Hank Jr., Pierce Tribute First New LPs of 2002

A visit to the past by Hank Williams Jr. and an all-star tribute to the late Country Music Hall of Fame member Webb Pierce lead the first country albums releases of the new year.

Williams visited and recorded at sites from his legendary father’s past in making Almeria Club (Curb). Now a community center in a rural community near Troy, Ala., the Almeria Club was a former schoolhouse and social club. It was there in 1947 that Hank Williams Sr. performed a memorable show, that Hank Williams Jr. heard a story about last year. A gunfight broke out during the show and Hank Sr. and his wife Audrey jumped through a window and fled for their lives.

Hank Jr. also recorded at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, La., where Hank Sr. began his rise to stardom when he joined the Louisiana Hayride radio show on KWKH in 1948, before jumping to the Grand Ole Opry on WSM in Nashville the following year.

Songs on the album include “Tee Tot,” the story of the man who was Hank Sr.’s childhood musical mentor; “Almeria Jam” and “America Will Survive.” Williams also sings a duet with Kid Rock on “The F-Word” and performs with Nickel Creek on “Outdoor Lovin’ Man.”

Pierce, who died in 1991, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. His first musical tribute album has been put together by Gail Davies , who enlisted a number of prominent country artists. Performers on Caught in the Webb (Audium) are Davies, Dale Watson , the Jordanaires, Mandy Barnett , Charley Pride , Rosie Flores , George Jones , Dwight Yoakam , Emmylou Harris , Robbie Fulks , Joy Lynn White , Allison Moorer , Matt King, Lionel Cartwright , Guy Clark , Willie Nelson , BR549 , the Carol Lee Singers, Kevin Welch , Deborah Pierce (Webb’s daughter), Trent Summar, and Pam Tillis . Twenty-one Pierce classics are covered, from “There Stands the Glass” to “In the Jailhouse Now.” Proceeds from album sales will benefit the Minnie Pearl Cancer Fund and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Alison Brown was a child prodigy on banjo and later an investment banker before joining Alison Krauss ’ Union Station. Well-known for her jazz-hued acoustic recordings, she also continues to make bluegrass-inflected acoustic records on Compass Records, a Nashville independent label she co-founded. Replay is by the Alison Brown Quartet, including Brown on guitar and banjo, bassist Garry West, drummer Kendrick Freeman and pianist John R. Burr.

MCA Nashville has two new releases in its continuing series titled 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection. The first is devoted to Nashville all-around musical master Marty Stuart and includes “Hillbilly Rock,” “The Pilgrim (Act III),” and a duet with Travis Tritt on “This One’s Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time).” The second collects songs from Donna Fargo, who left her schoolteaching job in California in 1972 when she began having hits that same year with such songs as “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.” and “Funny Face.” Her career was slowed after she was stricken with multiple sclerosis in 1979.