Sign up for newsletter
 

Patty Loveless

Mountain Soul – 2001 (Epic)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by Patty Loveless

The magic recorder that pared Dolly Parton to her mountain essence on "Hungry Again" has performed the same service for Patty Loveless. Never before has Loveless so thoroughly reveled in the acoustic soul and attendant intensity of her Kentucky childhood influences. The result is the most emotion-drenched and uncompromisingly powerful album of her career.

Bluegrass, inspirational, mountain and country tunes mingle effortlessly under Loveless' command. Chestnuts from The Stanley Brothers ("Daniel Prayed") and Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton ("Someone I Used to Know") stand with contemporary tunes like Darrell Scott's desperate "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" and Emory Gordy Jr.'s sorrowful "Cheap Whiskey." Loveless' own "Sounds of Loneliness" hits a spiritual depression not found in its debut, 14 years ago. The nearly-live recording captures the joyful emotional bond of group music making. Guest shots from Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt and Jon Randall augment the superb playing of Gordy (bass), Tim Hensley (mandolin), Gene Wooten (dobro), Deanie Richardson (fiddle) and Carmella Ramsey (harmony vocals).

Aided by like-minded musicians and a surprisingly understanding record label, Patty Loveless has finally given full voice to her mountain soul.