Al Dexter

Honky Tonk Blues 1936-40: The Early Recordings

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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett

Al Dexter's biggest success came during the war years and in the wake of his "Pistol Packin' Mama" hit in 1942, but the Texan singer and songwriter had been releasing material for close to a decade before that, mixing blues, early honky tonk and stripped-down western swing in an accessible style that was sturdy and dependable, if hardly ever flashy. This collection from Jasmine Records brings together two dozen of these early sides recorded in separate sessions in 1936, 1939 and 1941, including "Honky Tonk Blues" (a completely different song than the one Hank Williams recorded under the same title), "Bring It On Home to Me," the solid and even funky "When We Go Honky Tonkin'" and the humorous "Alimony Blues." Dexter's sound sweetened into a precursor to the later so-called Nashville sound as his career progressed, so this set affords a nice glimpse at his relatively rougher roots.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Al Dexter 02:39 Amazon
2 Al Dexter 03:01 Amazon
3 Al Dexter 02:47 Amazon
4 Al Dexter 02:32 Amazon
5 Al Dexter 02:43 Amazon
6 Al Dexter 02:36 Amazon
7 Al Dexter 02:33 Amazon
8 Al Dexter 02:27 Amazon
9 Al Dexter 02:51 Amazon
10 Al Dexter 02:27 Amazon
11 Al Dexter 02:34 Amazon
12 Al Dexter 02:28 Amazon
13 Al Dexter 02:51 Amazon
14 Al Dexter 02:38 Amazon
15 Al Dexter 02:35 Amazon
16 Al Dexter 02:49 Amazon
17 Al Dexter 02:29 Amazon
18 Al Dexter 02:33 Amazon
19 Al Dexter 02:25 Amazon
20 Al Dexter 02:55 Amazon
21 Al Dexter 02:51 Amazon
22 Al Dexter 02:48 Amazon
23 Al Dexter 02:43 Amazon
24 Al Dexter 02:34 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick