Roy Clark

Urban, Suburban

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Roy Clark's first album for Dot Records is more of a pop album than a country record -- his instrumental cover include "Somewhere, My Love," "They Call the Wind Maria," and "Sweet Georgia Brown," in addition to "Tennessee Polka" (on which he soars into the stratosphere) and some more regional-flavored material. Bill Pursell's organ sometimes shares the spotlight with Clark's guitar, and the backing band is a fine array of players, including Buddy Harmon on the drums, Joe Zinkan on electric bass, and Harold Bradley and Ray Edenton sharing the guitar chores with Clark -- and the string men all get a great workout on "They Call the Wind Maria," as does "The Nashville Sounds" chorus. Clark follows that up with a blues workout on "Blues and Clark," which is a great showcase for his nimble-fingered style and Pursell's more subtle and atmospheric organ playing. "Sweet Georgia Brown" gets a treatment heavily influenced by the contemporary presence Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (you have to hear it), which leaves it sounding more dated today than the straight and stately rendering of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" that follows. If not exactly groundbreaking, the whole album is great fun, and perhaps even more so 40-plus years on, and well worth tracking down.