Sometimes a record isn’t rare, it isn’t expensive but yet it isn’t terribly common either. It won’t be in every record store’s bins, but it will show up from time to time. These titles often get passed over because the buzz just isn’t there, yet the quality of music contained in the grooves is top notch. In this new series of periodic posts, we’ll bee taking a look at albums like these.

First up: Ellen McIlwaine – Honky Tonk Angel – Polydor PD-5021 – 1972

Unsung Vinyl
Ellen McIlwaine – Hony Tonk Angel

I first heard about this LP back in the late 90s. Old School digger, Mike The Vinyl Dog aka El Matador Del Discos, played it for me as an example of how funky non-funk records could be.

The album opens with a raucous cover of the Isaac Hayes / David Porter composition Toe Hold. While not a funk track proper, it grooves hard. From there McIlwaine launches into covers, originals and a traditional ranging from Folk and Hard Rock to Country, with super high energy. Her voice is employed as instrument to rival any lead guitarist.

The band plays mostly acoustic, with the exception of Electric Bass and the sound is fantastic. It’s a really well recorded LP. It sounds beautiful on a high end system as well as the in-store audio rig.

I’ve had a copy of Honky Tonk Angel in my collection for over twenty years. I highly recommend you consider adding one to yours.

  • Darren Revilla