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Reviews Written by
A music lover "in Alexandria" (Alexandria, VA USA)

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An Untamed Sense of Control
An Untamed Sense of Control
Price: CDN$ 15.82
19 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest exponent of American mountain music, July 21 2003
My wife gave an earlier Holcomb recording several years ago as a birthday gift. After listening to it once or twice (and reading the fascinating and impassioned liner notes), I set it aside as odd, strange, and most peculiar. Although Roscoe Holcomb is a fluid instrumentalist, his voice is so high and unusual that I did not see how his songs could bear repeated listening.
I was wrong, about as wrong as a body could be. A couple of years later, I picked up "High Lonesome Sound" again and listened to it with care. The peculiar and high-pitched voice grew on me, and I found the powerful and honest delivery moving in the most compelling way. I now think that Roscoe Holcomb stands on a par with Blind Willie Johnson (in his time an equally obscure and strange singer) as one of the greatest exponents of American-born and bred music.
Imagine my surprise when this new recording of Holcomb's was released. To my amazement, the leftovers that were not included in Holcomb's earlier ("High Lonesome Sound") album are at least as good. This is a wonderful and astonishing set of recordings. Lovers of American mountain music should be grateful that this legacy of Holcomb's great artistry has been preserved.

High Lonesome Sound
High Lonesome Sound
Price: CDN$ 18.18
19 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peculiar, Strange, Moving, and Powerful, July 21 2003
This review is from: High Lonesome Sound (Audio CD)
My wife gave me this recording several years ago as a birthday gift. After listening to it once or twice (and reading the fascinating and impassioned liner notes), I set it aside as odd, strange, and most peculiar. Although Mr. Holcomb is a fluid instrumentalist, his voice is so high and unusual that I did not see how his songs could bear repeated listening.
I was wrong, about as wrong as a body could be. A couple of years later, I picked up the recording again and listened to it with care. The peculiar and high-pitched voice grows on you, and the powerful and honest delivery is moving in the most compelling way. I now think that Roscoe Holcomb stands on a par with Blind Willie Johnson (in his time an equally obscure and strange singer) as one of the greatest exponents of American-born and bred music. This recording grows on you. I'm extremely grateful that this legacy of Holcomb's great artistry has been preserved for those of us who did not have the joy of listening to his searing voice and delivery while he still lived.

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
by Ross Macdonald
Edition: Audio Cassette
7 used & new from CDN$ 29.20

5.0 out of 5 stars A very good novel, presented with extraordinary care and art, Sept. 20 1998
This review is from: Sleeping Beauty (Audio Cassette)
Though not the best Ross MacDonald novel, this is certainly one of the best (which places it head and shoulders above nearly all the competition).
What is amazing about this audio performance is the exceptional care, expense, and art that went into its creation. Most novels are condensed when put on cassette; nearly all are read by only a single actor or actress. This is read by a large and excellent cast, and the recording company devoted some effort to making the background sounds both realistic and appropriate. The music was simple but quite effective. The acting was sometimes a bit uneven, but the narrator (playing the detective, Lew Archer) was pitch perfect in his role. His voice was the perfect embodiment of the Archer character -- a bit depressed, extremely competent, and at heart a passionate advocate for the good but weak (even if that description does not fit his client).
All in all, this is a novel -- and production -- that can be recommended with the greatest enthusiasm (to quote the tag line that professors must place in their letters of reference for graduating students).

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