Sign up for newsletter
 

Tom T. Hall

Home Grown – 1997 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by Tom T. Hall

As a recording artist, Tom T. Hall has led two lives. One of them features sentimental ballads like his biggest hit "I Love." That side of Hall was represented on his last album, "Songs From Sopchoppy."

On "Home Grown," Hall returns to what most people think of his classic style, that of the storyteller. The sound on this album is remarkably similar to Hall's halcyon days, as he has made not one single concession to modern radio tastes. To paraphrase one of this album's song titles, he's just the way he's always been. Some of Hall's new tales harken back to simpler times, such as tributes to his Bluegrass idols Bill Monroe ("Bill Monroe For Breakfast" and The Carter Family ("Local Flowers"). Others like "Legend Of The Lady Bear" and "Royal Annie" are sterling human portraits.

Missing is the biting social commentary which Hall wrote so often in the Sixties and Seventies, but his tales of rural America are fascinating nonetheless. This is an album that seems to have come to us through a time warp, and Hall's fans should cherish it.