MOJO July 2018
Various **** Battleground Korea
BEAR FAMILY RECORDS
The 'Songs And Sounds Of America's Forgotten War' on 4-CDs plus book. Following 2010's Next Stop Is Vietnam, compiler Hugo Keesing turns his forensic attention to documenting the often-overlooked Korean conflict that started in June 1950 and ended three years later.
Divided into four self-descriptive sections (Going To War Again, Somewhere In Korea, On The Homefront, Peace And Its Legacies), Keesing weaves archival news reports around 121 country, blues, pop, folk, bluegrass and gospel nuggets by names including Ernest Tubb, Gene Autry, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Boy Crudup, Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, Merle Travis, Louvin Brothers and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The emotional gamut veers between upbeat patriotism, 'Dear John' letters, battlefield desperation and grief, with obscurities like Jackie Doll & His Pickled Peppers' When They Drop The Atomic Bomb among the many priceless moments. Monumental, and now worryingly relevant. Kris Needs