Randy Travis & Kevin Coyne

Two instant classics from CD’s I bought recently.

The first is Randy Travis’ superb version of ‘What Have you got planned tonight, Diana’. To my mind, Travis is easily the best country singer of his generation and possibly the best since George Jones. Unlike his early work, Travis also brings a weight built on experience and, perhaps, disappointments to the song:

For comparison’s sake, here is Merle Haggard’s fine version:

Although I often disagree with Robert Christgau, this is probably the best piece I have read on Travis’ work:

http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/rock/travis-02.php

Second up is Kevin Coyne’s ‘Hypnotism’ from the recently released cd of home recordings from the early ’70s. Coyne is one of the few rock songwriters to have written convincingly about genuinely ‘marginalised’ people – the mentally ill, the homeless, loners and outcasts generally. To my mind, he is one of the greatest and most honest English songwriters:

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