JUST CLASSIC COUNTRY SONGS
Linkhorn Music publishes and produces alternative country music ranging from male country western singers to cow punks. Just country music songwriters writing often stunning classic country songs.
LATEST RELEASE :
THE NAME IS NED
Voted #3 of Top 20 Toronto Records In Past 20 Years
"An insightfully compiled two-disc retrospective demonstrating that Handsome Ned was more than a founding father of the emerging Queen West scene and the whole alt-country deal. He was a stirring performer and a fine songwriter to boot."
Rated 4 ****s by All Music Guide
A two-disc anthology may seem a little extreme for an artist who never released a full album during his lifetime. However, in the case of the Handsome Ned set The Name is Ned, it is a welcome introduction to a nearly forgotten Canadian singer/songwriter. When Handsome Ned died in 1987 at the age of 29, he left behind a wealth of recordings, from studio tracks to live recordings and radio appearances. Understandably, the sound quality varies wildly (one live track, "Bad Bad Boy," is even credited to Handsome Ned's mother, who recorded it from her table near the stage), but care was taken in the remastering process, and none of the tracks are completely unlistenable. In fact, for listeners looking for a taste of the kind of raw and earnest performance Handsome Ned was capable of, the live recordings hold an edge over the more polished studio tracks.
The Name is Ned consists of a fairly even mix of originals and covers and an impressive array of guests. Murray McLauchlan shows up on a version of Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone," Lydia Lunch can be heard hyping Handsome Ned's radio show before a live, acoustic version of "Sea of Heartbreak," and for the finale, Blue Rodeo invites Handsome Ned onstage at the Horseshoe Tavern to sing the Merle Haggard classic "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down."
However, while the cover songs have a charm of their own and help to shed light on Handsome Ned's influences, it's the original songs that display the depth of Handsome Ned's talent. Standout tracks include "Put the Blame on Me," "That'll Be the Love," "One Hundred Miles of Open Road," and "You'll Never See Midnight." The Name is Ned, clearly a labor of love for those involved (Handsome Ned's brother contributed the liner notes), is a worthy reminder of a talented Canadian artist."
Robert Kaups - All Music Guide Rated (4 ****s)
"An essential record for true country fans."
"Handsome Ned is the man credited with bringing a non-ironic love of traditional country to new-wave-damaged Queen Street in the 80's before his passing away in 1987. His brother and lead guitarist, Jim Masyk, has lovingly compiled all of Ned's studio recordings, live-on-CKLN tapes and live tracks ranging from Cameron Room board tapes to a cheap one recorded on a bar room table. Through it all, Ned's bell-clear tenor voice is absolutely captivating, and his songwriting holds up surprisingly well. Extensive liner notes and sonic consistency (courtesy of Peter Moore) make THE NAME IS NED an essential record for true country fans."
eye Magazine (Rated 4 ****s)
"A handsome tribute to a handsome performer."
"Whether performing his own stuff, or catalogue items such as Johny Too Bad and (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Ned had an urgent, unforgettable style. The campier side of alt-country seems to have been foreign to him. He was more oriented toward what Garcia Lorca, in a different context, called deep singing, in which the real thing is the only thing. All in all, this two-CD set is a handsome tribute to a handsome performer."
Globe and Mail (Rated 3 ***s)
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