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Porter Wagoner – Simple as I Am (1971/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Porter Wagoner – Simple as I Am (1971/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/192kHz | Time – 28:58 minutes | 1,13 GB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA – Legacy

Modern story songs have grown out of the time-honored narrative tradition in country and folk music, but the stories need to be good ones to sustain an audience’s interest. Wagoner performs a number of narrative songs on Simple as I Am, but unfortunately, the stories are not as riveting as some of his earlier hits of this ilk, like “Cold Hard Facts of Life.” So even though the album’s sound is superficially appealing, it isn’t very memorable. Wagoner was a major artist at the time and enjoying lots of exposure, so it is telling that the three hits from the album were modest ones. “Jim Johnson,” a disturbing murder ballad about an abusive stepfather who attempts to rape his 13-year-old stepdaughter, is presented in such a low-key manner, and with so much extraneous detail, that it’s easy to lose the story if you don’t follow the lyrics determinedly. “Charley’s Picture,” the album’s biggest hit, is the tragic tale of a wino along the lines of “Skid Row Joe” but, again, less engaging. “(That’s How I Learn to Love) Good Old Country Music” is partly based on the melody of “Wildwood Flower,” and “The Funky Grass Band” is a humorous tale about a freaky bluegrass band. Despite good performances, Simple as I Am falls flat with mediocre songs. There are some interesting ideas here, but that isn’t enough to carry an album. – Greg Adams

01 – The Funky Grass Band (00:03:17)
02 – (That’s How I Learned To Love) Good Old Country Music (00:03:01)
03 – My Many Hurried Southern Trips (00:03:11)
04 – Jim Johnson (00:02:37)
05 – The Answer Is Love (00:02:13)
06 – Charley’s Picture (00:03:24)
07 – The Last One to Touch Me (00:03:05)
08 – Simple As I Am (00:02:38)
09 – The Fire’s Still Burning (00:02:35)
10 – Malinda (00:02:57)


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