THE MADDOX BROTHERS AND SISTER ROSE ‘From Dancefloor To Devotion’
THE MADDOX BROTHERS AND SISTER ROSE
‘From Dancefloor To Devotion’
Saturday night barn dance and Sunday morning religious hangovers
Great Country Music is either raising hell or raising pious eyes to heaven, that’s the eternal down-home dichotomy, glaring anomaly, and equally important dictum of the form.
For the huge swaths of Country Music’s heartland Saturday night is the church of excess and Sunday morning the church of regress. What better balance and compassionate penance could there be for the rampant excess of the previous evening than the same soaring voices, fiddles and pedal steels, now aligned in the service of the lord and designed to salve the aching heart, if not the aching head.
The story of The Maddox Brothers And Sister Rose is legendary. Having left their home in Alabama and headed to California they developed their unique rambunctious sound, flamboyant dress sence and began to play radio shows and dance halls in the late ‘30s attracting a teenage audience for their breakneck recordings and cornball comedy. The Maddox Brothers sound undoubtedly influenced early rock ‘n’ roll ideas of Buddy Holly And the Crickets, Billy Haley And The Comets and the like.
As Rose Maddox recalled: “We were called hillbilly singers – not country – then. No, none of this country music then. People just called us hillbilly… People tell me that I was one of the first women to sing what I sang – country boogie. I guess I was. There was no rock ‘n’ roll in those early days. Only country boogie.”
Rose was know as the “The Original Hillbilly Filly” and sited as the Grand Mother of Rockabilly. They would play the same wild show at a country fair or barn dance as they would for the ultra conservative Grand Old Opry Radio Show. Rose once causing massive consternation when she dared to appear in a costume blatantly showing her midriff, and high kicking her red leather cowgirl boots, this in a time when girl singers were required to stand still as the mic stand, covered from neck to toe in a mono coloured evening dress. An attitude possibly accounting for the fact that they never really achieved the lasting fame of some of their contemporaries, and their contribution to country and on to rock and roll is massively over looked, but an attiduded that is capured on these recordings and deems them timeless and as exciting as anything being recorded by the hipsters of today.
“Saturday night barn dance and Sunday morning religious hangovers”, does what it say on th cover, the first 12 rousing barn stormer the next 13 equally rousing but in a spiritual sense that you don’t get from a jug of white lightning. Track 13, ‘Hangover Blues’ strategically splits the two sides of the Maddox sound retaining the up-tempo rattle of the previous 12 cuts, while the lyrics suggest the writing is on the wall for the good times.
Jazz, blues, folk and swing, with the the pulsing upright bass of Fred Maddox backbeat proving to be the momentum that would not only drive their music but would inevitably drive the journey to a thousand quiff and as many rockabilly riffs.
As clear a snap shot of a seminal moment in music history as you would hope to find, from the increasing catalogue of treasures that is Righteous Records.
1 Wild Wild Young Men 2:25 Rose Maddox
2 My Little Baby 1:58 Rose Maddox
3 Ugly And Slouchy 2:11 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
4 Death of Rock And Roll 2:09 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
5 New Step It Up And Go 2:27 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
6 Mean and Wicked Boogie 2:40 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
7 Honky Tonkin 2:19 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
8 Move It On Over 2:47 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
9 Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down 2:19 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
10 Shimmy Shakin’ Daddy 2:11 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
11 Small Town Mama 2:52 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
12 That’ll Learn Ya Durn Ya 2:35 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
13 Hangover Blues 2:38 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
14 I’ll Fly Away 2:11 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
15 Farther Along 2:45 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
16 I’d Rather Have Jesus 2:03 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
17 In The Land Where We’ll Never Grow 3:04 The Maddox 18 Tramp On The Street 3:06 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
19 I Just Steal Away And Pray 2:37 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
20 When God Dips His Love In My Heart 2:42 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
21 The Unclouded Day 3:09 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
22 Flowers For The Master’s Bouquet 2:52 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
23 Dust On The Bible 1:51 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
24 I’ll Be No Stranger There 2:19 The Maddox Brothers & Rose
25 He Set Me Free 2:01 The Maddox Brothers & Rose