Live Concert No. 1 (no label NR12663) 1980?
It was hard not to notice these two custom lps staring out from the racks: bright chartreuse covers featuring a cheap cut-out picture of a happy guy seated before an old pedal steel guitar. With his big grin and giant cowboy hat, Al Petty looks all primed to ride his contraption straight into New Jerusalem. I know I usually don’t include country albums in Archivist but these records have such a warmth and home-grown appeal they deserve a mention. The two discs are essentially a double lp, recorded live at Christ Gospel Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana, right across the river from Louisville, KY. Steel fans will get their fill here as there’s plenty of fancy pickin’ through titles like ‘Amazing Grace’, Mansion Over The Hilltop’, ‘I’ll Fly Away’ and Maiden’s Prayer’. Al also plays other types of guitars and is joined by friends on drums, bass, hi bass and tamborine. Mostly an old earthy Hee Haw country style, sometimes instrumental, crossing over into country gospel for covers of Dottie Rambo and Jimmy Swaggart. Some lovely female lead vocals on two tracks, including Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat Of Many Colors’. The standout number would have to be ‘The Devil Went Down To Indiana’ where Al preforms Charlie Daniels’ ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’, altering the lyrics in spots to reflect his own testimony. The pedal steel gets pretty freaked-out with spacey effects on the ‘band of demons’ part. Only eleven songs spread-out over the four sides, with all the verbal intros and dialogue retained. His voice cracks into tears a couple times, his instrument gets out of tune (“what’s wrong with this thing?”), he talks about Charlie Daniels versus Jack Daniels, he introduces his wife-to-be (“I’m gonna marry a Christian woman”). Says on the back he preformed and recorded with Glen Campbell, Hank Williams, Sr. and Jim Reeves, and that he had a television show in Los Angeles. (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).
I have not acquired this album yet.