Night Train to Nashville—1945-1970, Vol. 2
The second volume of Lost Highway’s compilation of seminal music city rhythm & blues is a treasure trove of rarities and original or alternative versions of songs that became mainstream hits. On two CDs and 39 tracks, the collection covers a lot of ground in semi-chronological order. Helen Foster’s 1952 recording of “You Belong to Me,” with its marvelous “See the pyramids along the Nile” intro line is a romantic masterpiece accented with cooing male background vocals, muted piano and delicately picked guitar embellishments supporting Foster’s poignant lead vocal. At the rowdier end of the emotional spectrum is Dr. Feelgood and the Interns eponymous 1962 anthem, extolling the virtues of the singer’s penchant for loving women who “weigh about 400 pounds.” Johnny Jones and the King Casuals 1968 instrumental “Soul Poppin’” rides a syncopated wave of horns and guitar into a groovy commercial break advertising a “gold, 2-inch swinging soul medallion” for $3. There’s not a weak moment in two hours of great music.