Steve Young - Honky Tonk Man (1975)

Steve Young is an American country music singer-songwriter.

Honky Tonk Man was Steve Young's third album, on his third record label (Mountain Railroad). Like on his second album, it features new versions of some of his exsisting songs. Perhaps this was because of all the different labels - maybe which each new one he was hoping to make a fresh start, and decided to update his best material? Who knows. Anyway, Honky Tonk Man features his second recording of Utah Phillip's "Rock Salt & Nails" (which he originally did on his 1969 album of the same name), and a new version of his own "White Trash Song". The album itself is divided into a side of covers, and a side of originals.
With the exception of the title song (a Johnny Horton number), the album has a darker sound than his first two records, touching on more folk and blues styles. The arrangements are more sparse, and this allows Young's fantastic acoustic guitar playing to come to the fore (whilst before he had been strictly a rhythm player, with top session guys such as James Burton playing lead for him). Two of the songs ("Traveling Kind" and the traditional adaptation of "Sally Goodin'") are actually solo live performances, and both these let him show off his breath-taking picking technique - coupled with his powerful voice, it makes for a truly stunning solo sound.
The covers include the aforementioned numbers by Johnny Horton and Utah Phillips, as well as Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man" and The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". On the latter he is backed only by a host of backing singers and his own guitar, and it's surely one of the greatest interpretations of this oft-covered song.

Seven Bridges Road (1971) <|> Renegade Picker (1976)
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