Clyde Moody

The Good Ol' Days

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Although Clyde Moody is also known for playing in bluegrass and country swing bands with Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Reno & Smiley, and Mac Wiseman, as a solo artist his work fell closer to more commercial hillbilly and proto-honky tonk. Much of it's on this 29-track compilation, including his signature tune, "Shenandoah Waltz," as well as some other songs with which he's closely identified, such as "Cherokee Waltz" and "Six White Horses." Precisely which era of his career these tracks are drawn from is sadly undetailed on this particular CD, which contains no recording or release dates (and for which, as the brief liner notes admit, "some of the tracks have been cut from original 78s...but we've cleaned them up as much as possible without losing their original spark"). The observation that these solo recordings are more commercial than some of the bluegrass-oriented ones he did should not be taken as a criticism; they're still pretty earthy, heartfelt hillbilly. Moody's material wasn't the most adventurous or varied, but his relaxed, lower-than-average vocals suit the oft-slightly doleful tunes well, often in the waltz time associated with his hit "Shenandoah Waltz." Only 22 of the 29 songs, it should be noted, are Moody solo works; the other seven offer a nice sampling of his more traditionally oriented output with the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Howdy Forrester, Reno & Smiley, the Osborne Brothers, and Mac Wiseman. If only the packaging and documentation were better, this anthology would certainly merit a higher rating, as there's no quarrel with the quantity and quality of the music.