Prine,Weir, Dirt Band release sounds
Friday, September 30, 2016
– It's a busy day for releases with veterans such as John Prine, Bob Weir and Jim Lauderdale plus newcomer William Michael Morgan releasing his first full-length release.
John Prine gets help from a lot of friends on "For Better, Or Worse." Only 1 of the 14 songs is sung solo. Otherwise, Prine gets help from Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, Kathy Mattea and Susan Tedeschi.
Bob Weir is best known for being a member of the Grateful Dead. He is out with "Blue Mountain," a dozen songs squarely in the country and roots canon. This is Weir's first disc in 10 years and his first of original material in 30. Producer Josh Kaufman partnered with Weir on the album, which features songwriting collaboration with Josh Ritter and performances from guitarist brothers Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner and bassist Scott Devendorf all of The National.
Veteran country singer and songwriter Jim Lauderdale gives a nod to Texas on "This Changes Everything," his 28th album. The release presents Lauderdale's take of the traditional Texas dancehall sound, filled with shuffles and rave-ups. All 11 songs include a songwriter from Texas. Among them is the George Strait hit "We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This." The disc also includes co-writes with Bruce Robison ("There is a Horizon," "This Changes Everything"), Hayes Carll ("Drive"), Daryl Burgess ("All the Rage in Paris," previously recorded by The Derailers and Randy Rogers Band with Johnny Bush), Odie Blackmon ("Lost In The Shuffle"), and Frank Dycus ("It All Started And Ended With You," "The Weakness Of Two Hearts," "I'll Still Be Around").
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrates its golden anniversary with "Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Friends - Circlin' Back: Celebrating 50 Years." The disc, which also includes a DVD, was recorded live at the Ryman. Prine, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jerry Jeff Walker, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Byron House, and Jerry Douglas all play on the release. Early Dirt Band member Jackson Browne plus longtime member Jimmy Ibbotson also contributed. Jeff Hanna (guitars/vocals), Jimmie Fadden (drums/harmonica/vocals), Bob Carpenter (keyboards/accordion/vocals) and John McEuen (banjo/fiddle/guitar/mandolin) comprise the band.
McEuen also is out with the 16-rack "Made in Brooklyn" (Chesky). McEuen McEuen brought together musicians into one room for the recording.
Morgan has had a long simmering hit on his hands with "I Met a Girl," which also appeared on a six-song EP out earlier this year. Now, the Mississippi native is back with a 11-song release of traditional country music, "Vinyl."
North Carolina-based band Mandolin Orange's "Blindfaller" (Yep Roc) play bluegrass, country and Americana music and follows last year's "Such Jubilee." The duo is comprised of Emily Frantz (fiddle/vocals) and Andrew Marlin (mandolin/vocals) and recorded the album in a one-week break from touring at Rubber Room Studio in Chapel Hill, N.C. They added a full band, which features Clint Mullican on bass, Kyle Keegan on drums, Allyn Love on pedal steel and previous collaborator, Josh Oliver, on guitar, keys and vocals.
New Orleans ace guitarist Luke Winslow-King returns with "I'm Glad Trouble Don't Last Always " (Bloodshot). Winslow-King adopts a bluesy take on a release about his divorce from former music partner Esther Rose.
Aubrie Sellers released "New City Blues," an amalgam of country, rock and roots, earlier this year on her to solid reviews. Now, Warner is reissuing the disc with two new songs, "The Beach Boys "In My Room" and The Zombies' "The Way I Feel Inside." Sellers, the daughter of Lee Ann Womack and Jason Sellers, has a new single out "Sit Here and Cry."
More news for John Prine
CD reviews for John Prine
For Better, Or Worse
With "For Better or Worse," John Prine follows up his "In Spite of Ourselves" album with more male/female duets. And this one is a true A-list effort, as it finds Prine trading lines with the likes of Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Alison Krauss. Once again, though, Iris DeMent steals the show with the angry and sarcastic "Who's Gonna Take the Garbage Out," the same way she did with the prior album's title cut. She's a worthy sparring partner, »»»
In Person & On Stage
John Prine holds a well-deserved spot in the songwriters' pantheon. So, it's always a bit disappointing when a new Prine release isn't stocked with new Prine songs. After producing 7 albums between 1971-1980, he has only made a handful of albums of originals since then, although he has done a couple covers projects, the "Souvenirs" re-recordings album, a Christmas disc and now his third live album.
That said, there are bountiful joys in listening to Prine performing »»»
Fair and Square
John Prine's first album of new original songs in nine years has a mostly folk sound, full of acoustic guitars with the occasional accordion and harmonica thrown in. "Morning Train" is a sultry song with an organ, low steel guitar, and fantastic background vocals from Mindy Smith. Overall, the songs are good, but not great - many of the lyrics are mundane, although there are some creative highlights.
"She Is My Everything," a sweet love featuring the line, "If I get lost you can always find her »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Daniels wears out bows, but music endures
After each of the first few songs Charlie Daniels played, his 'fiddle tech (?)' exchanged his bow. Is this because he was playing particularly hard? Perhaps. Whatever the case, Daniels and his five-piece band clearly appeared to be giving it their all during the act's hour-and-a-half set.
As it is the Christmas month, Daniels sang a... »»»
Concert Review: Rawlings easily moves out of the shadow
Every once in awhile David Rawlings moves out of the shadow of musical mate Gillian Welch to launch his own tour. While Welch, for whom Rawlings plays guitar, has the more prominent career, nights like this ably confirm that there is a reason does his own thing as well.
Rawlings, who released the very fine "Poor David's Almanack" in... »»»
Country News Digest
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