The Maddox Brothers & Rose

The Maddox Brothers and Rose [King]

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Chronologically positioned between their early acoustic sides and radio broadcasts that grace the various Arhoolie CDs and the later and arguably more polished performances for Columbia in the 1950s, these 12 sides cut for 4 Star and later acquired by King catch the group honing their style to a fine edge. Rose's voice is in full bloom (as indicated by the opener, "Philadelphia Lawyer," and "No One Is Sweeter Than You") and the group's rough and rowdy approach to putting over a tune is well to the fore on up-tempo novelty material like "Chocolate Ice Cream Cone," "Whoa Sailor" (also a hit for Hank Thompson), "New Step It Up and Go," "Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down," and "You've Been Talking in Your Sleep." Not that the group can't be traditional, but even pieces like "Gosh, I Miss You All the Time," "I'm Sending Daffydils," and "I Wish I Was Single Girl Again" sound like they're getting more than they bargained for in the energy department, a trademark of their high-octane style. Highly deserving of a wider hearing on compact disc (hopefully with bonus tracks), this is the missing piece of the Maddox puzzle in absorbing their unique take on the country string band sound and style.

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