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Old Guitar & Me
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  • This album from offbeat "hillbilly hula" musician Jenks "Tex" Carman, whose strange and original Hawaii steel guitar style made him popular on the west coast, features 31 unique and startling tracks.
  • Liner Note Author: Deke Dickerson.
  • Illustrator: R.A. Andreas.
  • Photographer: R.A. Andreas.
  • Jenks "Tex" Carman was something of a thing of the past when the recordings that make up The Old Guitar and Me were initially released, having already been dropped by Capitol after only two years on that label, but he kept on recording his bizarre hillbilly/Hawaiian songs for the small label Sage and Sand from the mid-'50s to the early '60s. The Bear Family label is known for its exhaustive output, covering all ground whenever possible, so the extensive coverage of rare material from an obscure artist shouldn't come as a surprise when the label's tag appears on the spine, but the combination of The Old Guitar and Me and its sister release, Cow Punk (also covering the Sage and Sand period), seems a bit excessive even for Bear Family, since they also released his complete Capitol recordings in 1991 in a set called Hillbilly Hula, and Carman is not known for his diversity. The place to start to get a feel for Carman is either Hillbilly Hula or Chippeha!: The Essential Dixie Cowboy (1947-1957) on Revenant, which collects much of Carman's Capitol recordings as well as some radio performances and some of the Sage and Sand material. This is not to say that The Old Guitar and Me is a bad set, just unnecessary except for collectors of Carman's work. ~ Gregory McIntosh
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