A rootsy Oklahoma gal with a lot of twang, Becky Hobbs had a fair run of chart success in the 1970s and '80s, but whose original recordings have remained out of print throughout the CD era... I'm hoping to check out more of her music some day... But man, is it hard to find!
Becky Hobbs "Becky Hobbs" (MCA, 1974) (LP)
(Produced by Brad Shapiro)
A poppy, arguably funky, debut from Oklahoma-born singer-pianist Becky Hobbs, who would later find a home in the Country charts, but here was mining more of a whitegirl soul vibe. She seems to be aiming for a Helen Reddy/Carly Simon-style pop fusion, although there are some heavy Muscle Shoals influences, with a smidge of disco, a trace of New Orleans funk and... gee, where is the country in here? A few years down the line, I guess. All but one of the songs were written or co-written by Hobbs and guitar player Lewis Anderson, who went on to become a very successful songwriter (penning "Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love," "Lost In The Feeling," and other sizable hits of the '70s and '80s). There is a soulful vibe on this album, but Hobbs can sound a little grating on the high notes -- her voice loses its suppleness and gets shrill at a very specific point, and she would have been better advised to stay away from that register. Oh, well. This could be of interest to hardcore '70s pop fans, though folks who worked backwards from her country stuff will probably feel let down, if not totally turned off by this slick, decidedly un-twangy set.
Becky Hobbs "From The Heartland" (RCA/Tattoo, 1975) (LP)
(Produced by Lewis Anderson)
This is an odd album, with kind of an adult-pop edge that casts Hobbs as slightly twangy, country(ish) version of Carole King or Carly Simon, with a touch of Bonnie Raitt thrown in as well. I gotta say, it doesn't really work for me... I'm not sure if it's the musical direction and how it frames her, or Hobbs herself, but her vocals sound grating and awkward on most of this album, and none of the songs really stand out, at least not in a good way. Too bad: I was looing forward to having a new hick music heroine to cheer on... Anyone know if her other albums sounded better than this one?
Becky Hobbs "Everyday" (RCA/Tattoo, 1977) (LP)
Becky Hobbs "All Keyed Up" (MTM, 1988)
Becky Hobbs "The Boots I Came To Town With" (Beckaroo/Intersound, 1994)
A self-produced album with some fun songs on it... Her fans will be delighted to find new material, though folks who are new to her sound may be a little put off by the roughness of her vocals, a rugged style reminiscent of Lacy J. Dalton or Carlene Carter... Still, it is nice to hear some rootsy country music being made outside of the normal confines of the Nashville studio system.
Becky Hobbs "From Oklahoma With Love" (Intersound, 1998)
Becky Hobbs "Swedish Coffee & American Sugar" (2000)
This is a Scandanavian release which is apparently not available in the US...
Becky Hobbs "Songs From The Road Of Life" (Beckaroo, 2004)
Becky Hobbs "Best Of The Beckaroo, Vol. 1" (Beckaroo, 2006)
Hick Music Index