I love the Beatles; they are my favorite musical group. I collect pretty much any and all things related to the Beatles. I also love to collect records. My friend, Merry, recently found a box of records being thrown away and rescued them from the dump. She was kind enough to share some of the records she already had or didn’t want.
One record was called Beatle Country with the Charles River Valley Boys. I wasn’t sure what this album would be like, but I collect Beatles novelty records and Merry was kind enough to donate this record to my collection.
This record turned out to be a gem for me. The album is a collection of twelve Beatles songs played by a bluegrass band comprised of guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, fiddle and dobro. Now I happen to also love bluegrass, so this is great. I was a little relieved, to be honest. I am not a fan of country music, especially the old twangy type. So I was a little worried that this album would be more that type of country music.
The album originally was released on Elektra Records in 1966, so the Beatles songs on it are all early tunes by the band: I’ve Just Seen a Face, I Saw Her Standing There and Ticket to Ride to name a few. The band does a great job with Norwegian Wood which has a beautiful mandolin solo. She’s a Woman is a fantastic instrumental with banjo, mandolin and guitar solos. There are some interesting choices on the album, too. Their version of Yellow Submarine is different (they pronounce it Yeller Submarine), but just as fun as the original with sound effects and all. Another interesting choice was And Your Bird Can Sing. The harmonies on this are terrific. They also cover the less known country sounding What Goes On which was originally sung by Ringo.
The Bealtes’ songs adapt well to the bluegrass sound. The harmonies used by the Bealtes work well in bluegrass arrangements.
I couldn’t find many videos, but here is I Saw Her Standing There by the Charles River Valley Boys. The album Beatles Country is now available on iTunes, but I’m glad I have it on vinyl.