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Joyce Street – Tied Down

Joyce Street – Tied Down

This 14-track highlights reel of the catalogue of Joyce Street is first and foremost a collection of great country songs – smart, spirited, wise, funny and lustily sung in a voice pitching somewhere between the throaty croon of Patsy Cline and the snappy sass of Loretta Lynn. But it’s also a bracing reminder of what a cruel and arbitary racket popular song can be.

Mississippi-born – with the accent to prove it – Street spent the late ’60s and ’70s in particular following a guitar-shaped star all over the United States and Canada without ever quite fetching up in the right place at the right time. There were no hits, little airplay, maddening silence from the managements of established artists whose singers could have blown the Grand Ole Opry doors off with the best of these songs. (It’s not too late, of course, nor too difficult to imagine, for example, Miranda Lambert stopping a show with the luxuriantly maudlin blues of “Don’t Make Me Cry”.)

Two key influences guided Street. One was the rich twang of the Bakersfield sound – there is a lot of Buck Owens in the breezy swingers “California You’re Slipping” and “When You Belong To Me”, and a hefty dose of Jean Shepard in the rueful…

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