Bill Malone & Rod Moag

Record review

Texas Platters

Bill Malone & Rod Moag

Remember Me (Hillbilly Dreams)

While Austin's Rod Moag is known as the "the singin', pickin' professor," Bill Malone is renowned as a historian of American country music, having written what's considered the definitive book on the subject, Country Music, U.S.A. Despite different backgrounds, the two retirees share many things in common, including a deep love for country music of the post-World War II era. They possess a particular fondness for the Bailes Brothers, a significant presence on the Louisiana Hayride broadcasts from Shreveport. History has relegated them a minor status compared to such contemporaries as Hank Williams and Roy Acuff, but the Bailes' music, a deceptively simple and emotionally direct blend of hillbilly and gospel, maintains its influence, and Remember Me finds Malone and Moag paying them tribute in a way that exudes respect and understanding. Their vocal duets are a little rough, but that adds to the disc's charm; technical proficiency might ruin the music's sincerity. Top players like Lloyd Maines, Cindy Cashdollar, Justin Trevino, and Nashville's Tim O'Brien bring just the right amount of understanding without overwhelming. In an interesting coup, Remember Me also contains "The Songbirds Are Singing in Heaven Tonight," sung by Homer Bailes, the last surviving brother, making the disc required listening for fans of traditional country.

***

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