Cowboys in Cyberspace

Cowboys in Cyberspace
Australia’s award-winning Internet Country Music resource (Est. 1997)


June 1st, 2009

Rare videos on DVD – lost and found…

A collection of DVDs under the banner of Legends of the famous ‘Lippman + Rau Festivals’ may not ring any bells for the casual country music fan, but for those with a eye to the historic, a rough gem awaits! Horst Lippman and Fritz Rau were German club owners turned concert promoters in the sixties and as is the European way, DVD cover they celebrated and revered not only American music, but the entire art and culture that went with it. Their ventures included Jazz, Folk, Blues and Country. DVD 2 in the series, LEGENDS OF SPIRITUAL & GOSPEL AND FOLK & COUNTRY contains, three monochrome television specials made during various tours. The first two contain not just Gospel songs, but entire Church services, imported lock, stock and hallelujah, as they would have been performed in the African-American churches of the USA. The third program is the Festival of American Folk & Country Music 1966 with very rare recordings of the Stanley Brothers & Clinch Mountain Boys, New Lost City Ramblers, Roscoe Holcomb, Cousin Emmy and Cyp Landreneau. Tracy Schwarz of the New Lost City Ramblers hosts the show, apparently because he spoke some German, and although the set-design is quite elaborate for the era, the presentation is somewhat stilted. The music however is exceptional in its honesty and rawness, particularly Roscoe Holcomb who was the inspiration for the term ‘high, lonesome sound’. An Appalachian coal miner and farmer, he is to old-timey country, what Blind Willie Johnson is to the Blues. The Stanley Brothers numbers are poignant to watch when you realise that Carter Stanley would pass away later that year. Cyp Landreneau and his band perform unadulterated Cajun music with the older school line-up of accordion, fiddle and triangle! Cousin Emmy was known as the ‘the first hillbilly to own a Cadillac’ and her outrageous musical abilities and singing style endeared her to the folk-revival festivals and Hollywood alike. These videos have never been released before and are lovingly presented with a 56 page booklet that includes all the historical information and reminiscences from some of the participants.
Tropical Music, catalogue number 68.363, available in Australia via Planet Distribution. For more information and visit

CD cover Back in the early sixties, BOB DYLAN had a ‘message’ and he shouted it with a passion. By the release of his landmark country album Nashville Skyline in the late sixties, his unorthodox singing voice was often thought of, in commercial terms, as a shortcoming. His new album from, Together Through Life (Sony Music Entertainment Australia), continues on the flow of his most recent releases with a melodic style that suits his now more aged than ravaged voice. Parallels can be drawn with the final albums of another elder statesman, the late Johnny Cash or the latest from fellow troubadour Willie Nelson, who will be a guest artist on the forthcoming US tour of The Bob Dylan Show. The deluxe version of Together Through Life includes a DVD of ‘The Lost Interview’ with former manager Roy Silver, filmed for, but not used in the 2005 No Direction Home documentary. Fans are still hoping for rarer treasures to surface such as more of the footage of Dylan and Cash in the studio that was just hinted at in the documentary or the full album of duets the pair recorded in 1969. Still, on the new album country blues influences abound, banjo, steel and mandolins ring and the accordion of David Hidalgo from Los Lobos adds a distinct Tex-Mex flavour to the song This Dream Of You. Although Dylan quoted the lyrics of Dolly Parton’s Jolene in a recent interview, he claims the character in his song of the same name is “a different lady”. The album has been well received critically and while it may not attract legions of new converts, as Dylan himself has said, “I know my fans will like it. Other than that, I have no idea.”

Bob talked to Barbara Morison on 2SER 107.3 FM about this month’s column and more…

Until next time, happy surfing!

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