Houston Wells
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North Wind - Houston Wells And The Marksmen:

More wind effects, magnificently evocative slide guitar, and a worthy companion piece to the more famous "Johnny Remember Me" in the high drama stakes.

North Wind - Houston Wells And The Marksmen:

Rating: 3 and 1/2 stars out of 5.
This could be construed as "Meek by numbers". It's got the galloping beat of "Telstar", the wailing female voice of "Johnny Remember Me", and more images of "lovers being killed" etc. But somehow, all these parts gel together to create a unique and appropriate atmosphere. And, unlike a lot of Meek male vocalists, Wells can actually sing. This is probably as odd sounding as C&W ever got.

North Wind - Houston Wells And The Marksmen:

Source: Adrian's Album Reviews: Joe Meek
"North Wind" is performed here by a singer best known for country music. He sings this with a country twang, too. Thing is, Joe Meek gives the musical track the full all out. The full "Telstar" outer-space production. The two styles collide head on and provide a highlight here.

North Wind/Shutters & Boards - Houston Wells And The Marksmen:

Source: Meek Artiste Directory
"North Wind", languishing on the flipside of the ghastly "Shutters and Boards" is, pretty much, the archetypal R.G.M. production. A gloomy tale of a guy who 'loses his head' kills his lover, her lover and then pleads not to be sent to hell. Needless to say this one came from the pen of Meek himself!

The act behind this masterpiece of excess originally auditioned for Joe under the (distinctly un-countryish) moniker, Andy Smith and The Coasters. Immediately taken with their musicianship, and Smith's dynamic vocal delivery, Joe offered them a contract on the spot. A swift name change and they were off.

Joe's fascination with all things country is well documented, and despite a lack of commercial success with his previous C+W efforts, he pushed the group firmly in a twang and wail direction. They were one of the few Meek acts to issue an album (the impressive "Western Style"), and even achieved some minor chart success with "Only The Heartaches", a tear-jerking re-write of the traditional lament "Streets Of Laredo". But heaps of TV and radio exposure failed to provide further success. Later efforts stiffed totally. A change of backing groups (out with The Marksmen, in with The Outlaws) failed to help. After a couple of post-Meek singles, Houston Wells disappeared off to the wilds of Ireland and obscurity.

As I Leave Behind Nadine or Neidien ?

Source: IrishShowbands.Net
It's not really a mistake (the title being "As I Leave Behind Nadine"), that has been debated on radio here (Ireland) some say that Neidn is a play on words and that there really was a girl called Nadine and the fact that Kenmare is also Neidn made it more interesting! (Apart from the Nadine that Chuck Berry sang about!)

The winner of Kerry's tidiest town in 1998, Kenmare's location nestled between the high mountains and the sea explains its name in Irish, Neidin meaning 'little nest'.

Read a bit more about Kenmare

The Coalrangers - The Harbour Light Sessions

Each December for the past seven years, The Coalrangers have gathered from both sides of the Southern Alps to play their annual "Office Christmas Party" a concert and night of dancing at the Harbour Light Theatre in Lyttleton. This is selection of tracks recorded at these sessions, including four new originals from the 2002 gig. The Coalrangers are a South Island institution, a fantastic country rock band spanning two generations. Long before their appearance in the movie "Magic and Rose", their "Karamea Cowboy" was a New Zealand country classic. There's a stoical Coaster feel to everything they touch and even their cowboy-reggae numbers are not out of place here. From the opening bars of "Callin'", there's a distinct sense that there's a solid history behind this band. Guest appearances from Dave Maybee and Paddy Long sit perfectly in the mix. If you don't have a Coalrangers CD in your collection, this is a good place to start. And if you do, you'll definitely want this one too!

Mike Moroney

Note:
Dave Maybee features on several recordings from the new Houston Wells album "Then & Now: From Joe Meek To Taupo, New Zealand"

Joy Adams - Just A Matter Of Time

Source: JoyAdams.Co.Nz
Joy is a traditional artist from New Zealand, who now is back with her 5th album. She has written 5 of the 12 songs on this CD. Joy has a very good mixture between own songs, covers and gospel songs (and even a yodel song!). The best songs on this Cd are: Buck Owens' "I Don't Care", "I'll Never Cheat On You", Carl Smith's classic "I Overlooked An Orchid", "If You Could See Me Now" and "I'd Be Lying If I Told You". She has very good musicians (I guess all of them are from Australia or New Zealand) among others; guitarist Dave Maybee, steel player Joe Martin and drummer Neil Reynolds. I can recommend you to buy to Joy's Cd if you like traditional country with a mixture.

