This is a long-overdue, wonderful compilation, containing the bulk of the Hickory singles Rusty and Doug Kershaw released on Hickory Records -- either as a duo, or as solo acts -- during the late '50s, '60s, and right on into the '70s [thanks to the single "(Our Own) Jole Blon."] They're kind of easy to overlook in some ways: often pigeonholed as Cajun -- and they were from Louisiana, they did play Cajun songs -- they blew any preconception of what that genre could do, rooting themselves in hardcore country as much as Cajun, while dabbling in rockabilly, wild backwoods weirdness, a little bit of Nashville sweetness (a wonderful cover of Don Gibson's "Sweet Sweet Girl to Me," turning Hank's "Why Don't You Love Me" into a skipping Everly-esque side), and everything in between. This is genuine American music, blending it all together in wild, invigorating, unexpected ways, and while some of the material could be argued as rock-pandering, lightweight teen tunes, there's a grittiness in the production and an inventiveness in the music that keeps all 20 tracks crackling and alive.
Greatest Hits Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine