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Various Artists

The I-10 Chronicles II - One More For The Road – 2001 (Back Porch)

Reviewed by Michael Berick

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This second musical journey down the I-10 has two missions to it - conjuring up a sense of the celebrated interstate, while also being an enjoyable "road tape." Conceptually, the disc doesn't provide a particularly site-specific portrait of the I-10; these songs don't act like a map, charting a route from California to Florida. However, several songs (such as Steve Forbert's rollicking rendition of Bob Dylan's "Watching The River Flow" and the Robert Earl Keen-penned "Paint The Town Beige" sung knowingly by Bill & Bonnie Hearne) do suggest the small-town America that one glimpses along the highway.

More importantly, this delivers a terrific set of American music. Starting with Dave Alvin's urgent "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive" and concluding with Bare Jr.'s raucous backporch rendering of Neil Young's "Sugar Mountain," this 15-tune compilation features memorable performances throughout. Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson's sweet harmonizing on "The Window Up Above," John Hammond's take on Tom Waits' darkly comic "Fish In The Jailhouse" and Amy Correia's gritty "Gasoline Alley/It's All Over Now" medley number among the record's notable selections.

Stronger overall than its predecessor, this volume provides a wonderful soundtrack for any roadtrip, whether it's around the corner or across the great I-10.