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[Off The Record]
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Johnny Bond
(Bloodshot Revival)


A peer of Gene Autry and the Sons of the Pioneers, Oklahoma-born singer and picker Johnny Bond played a style of music more Western than country. His songs are the sound of rolling tumbleweeds scraping along the desert sand, gentle hoofbeats, and cowboys gathered around a campfire with a harmonica, a guitar, and an accordion. Especially the last. Accordion plays such a heavy role in these mid-í40s recordings that itís a constant reminder of the musicís blend of European immigrant roots and the Tex-Mex border influence. The numbers range from the flat-out polka " Out on the Open Range " to ballads like the lovely group-harmony " Saddle Serenade. "

Whatís durable about these 31 selections, besides the picturesque lyric images of American Western mythology, is Bondís smooth but direct baritone voice ó a real storytellerís instrument ó and his solid rhythm guitar, which was the spine not only of most of his recordings but also of some of Autryís hits. His plain melodies and yarns about love and honor recall a simpler time in America, when heroes were heroes, trust was common stock, and irony was in short supply. And theyíre beautiful for it.


Issue Date: March 8 - 15, 2001

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