Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review -- VARIOUS ARTISTS -- 35 Years of Stony Plain

35 Years of Stony Plain
Various artists
Stony Plain
9-out-of-10

Regular readers will know I have something of a soft spot for the Stony Plain label out of Alberta.
The label doesn't roll out a lot of disks in a year, but the ones they do are usually as solid as you can get.
Specializing in blues, swing, and older style country, Stony Plain has endured where many smaller labels have failed, in large part no doubt to the stellar line-up of performers who have recorded for the label through the years.
So when the new compilation disk celebrating 35-years of Stony Plain music arrived I knew it was going to be golden.
Generally speaking I'm not a huge fan of compilation disks. I find they have a hard time holding together in terms of style.
In the case of what is essentially a sampler of a label's best, you have to just forget about thematics and instead focus on the strength of each cut.
In the case of Stony Plain's 35 years, there are 41-songs on a two-disk set, eight of the songs previously unreleased, three by Bob Carpenter, four by Robert Nighthawk and one by the famous King Biscuit Boy.
Among the other performers, the list is impressive with the likes of Jeff Healey, Duke Robillard, Amos Garrett, Ian Tyson and Long John Baldry.
Add in a third disk of bonus DVD videos and docs and this is a great package which will keep you entertained for hours.
Showing a bit of age in terms of how long I have been at this review stuff, I enjoyed Stony Plain's 25-year collection, and their 30-year disks, both sets being well worth being in any music collection.
This 35-year retrospective collection continues that fine tradition. A definite winner.
Check it out at www.stonyplainrecords.com
CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper June 1, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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