lesser-knowns like Carson Robinson, the Armstrong Twins, Molly O'Day, and Carl Story. As the collection's title suggests, this compilation is filled with country gospel, which tends to be less uplifting than the spirituals that found a home on the label's previous compilations. The music here occasionally takes a glass-half-empty approach to spirituality, such as in Jimmie Davis' performance of "There's Evil in Ye Children" and Molly O'Day's "The Drunken Driver," which evokes the dark Bible belt impression of the Southern United States and parallels the arc of murder ballads associated with the same place and time in U.S. history.

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