Omni's 2011 release Life of a Poor Boy may contain the same cover and title of Stonewall Jackson's 1960 LP but it's not an expanded reissue of the album: it's a compilation of material recorded between 1957 and 1968, with the pre-1965 material emphasized slightly. Much of this has never surfaced on CD before and oddly, both in terms of availability and tenor of material taking precedent over hits. Of the generous 30 tracks here, only eight overlap with Collectors Choice 2002 standard-bearer The Best of Stonewall Jackson and most of these songs -- "Life to Go," "I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water," "Blues Plus Booze (Means I Lose)," "Mary Don't You Weep" -- fit Omni's concept of songs of country, crime, heartbreak, and poverty. "Waterloo," his biggest hit, may be missing, but this isn't a compilation designed to serve up the hits, it's a "more of the best" uncovering some very good hardcore honky tonk and progressive county previously hidden away on vinyl records, many of them rare. Some of the songs are novelties, some border on generic, but there are more than enough keepers among these 30 cuts to warrant its purchase by hardcore fans of either Jackson or '60s country.
Share this page