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Various Artists – Country Funk Volume III (1975-1982) (Light in the Attic Records)

Country Funk
9 August 2021

The third entry in the entertaining series visits a period when country and country-adjacent artists were feeling the effects of hard funk and disco. While it’s not news that genre-blurring has long been commonplace – indeed, the cross-pollination of black and white sounds dates back to the early days of recorded popular music in America – Country Funk Volume III is a fun reminder. Mixing big names and lesser-knowns, this bracing 17-track set features performers who always had one foot in the blues and r’n’b, including Delbert McClinton, J.J. Cale and Tony Joe White (represented by a previously unreleased cut), as well as country icons like Dolly Parton and Conway Twitty, who wail with soulful authority. Not to be overlooked: Larry Jon Wilson, whose “I Betcha Heaven’s on a Dirt Road” could be a hillbilly echo of David Bowie’s “Fame,” and the underrated guitar hero Travis Wammack, exuding wild energy on “Do Me.” Time capsules are rarely more enjoyable.