The Freelance Mentalists.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
  Ghost Writers In The Sky
(Don Allred's 2010 Nashville Scene Country Critics Poll Ballot (plus
opening comments; more follow)
(Listed just in the order they come to mind)

1. Lydia Loveless: The Only Man (Peloton)
2. Nancy McCallion: Take a Picture of Me (Mama Mama)
3. Jamey Johnson: The Guitar Song (Mercury)
4. Chely Wright: Lifted Off The Ground (Vanguard)
5. Minton Sparks: Live at the Stadium Inn (MSM)
6. Marshall Chapman: Big Lonesome (Tallgirl)
7. Jace Everett: Red Revelations (Wrasse)
8. Drive-By Truckers: The Big To-Do (ATO/Red)
9. Los Lobos: Tin Can Trust (Shout Factory)
10. Marty Stuart: Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions
(Hon Mentions: Justin Earle Townes: Harlem River Blues, Merle
Haggard: I Am What I Am, Willie Nelson: Country Music, John
Mellencamp: No Better Than This, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan: Hawk
[the 7 or 8 tracks (out of 13)I like are all country]) Terry Ohms:
What Do You Mean, What Do I Mean? [see Campbell & Lanegan comment, add
term: "redneck bossa nova"] Moutain Man: Made The Harbor [also partly
cloudy country). Black Prairie: Feast of the Harvest Moon Corinne
Chapman: Dirty Pretty Things [reversing this year's trend: a strong
indie country-rock (but no more so than a lot of country pop]EP that
deserves expansion to album]), Various Artists: Twistable Turnable
Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein (Sugar
Hill)[despite crappy tracks from Jim James and Black Francis, even
Kristofferson sounds good!) Choice Cuts: several on Deer Tick's The
Black Dirt Sessions)


1.Sunny Sweeny: From A Table Away (Republic)
2. Tony Joe White: All (Swamp)
3. Tony Joe White: Tell Me Why (Swamp)
4. Secret Sisters featuring Jack White: Big River (Third Man)
5. Miranda Lambert: Only Prettier (Columbia)
6. Robert Plant with Patty Griffin: Harm's Swift Way (New Rounder)
7. Laura Bell Bundy: Giddy On Up (Mercury)
8.Kenny Chesney: Hemingway's Whiskey (BNA)
9. Pretty Lights: After Midnight/Midnight Rider(Live Cale/Allman Mix)
(Pretty Lights)
10. Keith Urban: Put You In A Song (Capitol)
(Hon Mentions: Olof Arnalds: Close My Eyes, Isobel Campbell with Willy
Mason: No Place To Fall, Corinne Chapman: Dirty Pretty Things,
Drive-By Truckers: Your Woman Is A Living Thing, Reba: Strange, Deer
Tick: Goodbye, Dear Friend)

1.Hamper McBee: The Good Old-Fashioned Way (Drag City)(usually
poignant and always ripe, rolling notes between teeth so easily some
other teeth must have sacrificed themselves to make more room, except
no probs with diction, so how does he do it. Not "revelatory" as
claimed for his discovery by folkies in mid-60s, but this is late-ish
70s. Not many probs with his tasteful deep folk standards and beyond
tasteless anecdotes/testimonials and songs in the same throbbing vein,
that sure seem like they could be even deeper folk standards)
2. Roland White: I Wasn't Born To Rock 'n' Roll (Tompkins
Square)(protesteth too much)
3.Wynn Stewart: Another Day, Another Dollar (Sony) (reissued as mp3 in
07, but much more exposure in 2010, in Volkswagen Jetta commercial )
4.Ray Charles & Johnny Cash: Why Me Lord? (Concord)(yep, another
single, actually virtually swinging the Kristofferson groaner)(prev.
unreleased, but old enough to qualify)
5.Riley: Grandma's Roadhouse (Delmore) (Listening to Grandma's
Roadhouse, so far I'm digging most of the writing and playing. The
picture's faded, and Riley's set free! How often does that happen in a
country song, or any song? Not nearly enough, and he rejoices. But
he's the dominant and gut-busting voice, which will take some getting
used to. He's better on the more rocking tracks--the bonus tracks are
excellent and should have been on the LP, losing the included version
of the title track [that cool, down the steps melody's revealed in the
outtake; no need for the master track's rawkus caucus]. Also could
ditch "Field of Green", which distractingly recalls Crosby Stills &
Nash; ditto "Funky Tar Paper Shack", with its "Lodi" roll. This
version of "Easy People" 's recurring suggestion of "The Weight" is a
little distracting, but main distraction is Riley's vocal squeezebox.
But at least six keepers. Really digging Gary Stewart's rubbery
sustain over tilting groove, in "Gotta Get Away", especially, and many
trax have some truly pungent electric piano [a truly rare thang re
electric pianos of that time]. If only Gary were singing lead more of
the time, while his guitar steers this dorsal groove.)
(Hon. Mention: I almost listed Tim McGraw's Number One Hits, although
I def agree with Chuck Eddy's Rolling Stone review,that reaching
Number One sometimes shears off too many possibilities. I prefer
Elvis's collected Top Tens to his Number Ones, and it may be that if
you get however many volumes of Greatest Hits McG is up to now, you'll
do better than with this, but I do enjoy most of it. The MSN Listening
Booth download may have jumbled the intended order of tracks, judging
by the way they're listed in Chuck's coverage, so I got clobbered by
front-loaded "live Like You Were Dying" [in a real expensive way,
although the dying one's parting words are "I hope one day you can do
this too" yeah bro, um got some gold buried at the ol swimmin
hole,mebbe?]and "Don't Take My Girl" and some other stuff that would
be much more digestible with music that conveyed the urgent neeeed for
such soothing. But we do get just that on many other tracks, where he
gets more into the struggle for balance, perspective, but also
self-justification, as in "Angry All The Time", and just trying to
sing his way through all that shit, all those talking points, on
"Please Remember Me." But I like some of the suave ballads and def the
yee-haw stuff too, where he gives his band and his own light touch
[unusual with the yee-haw, Brad Paisley aside]some tonic.

A man of excellent taste.
Post a Comment

<< Home

02.2004 / 03.2004 / 04.2004 / 05.2004 / 06.2004 / 07.2004 / 08.2004 / 09.2004 / 10.2004 / 11.2004 / 12.2004 / 01.2005 / 02.2005 / 03.2005 / 04.2005 / 06.2005 / 07.2005 / 09.2005 / 10.2005 / 11.2005 / 12.2005 / 01.2006 / 02.2006 / 03.2006 / 04.2006 / 05.2006 / 06.2006 / 07.2006 / 09.2006 / 10.2006 / 12.2006 / 01.2007 / 02.2007 / 03.2007 / 09.2007 / 12.2007 / 02.2008 / 03.2008 / 04.2008 / 06.2008 / 08.2008 / 09.2008 / 06.2009 / 07.2009 / 06.2010 / 11.2010 / 12.2010 / 01.2011 / 05.2011 / 01.2012 / 02.2012 / 03.2012 / 09.2012 / 10.2012 / 11.2012 / 01.2013 / 11.2013 / 01.2014 / 02.2014 / 08.2014 / 01.2015 / 01.2016 / 05.2016 / 06.2016 / 01.2017 / 04.2017 / 07.2017 / 08.2017 / 11.2017 / 03.2018 / 07.2019 / 09.2019 / 01.2020 / 02.2020 /

Powered by Blogger