Q (10/99, p.150) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Pervading longueurs and whimsical, cinematic lyrics...characterise [this] reverb-soaked album..."
Alternative Press (2/00, p.83) - 4 out of 5 - "...an excellent example of his bent and homely talents....telling the tales of an assortment of characters in the town of Trouble; spoken musings and white-trash humor lead into lilting folk blues of crystal clarity..."
No Depression (3-4/00, pp.101-3) - "...TROUBLE IS A LONESOME TOWN is a concept album about the lives and times in a small town aptly named Trouble....Hazelwood's melodies and his voice became his signature..."
Personnel: Lee Hazlewood (vocals); Billy Lee Riley (guitar, harmonica); Marshall Leib, Billy Strange (guitar); Hal Blaine (drums, percussion).
Audio Remasterer: John Baldwin .
Liner Note Authors: John P. Dixon; Jack Tracy; Lee Hazlewood.
Recording information: Ramsey's Recording Studio, Phoenix, AR (09/12/1963); Western Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (09/12/1963); Ramsey's Recording Studio, Phoenix, AR (1955-1956); Western Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (1955-1956).
A few years before singer/songwriter Lee Hazlewood paired up with his most famous foil, Nancy Sinatra, he unveiled his first solo album, TROUBLE IS A LONESOME TOWN. Although Hazlewood was already known as a producer for guitar legend Duane Eddy, this 1963 debut established the artist's own unique aesthetic, which often recalled a quirky bohemian version of Johnny Cash, both in his deep voice and narrative sensibility. Hazlewood's knack for storytelling pervades the entire record, unfolding as a concept piece about a town named Trouble and its various residents. Whether pondering outlaw lineage (the wistful, yet cheeky "Son of a Gun"), the girl next door (the spare, sensual "Look at That Woman"), or even death (the cheerfully morbid "We All Make the Flowers Grow"), Hazlewood is clearly having a good time relating the goings-on in his fictional hamlet (allegedly inspired by his Oklahoma hometown). Though he would soon venture outside of Western territory (to Sweden in fact), TROUBLE reveals that Hazlewood was charmingly at home in the dusty, sun-baked atmosphere of the genre.
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