Review: Buck Owens & The Buckaroos – Songs of Inspiration (Varese Sarabande, 2011)
Varese’s fourteen-track anthology combines titles from Buck Owens’ chart-topping 1966 album Dust on Mother’s Bible, and the 1970 release Your Mother’s Prayer. The former album was reissued in 2003, but has since fallen out of print, and the latter album has yet to see digital release; all of which makes this anthology a good get for fans that missed (or wishes to upgrade from) the original vinyl. The song list combines original compositions, including the title pieces of the original albums, along with new arrangements of traditional tunes. Owens’ voice is equally suited to the mournful “Dust on Mother’s Bible,” the dramatic recitation in “I’ll Go to the Church Again with Momma” and the joyful “Old Time Religion,” capturing sorrow, hope and expectant faith in both lyrics and tone. The Buckaroos turn down their Telecaster-fueled sting, though there’s plenty of fiddle and steel, and the harmonies feature Owens’ trademark doubled vocals. While a two-fer of the original albums would have been more fully satisfying, fourteen tracks in a budget release is a great buy for Owens’ fans.