Saturday, February 17, 2024

VA - Country Funk Volumes I, II & III, 1969-1982 [2012-2021] (3 x CD's)


Previously posted November 4, 2021

VA - Country Funk Volumes I, II & III, 1969-1982 [2012-2021] (3 x CD's)

It's a genre that didn't emerge from geography or common ideology, but a term that is applied retrospectively and is based exclusively on the feeling of the songs: hip-swinging rhythms with bourbon in breath.

The horse still bucks, the band still funks, and well... The fire still burns. That's right-Country Funk is back. In the summer of 2012, a new sound blew in from the dusty desert. It was a sound difficult to pin down, to codify; a sound that, like some wild horse, resisted one's grasp. But this was no trend, no flash-in-the-pan movement, no shotgun marriage of styles, no ma'am. This sound went back decades, back to the latter half of the 1960's and early 1970's when adventurous artists started to blend country hoedown harmony with the elation of gospel, the sexual thrust of the blues and a touch of inner-city grit. 

This was a new sound with a simple name: Country Funk. Country Funk 1969-1975, first released in 2012 and co-produced by Zach Cowie, Patrick McCarthy and Matt Sullivan, brought together a disparate group of artists that were neither bound by geography nor a shared ideology, but connected through the simple feel of their songs. Country Funk is alternatively playful and melancholic, slow jammin' and booty-shakin'. It's a sound both studio slick and barroom raw, as evident in the artists featured on Volume I: Johnny Adams, Mac Davis, Dale Hawkins, Tony Joe White, Bobbie Gentry, Larry Jon Wilson, and many others. 

Just two years later, we chased Volume I with a new collection of songs for Country Funk 1967-1974. Volume II didn't let up, dealing out all the loose-talking and lap-steel twangin' one could handle. Heavy hitters like Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and J.J. Cale shared barstools with the lesser-known voices of Bill Wilson, Donnie Fritts and Thomas Jefferson Kaye. 

With Country Funk Volume III we're here to say there's more funk left in the trunk yet. This time around, the jeans are tighter, the hair is bigger and the disco ball spins along to a country-synth beat. Produced and compiled by Jason Morgan (Bay Area DJ/collector) and Patrick McCarthy (co-producer/compiler of Volume I & II), the track list features regulars Dolly Parton, J.J. Cale, Larry Jon Wilson and Tony Joe White (whose track is released here for the first time) alongside new faces like Steven Soles, Gary & Sandy, Conway Twitty, Travis Wammack, Billy Swan, Rob Galbraith, Brian Hyland, and so many more. As the 1970's began to wane and the 1980's approached, the Country Funk pallet expanded to include disco beats, heavy Moog synth bass lines and more clavinet than you could shake a stick at. Volume III shows artists continuing to buck traditional country tropes and production while embracing modern soul, disco, and coked-up 80's synth-pop. This is the true soundtrack of the Urban Cowboy. Saddle up, partners. (Amazon)






Track lists

Vol. I

01 Dale Hawkins L.A. Memphis Tyler Texas 2:44

02 John Randolph Marr Hello L.A., Bye-Bye Birmingham 3:03

03 Johnny Adams Georgia Morning Dew 3:20

04 Mac Davis Lucas Was a Redneck 2:50

05 Bob Darin Light Blue 3:39

06 Jim Ford I'm Gonna Make Her Love Me 3:09

07 Gray Fox Hawg Frog 3:26

08 Link Wray Fire and Brimstone 4:20

09 Bobby Charles Street People 3:44

10 Cherokee Funky Business 2:40

11 Tony Joe White Stud Spider 5:38

12 Dennis the Fox Piledriver 5:11

13 Larry Jon Wilson Ohoopee River Bottomland 3:45

14 Bobbie Gentry He Made a Woman Out of Me 2:34

15 Gritz Bayou Country 2:57

16 Johnny Jenkins I Walk on Gilded Splinters 5:50

Vol. II

01 Billy Swan Don't Be Cruel 4:14

02 Bob Darin Me and Mr. Hohner 3:18

03 Hoyt Axton California Women 2:21

04 Townes Van Zandt Hunger Child Blues 3:13

05 Thomas Jefferson Kaye Collection Box 4:05

06 Willie Nelson Shotgun Willie 2:43

07 Jackie DeShannon The Weight 3:02

08 Dillard & Clark Don't Let Me Down 3:51

09 Bill Wilson Pay Day Give Away 4:01

10 Dolly Parton Getting Happy 2:39

11 Larry Williams & Johnny Watson feat. The Kaleidoscope Nobody 2:36

12 Jim Ford Rising Sign 3:17

13 J.J. Cale Cajun Moon 2:17

14 Donnie Fritts Sumpin Funky Going On 2:52

15 Kenny Rogers & The First Edition Tulsa Turnaround 3:40

16 Great Speckled Bird Long Long Time to Get Old 3:09

17 Willis Alan Ramsey Northeast Texas Women 5:53

Vol. III

01 Steven Soles Shake The Dust 3:06

02 J.J. Cale Nobody But You 3:01

03 Conway Twitty Night Fires 2:30

04 Eddie Rabbitt One And Only One 3:25

05 Jerry Reed Rhythm And Blues 2:39

06 Dolly Parton Sure Thing 3:33

07 Billy Swan Oliver Swan 3:05

08 Rob Galbraith I Got The Fever 3:42

09 Travis Wammack Do Me 2:59

10 Larry Jon Wilson I Betcha Heaven's On A Dirt Road 2:45

11 Gary & Sandy Gonna Let You Have It 2:27

12 Brian Hyland Hale To The Man 3:53

13 Tony Joe White Alone At Last 3:26

14 Ronnie Milsap Get It Up 5:21

15 Delbert McClinton Shot From The Saddle 3:44

16 Terri Gibbs Rich Man 3:08

17 Dennis Linde Down To The Station 3:11




  1. wasn't there another compilation series, maybe five or six discs, with the same title?

    I'm looking for them in my stuff, maybe I still have the discs surviving past loss events... Some tracks that entered heavy rotation for me from that series included Tulsa Time by Don Williams, or Swamp Witch by Jim Stafford, I thought those tracks came from Country Funk vols 4 or 5.

    if it's not the same series, even better, always need more music!

    thanks for all you do

    1. Hi doesn't matter.
      I am not familiar with a bigger set with the same title. It definitely would be great to have if it exists.
      This is the set I have.

    2. I was mistaken, though the titles are close and the content very similar. The series I was thinking of is Country Groove 1968-1975, six discs of funky country music, I don't remember the label. I will post them for you when I find them, though it may take a while.

    3. Hi doesnt matter.
      I have a 15 CD set titled Country Groove which was given to me by a friend. I don't Think it's an official release. But really cool set.
      I am definitely interested in your six CD set. Appreciated.