Ray Charles: The Complete Country & Western Recordings 1959-1986
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Feeling is what Ray Charles is all about--straight from the gut, exposed and vulnerable, real. And because it's the feeling of his music that matters most to him, whether it's found in the words he's singing or the notes he's playing, he has never seen any reason to limit himself to any particular style. He's played blues and gospel, jazz and soul, pop and rock and country, and for a half century now he's scored hits and created masterpieces with just about all of it--very often all of it at once! But no matter how startlingly dynamic his arrangements, the focus is always the feeling in Charles's voice. It's such an expressive, soulful instrument that, regardless of what's swirling around it--strings? gospel choir? pedal-steel guitar? all of the above?--it still demands the center of attention. Charles's version of country music takes the listener to unexpected places, musically and emotionally. Hearing all of his interactions with C&W pulled together like this simply amazes. --David Cantwell
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Some older songs have too much brass -- a problem of the era. More winners than losers for sure.
But it's a great digital resource for downloading, then picking favorites for iTunes or to make a CD.