Morello Records (label)
28 April 2017 (released)
28 April 2017
There was period in Nashville when male-female duets were the standard addition to an artist's recording career. Rather than the occasional collaborations of high profile names these days, they were a veritable additional income source and profile raiser for some of the most celebrated talents. From Dolly and Porter to Tammy and George or even Loretta and Conway, these big name artists specialised in romatically charged duets or, even more interestingly, feisty fighting talk. Two names that are perhaps less talked about in modern country are Bobby Bare and Skeeter Davis, whose own back catalogues warrant a revisit, but can the Morello Record re-release of their three twisted adultery driven records stand the test of time.
The honest truth is sadly not. That is not to say that the collection, Tunes For Two / The Game of Triangles / Your Husband, My Wife, is without merits but it is a clearly dated collection that somehow doesn't manage to withstand the pressures of a very different musical landscape. While the Dolly and Porter records may feel vintage, they somehow still shine as brightly today as they did in their hey day. While many contemporary artists attempt to sound like they sound like they are recording in the late 60s, this slice of Nashville pop shows that while we reminisce over the high quality music at the time, it is because these less impressive recordings have simply been forgotten.
There is no denying that all the artists involved in the trio of albums; Bobby Bare, Skeeter Davis, Liz Anderson and Norma Jean, boast impressive vocals and have proven their skills as artists, but it just simply doesn't come together in the cheese fest that formulates the albums. Lacking a real sincerity, they feel rather pastiche in delivery. Cashing in on a trend as opposed to authentically following their own charge.
With the opening album, Tunes For Two, offering the worst offender - 'A Dear John Letter' - it has to be conceded that there are a couple of gems in the mix. From the witty One Among The Three Of Us, feisty Don't Let The Doorknob Hit You and stunning cover of Dream Baby.
Overall this isn't a collection that warrants revisiting. Instead we suggest looking up Skeeter Davis and indulging in her solo records, even if Bobby, Norma and Liz contributed the key cuts on this rather twee collection.