05 March 2019


SUNNY SPENCER's decision making leaves a bit to be desired on his 1977 cassette, starting off with the almost 6 minute burner "Mama Don't Allow It" and following with "Just A Little Closer Walk With Thee," a track that slows things down before they ever gained momentum. The context of the opener is important, as it was a standard during Spencer's time with SONS OF THE PIONEERS and featured him making the rounds and playing essentially every instrument in the band during the track....however that doesn't really translate to the recorded medium. But Spencer's Mama Don't Allow (presented as a self titled release in cassette form) nonetheless hits all the bases the way you would expect from a recording made ten years earlier. His version of "San Antonio Rose" is endearing and innocent, his "Night Life" is perhaps artificially bluesy, but the dude is clearly reaching for the stars (or stardom itself) and that in itself is to be applauded. The clarinet makes frequent appearances, harkening (intentionally, I'm sure) thoughts of BOB WILLS and company as well as the Pioneers, and the piano swings in opposition to both the Nashville Sound of the '60s and the various interpretations of Outlaw Country Musical Liberation that dominated the airwaves by the time Spencer recorded this one in Vancouver, Washington (same place Willie cut his first record, in case you're keeping track). Perhaps as much a footnote or a casual obscurity as an important document, this punk still a spot in his heart for independent C&W, even (or especially) if it was only independent out of necessity.

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