The deluxe edition of 1999 (O Cómo Generar Incendios de Nieve con una Lupa Enfocando a la Luna), the 2009 breakthrough release from Barcelona indie pop outfit Love of Lesbian, includes the original CD -- a concept album about a year in the life of a couple -- plus two DVDs with concerts, official videos, extras, and a documentary directed by multimedia artist Lyona, who is also responsible for the band's videos and artwork.
David Olney's career has included forays into hard-edged roots-rock, quiet, introspective acoustic folk, and everything in between. The one constant has been his abilty to write concise, masterfully crafted and memorable songs.
High, Wide and Lonesome represents simultaneously the most consistently strong and diverse selection of songs collected on any of Olney's albums. In addition, his performances are perhaps the best of his career, his voice striking a perfect balance between the bluesy swagger of Spider John Koerner and the intense, whiskey-soaked warblings of Townes Van Zandt. The backing musicians are uniformly excellent as well. Highlights include Rick Danko's funky bassline on "My Family Owns This Town," as well as guest performances throughout the album from several other alumni of the Band. The above-mentioned song and the preceding track, "Another Place, Another Time," are interesting in that each deals with the same small-town murder from a different point of view. In one song, the narrator is the deceased's spurned husband, in the other, her secret lover. Unusual twists of this kind are a specialty of Olney's and make High, Wide and Lonesome a must-have for anyone interested in thoughtful, yet raw and powerful folk music.
Sadly, the majority of Tex Owens' official commercial recordings, done for RCA-Victor in 1936, are missing.
Still, this CD runs to 22 tracks, encompassing the four songs he cut as a solo artist for Decca in August of 1934, his Texas Rangers collaboration "Dude Ranch Parts 1 and 2," and the four 1953-1954 sides for Wrightman. The rest are previously unissued demos of unknown origin or date, licensed from Owens' widow and comprising songs that only show up on lists of Tex's compositions, not his recordings.
The sound is generally good, with only moderate noise on the worst of the masters. Owens' demos are nearly as engaging as his formal recordings, and surprisingly include some backing musicians, as well as Owens' requisite guitar. Highlights, in addition to the title track and the pair of songs with the Texas Rangers, include "Daddy's Old Rocking Chair," "Cowboy Call," and "Don't Hide Your Tears My Darling."