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Johnny Paycheck ~ Haven For Angels Unaware

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Uploaded on Jun 8, 2010

This slice-of-life LP comes from Johnny Paycheck's late-'60s heyday, when the future boss-hater was still championing rough-hewn honky tonk during the rise of Billy Sherrill's slick Nashville sound (Paycheck would soon switch ranks and cash in with several Sherrill-produced hits of his own during the '70s). Cut for the Paycheck-focused Little Darlin' label, Bars, Booze & Blondes finds the pre-rehab singer telling it straight from the tavern heart, wryly musing about his alchy predicament ("The Pint of No Return," "I Drop More Than I Drink"), barroom denizens ("We're the Kind of People"), and cheatin' songs ("The Meanest Jukebox in Town"). He even finds time for some therapy on "Problem Solvin' Doctor," which features a barroom shrink in office between nine p.m. and two a.m. and offering a nice line in jug prescriptions. Nicely peppered with shades of George Jones and Ray Price (both former employers), Paycheck's account of life in the shadows of Oly and Hamms neon makes for a welcome compliment to Country Music Foundation's excellent The Real Mr. Heartache roundup of many of the singer's other Little Darlin' highlights. ~ Stephen Cook, All Music Guide

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