Fred Maddox - bass and lead vocals; Rose Maddox - lead vocals; Cliff Maddox - mandolin; Henry Maddox - mandolin and lead guitar; Don Maddox - fiddle and lead vocal; Cal Maddox - rhythm guitar and harmonica; Bud Duncan - steel guitar; Lead guitar: Jimmy Winkle, Roy Nichols, or Gene Breeden.
These, their original recordings made between 1946 and 1951, demonstrate the band's eclectic, wild, individualistic, and fun approach. Their material ranged from country standards by Hank Williams, Merle Travis, and Bob Wills, to old-time, folk, and church singing, to Jazz, Swing, Boogie Woogie and even a taste of early Rock and Roll. All played in the unmistakable Maddox style.
Some of this material was previously issued on ARH LPs 5016 & 5017.
1. George's Playhouse Boogie
2. Midnight Train
3. Shimmy Shakin' Daddy
4. Careless Driver
5. Move It On Over
6. Whoa Sailor
7. Milk Cow Blues
8. Mean And Wicked Boogie
9. Brown Eyes
10. Honky Tonkin'
11. Time Nor Tide
12. New Mule Skinner Blues
13. Philadelphia Lawyer
14. Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down
15. When I Lay My Burden Down
16. Hangover Blues
17. Water Baby Boogie
18. Dark As The Dungeon
19. Mule Train
20. Oklahoma Sweetheart Sally Ann
21. Faded Love
22. New Step It Up And Go
23. Alimony (Pay Me)
24. I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again
25. Your Love Light Never Shone
26. Meanest Man In Town
27. I Want To Live And Love
“This release is subtitled `America's most Colorful Hillbilly Band.' Arhoolie Records of El Cerrito, Calif., culled the song selections from two LPs released in 1976 of recordings done by the Maddox Brothers and Rose.
The recordings, originally made between the years 1946 and 1951, are the perfect audio display of the loose-as-a-goose approach to country music adopted by the band and best personified by the West Coast country and western stars. Wild and crazy hillbilly mayhem is one way to describe the music pumped out by Rose and her brothers during their heyday. The song titles alone give you a taste of where these folks were coming from. `Shimmy Shakin' Daddy,' `Move It On Over,' `Mean and Wicked Boogie,' `Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down,' and `Water Baby Boogie' are solid fun.
The Maddox's unique sound was marked by mandolin (Cliff Maddox till his death in 1949, and then Henry), slap bass (Fred Maddox, who also contributed lead vocals), steel guitar (Bud Duncan), rhythm guitar (Cal Maddox) and electric guitar (country guitar legend Roy Nichols, who went on to play with Wynn Stewart, Tommy Collins and Merle Haggard). Sister Rose handled the majority of the vocals with her husky voice and machine gun chuckle.
From the opening driving boogie beat of `George's Playhouse Boogie,' to the closing cue and theme song taken from their radio days broadcasting live over KTRB, Modesto, Calif., `I Want to Live and Love,' this collection is raucous fun and beautifully captures the spirit of the Maddoxes' music.”
(Dan Ferguson — The Narragansett Times)
“The Maddox family hitch-hiked from Alabama to California during the Depression. In the late '30s, some of the brothers and lead singer Rose (then only 11 years old) began performing country and `hillbilly' music at honky-tonks and on radio in Modesto, CA. World War II broke up the band, which re-formed in 1946 and added two non-family members on pedal steel and lead guitar to its mix of mandolin, bass, guitar, fiddle, and harmonica. The group disbanded in 1956 with Rose carrying on as a solo.
Their live act (for which they dressed in ornate western costumes), and these recordings, showcase a wild bunch that enthuses with ad-libbed comments, uproarious laughter, sound effects, and comedic interjections. Keith Olesen's notes say `This showmanship, in conjunction with the group's fine singing and instrumental technique, jelled to complete a show band unique to Country Music...' Combined with top-flight musicianship, the spontaneous, authentic, adrenalin-driven performances here are white-hot. Even the slower songs radiate a rough and ready energy.
The Maddox's material ranged from the country standards of Hank Williams and Bob Wills, to folk, Woody Guthrie songs, swing, boogie woogie, gospel, honky-tonk, and elements of early rock `n' roll. It's all on this reissue of 26 songs recorded between 1946 to 1951, and it kicks butt. I'd never heard of the Maddox Brothers and Rose until two years ago, and this band CD is one of my top discoveries. If your CD player starts smokin' when you play this, I warned you!”
(Al Riess — Dirty Linen)