Various Artists: Rhythm Country & Blues
Rhythm Country & Blues is one of those various artists collections that always works better
on paper than it does in practice. The intent behind the album was to demonstrate that there wasn't much
difference between country and soul, either in terms of songwriting or performance. In order to prove this
theory, the producers came up with a series of 11 duets featuring one country musician and one R&B musician,
and had the duos sing classic songs. So, Rhythm Country & Blues is filled with duets like Conway Twitty and
Sam Moore's "Rainy Night In Georgia," Al Green and Lyle Lovett's "Funny How Time Slips Away," Clint
Black and the Pointer Sisters' "Chain of Fools," Aaron Neville and Trisha Yearwood's "I Fall to Pieces," and
George Jones and B.B. King's "Patches." Given all that talent, the album should have been a stunner. Instead,
it's merely competent. It suffers from forced duets like Patti LaBelle and Travis Tritt, an overly-familiar
selection of songs, and too-slick production. Rhythm Country & Blues sold well intially because a
well-orchestrated publicity campaign but, in retrospect, that marketing plan was the most memorable thing
about the entire project.
Rhythm Country & Blues includes country singer Marty Stuart doing a gospel version of "The Weight" together with the Staple Singers. This version can also be found on the Marty Stuart compilation Marty Party Hit Pack (Marty Stuart, 1995, MCA 11204).