Liner Note Author: Tony Rounce.
Eight years after The Golden Age of American Popular Music: Country Hits, Ace offers a More Country Hits sequel in 2016. Like the 2008 compilation, More Country Hits is a generous 28-track collection concentrating on crossover country-pop hits from 1956 and 1963. Although the soft strings and backing vocals are prominent on many of these songs, not everything here belongs strictly to school of the Nashville Sound. Sun artists Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis feel authentically backwoods in these surroundings, George Jones tears through his rock & roll knock-off "Who Shot Sam?," Johnny Cash strikes a note of outlaw defiance with "I Got Stripes," and Bobby Bare blends Nashville with progressive folk on "500 Miles Away from Home." Still, most of More Country Hits is firmly within the soft confines of Nashville, a sensibility that also permeates story songs from Johnny Horton and Western tunes from Claude King. This suppleness is period accurate and sometimes alluring, but it also means that whenever there's a change-up in the formula -- as there is on Dave Dudley's twangy neo-novelty "Cowboy Boots" -- that's what makes the greatest impression. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine