Panama Red | Choice Buds

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Choice Buds

by Panama Red

Like Panama's other album, HomeGrown, the tunes on Choice Buds are pretty much a mixed bag, covering several genres: alternative country, blues, some old-style R&B, one zydeco, one tropical tune.
Genre: Country: Country Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. All of My Dreams
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2:42 $0.99
2. A Woman in Savannah
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3:55 $0.99
3. Wyoming County Catamount
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4:31 $0.99
4. Duchess
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2:56 $0.99
5. Expat Blues
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3:21 $0.99
6. Over You Now
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3:03 $0.99
7. Down in Sinaloa
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2:46 $0.99
8. Dolphins
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3:57 $0.99
9. Bottom Dollar
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3:07 $0.99
10. St Pete Jail
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1:50 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
"Choice Buds" BLOOMS
Nashville TN, January 4, 2005 - - Panama Red's newest CD opus, "Choice Buds", is complete, and we at the vast(yeah, right) Panama Red Website Complex are tired but happy little warriors.

I'm sitting in the office here at the Murfreesboro Panamansion listening for one last private time before it becomes available for and susceptible to criticism, and I'd like to be the first to review it, or at least the first to write about it.

The original idea of "Buds" was that it would be kind of an extension of the album HomeGrown, "Choice Buds" referring to the songs themselves. But as time went by and friends got involved in the project, the title's meaning grew to include them as well.

My choice bud and uber-producer Dick Cooper exhibited an admirable amount of patience, humor and determination in bringing it home.

Those who found HomeGrown to be too short will also be disappointed in Choice Buds, as it comes in at just over thirty-two minutes. Those who expect reverb on vocals will be keenly disappointed also, as they are dry as toast, even when old Panama is struggling with Fred Neil's "Dolphins".

The best review I ever got for HomeGrown was "There is no bullshit on this record," and Dick Cooper and I held that as a beacon in the fog for ChoiceBuds. There are a few falters and flaws. But, I hope, no bullshit.

The songs themselves come from a wide range of styles and time periods. I co-wrote "Bottom Dollar" back in the 70's here in Nashburg with my choice bud Billy Joe Shaver. "St Pete Jail" is new, having been written with Ronny Elliott back in June of last year. "Expat Blues" is a tune by my friend Rob (The Doc) Dokter with whom faithful readers have become familiar from my European diaries. And the aforementioned "Dolphins" is of course a tune by the late Fred Neil, which I wanted to do because of my admiration for and friendship with Freddy, but mostly because it's a great song. I would recommend that if you like the tune you go to one of his records and hear him do it because as anyone will tell you, nobody else can even come close to performing his songs as well as he did.

The rest of the songs I wrote alone: "Down in Sinaloa", "Duchess", "Over You Now", "Wyoming County Catamount", "A Woman in Savannah", and "All of My Dreams" are particular and peculiar to me. Some friends requested that other tunes of mine be included on this recording but, as these things go sometimes, they are not there. Something to live for, I guess.

Thanks to everyone whose support for whatever it is that I do makes it all possible. To attempt to credit you all by name would necesssarily mean that some would be omitted, so I won't try here. Thank you.

Panama Red...Vocals and Guitars
Jason Isbell...Guitar and Dobro
Steve Connelly...Guitar, Mandolin, Steel Guitar
Scott Boyer...Guitar, Steel Guitar, Bass, Organ
Charlie DeChant...Saxophones
Spooner Oldham...Piano
N.C. Thurman...Keyboards
Topper Price...Harmonica
Bryan Owings...Drums, Percussion
Buddy Helm...Drums, Percussion, Djembe
Harry Hayward...Drums
Mike Dillon...Drums
Walt Bucklin...Bass, Steel Guitar
Ronny Elliott...Bass
David Hood...Bass
Shonna Tucker...Bass
Owen Brown...Bass
Donnie Fritts, Billy Swan...Backing Vocals

