Mickey Newbury

San Francisco Mabel JoyLooks Like Rain
An American TrilogyFrisco Mabel Joy
The Future's Not What It Used To BeFrisco Mabel Joy
Heaven Help The ChildHeaven Help The Child
I Came To Hear The MusicI Came To Hear The Music
Dizzy LizzyI Came To Hear The Music
I Still Love You (After All These Years)After All These Years
Just Dropped InNights When I Am Sane
Nights When I Am SaneWinter Winds
A Long Road HomeA Long Road Home



Contributor: Kasper Nijsen

Johnny Cash called him a poet, yet he could also be called a filmmaker. His songs unfold like rainy westerns with a touch of haunting , Poe-like mystery. It’s a mystery, in any case, why Mickey Newbury’s genius isn’t better-known beyond Nashville’s country borders.

I could easily wax lyrical over his vocal talents, which to me are on par with those of Hank Williams or George Jones. Together with his elegant poetry, they drive a unique vision: a soaring brand of country music, almost religious in its intensity, that far surpasses the genre’s traditional boundaries.

To anyone new to his music, I’d suggest starting with one of the records released in the early 70s, for instance Frisco Mabel Joy (1971) or I Came To Hear The Music (1974). If you want to postpone their heavy strings and ambient sound effects, Nights When I Am Sane (1994) is a great testimony to what the man could achieve with only a guitar and his voice.

Yet if you want to go off the deep end, try searching for the stunning 1991 demos that surfaced on YouTube a while ago. They include a nightmarish rendition of Just Dropped In and an equally chilling performance of Summertime. All but choking on the final note, Newbury sounds like he’s envisioning a nuclear summer rather than the hot-blooded Southern summer of the original.

Newbury’s voice really was a force of nature and it only gained in depth as he aged. Without meaning disrespect to the King, to my ears Newbury’s original performance of An American Trilogy easily blows His cover version away. If Newbury’s medley is religious American patriotism, I’m ready to be baptized into the Church of the US anytime.

Mickey Newbury Official Website

Mickey Newbury biography (iTunes)

TopperPost #168


  1. David Lewis
    Jan 16, 2014

    Thanks Kasper. I’d heard of him, but never chased him up. A great list.

  2. Ian Ashleigh
    Jan 18, 2014

    Many thanks for the background Kasper. I have copies of ‘Frisco Mabel Joy and It Looks Like Rain, it must be time to dust them off have another listen.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.