Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Jimmie Rodgers: The Essential Jimmie Rodgers [RCA, 1997]
Rodgers isn't the most accessible of totems--read Nolan Porterfield on his "raw energy" and "driving" guitar and you'll think somebody made a mistake at the pressing plant. But he didn't invent country music being a purist. He was the first to put into practice the retrospectively obvious truth that Southerners wanted more from their music than hymns, reels, and high-mountain laments--blues voicings and pop tunes and even a little jazz, though most of these classics are strictly solo. Also, he yodeled, a sound that encompasses the restless bad-boy escapism of "The Brakeman's Blues" and "Pistol Packin' Papa," which fortunately for rock and rollers predominates, and the dreamy good-boy nostalgia of "Dear Old Sunny South by the Sea" and "My Old Pal," without which he wouldn't have meant spit in T-for-Texas or T-for-Tennessee. Also encompassing both is "Waiting for a Train," as signal a Depression song as "Brother Can You Spare a Dime." It was recorded in 1928. A