Few actions highlight the great strengths of an album better than a tribute, not to just an artist, but an artist and one of his/her singular albums. With "Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of The Story," a group of mostly Americana artists gathered together to perform this album ("The Story") in its entirety and original order, revealing the consistent greatness of the original work. The album is also a benefit for War Child UK.
Dolly Parton takes on the title track and fully owns it, as only she can. If you didn't know better, you'd assume she'd written it. Another iconic female artist, Adele, closes the album with an acoustic guitar-backed "Hiding My Heart."
Although most of these participants are the quieter sort, Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam pump up the volume with a punk-ish "Again Today." Jim James, who has been known to get loud with My Morning Jacket, doesn't exactly get particularly loud with his quirky take on "Wasted." Anderson East adds a little soul to the party during "Josephine."
For Americana music fans, this album is an A-list assembly. The Avett Brothers shine empathetically, the way they always do for "Have You Ever," while the grizzled pioneer Kris Kristofferson puts his indelible stamp on "Turpentine."
This album must make Carlile proud, as it presents some of the talented artists that came after her, as well as a few of her inspirations. And it's a wonderful story, no matter who tells it.