Friday, February 13, 2015

Hank Thompson's At The Bar

In the second half of the 1960s, country singer Hank Thompson recorded a series of drinking/bar albums—among them A Six-Pack To Go, On Tap, In The Can, Or In The Bottle, and Smoky The Bar—great honky tonk, Western swing, and country boogie collections that sing of the temptations and tragedies of alcohol, and yet are couched in upbeat arrangements and smiling melodies. As critic Thom Jurek puts it in Allmusic, "These songs are sad, dark, and fermented in heartbreak and tragedy, yet...darkness never sounded so bright and as a result so pathological." Yep.

Here are three from 1968's On Tap, In The Can, Or In The Bottle: "I could drink to the times when I was happy / But here's a toast to my misery." That old story. More comin', so stay tuned.

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