Thanks again
Yer faithful fan and correspondent
Panama Red


to write a review

Bart Ebisch

Yet More of A Mystery Revealed: Panama Red's "Choice Buds" Reviewed in Dutch
Panama Red, hij speelde ooit in de band van Kinky Friedman, heeft een tijdje rondgehangen in Amsterdam. Bij de Maloe Melo was hij kind aan huis. Hij keek er rond, speelde wat, dronk graag mee en nam op een dag weer het vliegtuig naar huis. In Amerika, zo liet hij me weten, reed hij rond in een camper langs de kuststaten. De man is een beetje een mysterie. Een plaat op zak, af en toe een optreden; over werk repte hij nimmer. Ik las in de verhalenbundel van Steve Earle een oude story over een hasjdealer die zijn stuff smokkelde vanuit Mexico. Naam: Panama Red. Stom toeval of niet; ik vroeg of het verhaal soms over hem ging. Een vaag antwoord volgde. Niet langer vaag is zijn tweede cd, want die is er eindelijk. Choice Buds (eigen beheer) maakte hij met een groot leger bevriende muzikanten onder wie Jason Isbell (Drive By Truckers), Ronny Elliott en diens bandleden, David Hood (de pa van Patterson Hood), Spooner Oldham, Steve Connelly en Scott Boyer. De tien, gevarieerde, liedjes zijn onder te verdelen in zelf gepend werk, een duoproductie (met Elliott), plus een paar covers, waaronder een liedje van onze eigen Rob Dokter, een nummer van Billy Joe Shaver (met wie hij een optreden gaf in Nederland) en Dolphins van Fred Neil. Bovenal is folkcountry het terrein van Panama Red, athans de twee prijsnummers hier vallen onder dat genre. Allereerst is er All Of My Dreams, een lekker tempoliedje met tragische boodschap. Van enge dromen heeft hij geen last als hij slaapt, wel als hij wakker wordt. Daarom slaapt hij het liefst, zingt hij, hopend dat zijn dromen ooit zullen uitkomen. Het tweede liedje, denk aan Knockin´on Heaven´s Door, heet Wyoming County Catamount en is het tragische relaas van een meisje dat twee kinderen moet opvoeden na de tragische dood van hun vader en moeder. Er is nog meer. Dutchess en Down In Sinaloa laten zuidelijk cajuntemperament horen, Expat Blues (van Dokter) is een mooi luisterlied en Woman In Savannah is blues, waar rock aan is toegevoegd. Het verbitterde Over You Now laat een voller bandgeluid horen, inclusief saxsolo en dan is er helemaal aan het eind de weirde, korte rocksong St. Pete Jail waarop Panama Red de tekst brult, maf begeleid door zowel saxofoon als pedalsteel. Ik snap er niks van, maar leuk is het wel. Een veelschrijver is Panama Red niet, maar hij heeft wel een klassieker als All Of My Dreams op zijn cv´tje staan. En dat is wat telt. (Bart Ebisch)

I been sleepin all of my life
I been sleepin from the start
I'm the only man I know
Who can sleep off a broken heart

Nina Jo Smith

Well, what can I add to the halleluja chorus? It's like Hoyt Axton, Eric Anderson & great blues all rolled up & smokin'.

Charlie Carrasco _Panama's brother from another mother

Totally impressed, different, engaging, and a very original piece of work, certainly cool, and breeziee!
Musically a great piece of work, hopefully we can expect another sometime soon.

Marlan W

OH LORDY HOW I LOVE IT!!! Panama, I didn't want to let another minute go by without telling you how much I LOVE your new CD. All the songs on "Choice Buds" have memorable lyrics -- love the chorus of "Over You Now." And the instrumentals on all the tunes are knock-down foot-tapping great. Even without the title "Choice Buds" and the written explanation, I could see how everyone contributed their hearts out on this one. Love love love the harmonica. And your bluesy, jazzy voice which is ragged in some spots and smooth in others -- but always right for the song. Were a couple of these songs written in response to a near death experience? They seem to be grabbing life by the short hairs with an awareness of a ticking clock (or maybe that's my imagination working overtime). Really fine CD. My favorites: "Duchess"..."Over You Now"... "Bottom Dollar"...they're all great, but those really got me. Oh, and thanks for sending it in a plain brown wrapper. I was afraid it might say "Panama Red" in big red letters on the outside. Or worse, "CHOICE BUDS INSIDE" -- and then I'd never get it out of the post office. Thank you. -Marlan


Rock n Roll for GrownUps
Hey Red, Nice work pal. Choice Buds is mellow, polished, grown-up, and just plain nice to listen to. Great musicians, terrific harp in particular and whoever thought of pairing you with a sax gets my vote. Dammit, what you need now is the tour! One question, I loved the sound of "He's got a bullwhip on his belt, he's skinny as a rail, you can ??? his ??? to the Saint Pete jail. Are there lyrics on the net somewhere? BTW, the old lady made me promise she gets it tomorrow. This is a pleasure. Capt Gas