“The Oxford American is a national magazine out of Conway, Arkansas, dedicated to featuring the very best in Southern writing while documenting the complexity and vitality of the American South.” Or so it says on their website. But every one issue per year, the focus is on Southern music and this is where PoP comes in, of course.

The Oxford American #67 features 2 free CDs, one CD titled “Southern Masters” and the other CD titled “Arkansas Masters”. The bulk of this issue is dedicated to detailing the background and providing a critique of each track of the CDs. I am pretty amazed and impressed by the love and craft poured into both the magazine and the selection of songs on both the CDs.

Highlights of the “Southern Masters” CD include Barbara Lynn’s You Can’t Buy Love (“a performance as electrifying and breathless as many as Janis’s best”), Linda Martell’s Color Him Father (“Martell delivers the voice of the child with a chilling, Oedipally inflected, yet innocent tenderness”), Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jacksons’ Shut Um Down (“classic funkpit, fierce politics cradled in a spectral chorus”), Henry Flynt & the Insurrections’ Uncle Sam Do (“avant garde hillbilly and blues”) and the Feminine Complexs Run That Thru Your Mind (“a pop comet”).

Highlights of the “Arkansas Masters” CD include Maxine Brown’s Take It Out In Trade (“sly and indomitable”), The Esquires’s Sadie’s Ways (“lusty rave-up psychedelic pop”), Sleepy LaBeef’s Treat Me Like A Dog (“a fresh, bright sun in a dark universe”), American Princes’ Auditorium (“if rock lives in fear of the past, the Princes show it still has a future”) and the Gunbunnies’ Water Tower (“Big hooks”).

So a blend of undisovered treasures and fine music writing awaits in the new issue of the Oxford American. Go get it!

Official Site

Leave a Reply