Song Of The Day 5/3/2016: Rick Powell – “I Walk the Line”

Quarterly Covers Report – Wendy Carlos' classical-Moog fusion Switched-on Bach was a uniquely innovative recording that put the synthesizer squarely in the game of mainstream music for good. It also spawned a host of imitators, but those of us in the retroactive mindset have becoming really forgiving about Moog music. (Have I done a theme week on the Moog? I don't think I have, have I? Let's take care of that.) One of the more capable protegés was Rick Powell, a Nashville producer who worked on a lot of folk and Christian recordings. He was also buddies with Robert Moog. Powell established Athena Records which, according to Moog historian Thom Holmes, "became the hub of country Moogploitation." Athena's releases included the cult classic album Livin' Love by the Feminine Complex, and a couple of country-electronic works from music educator Gil Trythall including, inevitably, "Yakety Moog."

Powell's own work included a kind of amazing version of Leiber & Stoller's "Searchin'" under the name Space Walrus, and an album for the true country-electronic connoisseur, Switched-On-Country, featuring today's rewiring of Johnny Cash's signature tune. Elsewhere on the album you'll find a devastating version of "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town)" in which the wounded veteran turns into a microwave oven, and "Green, Green Grass of Home" which harkens back to the good old days of the Silicon Valley.

Popular Recent Posts