23 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Because Charlie Feathers is unquestionably a crown prince in the realm of rockabilly, a novice could be excused for assuming that the music on Tip Top Daddy is simply rockabilly. Actually, the acoustic demos on this 1995 collection of unreleased recordings aren't quite blues and aren't quite country, and without the essential throb of either drum or bass, they aren’t rockabilly either. What we have here is a brand of Memphis music unique to Feathers. He learned to play guitar under the tutelage of Junior Kimbrough, whose unclassifiable style was a hit in the darkest juke joints of North Mississippi. Like Kimbrough, Feathers sets a mood with an array of unorthodox vocal and guitar sounds, including but not limited to taps, shrieks, slashes, scrapes, and groans. Even when he's playing a country lament as plaintive as “Nobody Answered,” he casts a spell that makes the song much more than the sum of some chords and simple words. This music is all about late nights, swampy odors, and the seduction of loneliness. Don’t pigeonhole it as rockabilly; call it country blues or midnight motel music.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Because Charlie Feathers is unquestionably a crown prince in the realm of rockabilly, a novice could be excused for assuming that the music on Tip Top Daddy is simply rockabilly. Actually, the acoustic demos on this 1995 collection of unreleased recordings aren't quite blues and aren't quite country, and without the essential throb of either drum or bass, they aren’t rockabilly either. What we have here is a brand of Memphis music unique to Feathers. He learned to play guitar under the tutelage of Junior Kimbrough, whose unclassifiable style was a hit in the darkest juke joints of North Mississippi. Like Kimbrough, Feathers sets a mood with an array of unorthodox vocal and guitar sounds, including but not limited to taps, shrieks, slashes, scrapes, and groans. Even when he's playing a country lament as plaintive as “Nobody Answered,” he casts a spell that makes the song much more than the sum of some chords and simple words. This music is all about late nights, swampy odors, and the seduction of loneliness. Don’t pigeonhole it as rockabilly; call it country blues or midnight motel music.

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