Marcus Thell

Note:
Joy Adams, Neil Reynolds & Dave Maybee feature on several recordings from the new Houston Wells album "Then & Now: From Joe Meek To Taupo, New Zealand"


Houston Wells - Then & Now: From Joe Meek To Taupo, New Zealand *A few first impressions*

Source: Richard Anderson (Webmaster, Friend, Advisor & Rocker)

The End Is Not In Sight
For me this was one of the more uptempo tracks that really struck home to me, when I first heard it I was reminded of growing up and my step-grandmother having me sit around listening to her music collection, good times and great memories.

Send A Message To My Heart
I fell for this song the moment I heard it, the lyric is brilliant, so is the melody and the execusion. People (and Houston himself too) might be surprised to know that this song actually inspired a new crop of lyrical matter from my own writing.

As I Leave Behind Neidin
This is a beautiful song that exudes class. Would you believe that all those string sounds are played by Dave Maybee on his guitar ? I have this mental image of an old couple dancing around to this song...all very romantic stuff.

Devil Woman
I had the vague suspicion that I might have heard this song before, Rob put me in the loop and yes its one of those songs that we might have heard before but not necessarily is it something a rocker would normally listen to. However, that all said I must say I was really impressed with the way that Houston sang this. It proved to me that at even at an older age some dudes still have their chops, Houston being one of them. This is one of those country songs that its alright to admit you like if you heard it on the radio, which is where I'd like to hear this version sometime.

Lonely Street
I was of the lucky few to have heard this Houston Wells song well before it was released. Its great that Rob would work with his father to "knock off a few songs", its a shame that he hadn't thought of doing it sooner. The thought that 3 generations together on this one song is quite sweet (its no wonder tears were shed during its recording).

I am reminded of such diverse influences as Conway Twitty, Roy Orbison or Johnny Cash when I hear this song. Normally I am purely a rock fan, but I am reminded of all those drinking sessions with my fathers in-laws where we would sit around listening to the country music (on vinyl would you believe ?). So yes this song transported me back to my childhood in some way. A nice sweet lyric and some beautiful harmonies, I am sure that any country music station in the world would embrace this song wholeheartedly.

It's great to see that one of the world's pioneers in the music industry still has the skills and the balls to lay his reputation on the line and record new material....For it to sound so wonderful is a real treat and I treasure being one of those select few to have heard the song, an honour indeed.

I Really Don't Want To Know
I thought when I first heard this song that I might have heard it before (Have I got drunk and tried singing this before ??). I can imagine that this song has been murdered by those try-hards on the karaoke curcuit for years.

Houston and Rob deliver up a really steady performance, lots of different influences are highlighted...country music obviously with 50's and 60's kind of harmonies accompany this light yet hypnotic lyric and melody.

For some reason images of old couples waltzing around come to mind when I hear this song, with big fat loving grins on the old guys faces as they remember their courting days.

Forty Shades Of Green
There is a bit of history between Houston and Johnny Cash, In that Johnny liked the Spanish Dancing Boots that Houston used to wear, so Houston sent Johnny some back to the USA. This song makes me think of how much I would dearly love to go to Ireland myself.

King Of Fools
Rob gets a real kick out of harrassing me about this song, during one of the meetings to work out how the final mastering of this song would go I was present. That morning Houston and Rob made me listen to this song so many times that when I finally went to sleep the next morning (ales were had in between times) I couldn't sleep as I had the melody to this song going through my head...and for days afterwards I would walk around singing "I'm the king of fools". I had to laugh when I heard that the album might be named after this song at one point. I must admit I do like this song, despite the history of insomnia associated with it.

I Wouldn't Cheat On You
One of the best songs from the current crop of material recorded by Houston Wells, naturally with Rob's help in the writing and musical department it was sure to be a winner...I actually thought this song was a cover version of some country classic.

If I Didn't Have You In My World
It's been mentioned to me that Houston is a big fan of Vince Gill's so it is no wonder that he would cover one of his tracks, and it comes as no surprise that he sings this song with nothing but utter conviction.

I Will Love You Every Time
This is another one of those most beautiful of ballady type songs that Houston is so good at singing. I think that the way that this song is put together and felt is through having spent so much time in the beautiful countries of Ireland and New Zealand. There's a unique honesty and simplicity that comes through in this particular track.

If The Whole World Stopped Loving
I remember when Rob was contemplating doing some additional production (including adding his backing vocals) to this song, he had to listen to it a few times to get the right feel for it. This is one of the songs that I have a real fondness for, it reminds me of times in my youth.

Honky Tonk Man
Houston has a lash at something a bit more uptempo and it works. There are moments of humour (Shakin' Steven's type influences etc) in this particular recording, I really like the "fat" sound of the guitar leads. Rob plays some really nice honky tonk piano on this track too (he says he can't play the piano all that well, well you could've fooled me !).



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© Houston Wells, Polar Music New Zealand & RAAA International Productions 2007-2008



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