The songs that make up this unprecedented album were gathered and compiled by Austin based musician and record collector Jason Chronis. He visited countless small towns across Texas and beyond, in search of anything and everything that might be etched on vinyl.
From mountains of material, he chose these fourteen forgotten odes and put them in an order that tells a story. Like Harry Smith’s visionary anthology of folk music, this selection of private press country music captures the joys and the sorrows of people who sang for themselves.
These songs speak directly to the concerns of real people, our experiences and dreams, and the gap between them. Of course, these musicians had also hoped to score on the charts, a desire that almost defines country music, but it didn’t happen that way. Now, 30, 40, 50 years after these records were handed to friends and mailed to local radio stations, perhaps country music is in for some definition expansion.
More than half of these raw and intimate songs came out of Texas, where there has always been a strong regional music tradition. As history recedes and country music shakes off the commercial dominance of the Nashville hit machine, Texas country music, with its straightforward, ‘take it or leave it’ sentiment and rugged, stripped down sound, will be known for its influence on all types of musicians and songwriters. And perhaps the unknown country musicians that made the music on this LP were right when they pooled resources, asked favors, and poured their hearts out onto 45s…thinking they had a hit on their hands!