Triple Played: Lovett release, Clark tribute
It is two months into 2012 and there are several “new” CD releases you need to know about.
Since it is pretty hard to find that kind of information these days unless you really look for it, here are some of the more notable new releases so far this year.
■ Lyle Lovett, “Release Me” — Lovett’s last release for Curb Records, is a mix of covers and original tunes, which stylistically feature mostly country-rock with a little large band.
Lovett’s desert dry sense of humor is on full display on the originals “The Girl With the Holiday Smile” and “Night’s Lullaby.”
The cover art is a picture of Lovett standing upright, lassoed and tied up in a rope with his hands by his side.
Lovett sings the title track (made famous by Englebert Humperdink) with conviction and tongue-in-cheek just as he did when he covered “Stand By Your Man” several years ago.
Other covers include “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Kat Edmonson, “White Freightliner Blues” and “White Boy Lost in the Blues.”
Lovett can be proud of this recording and Curb should be happy that he didn’t just mail it in which would be totally out of character, but something many other artists have done in the past.
■ Various Artists, “This Ones for Him a Tribute to Guy Clark” — This has been out since late last year, but we were just recently able to obtain some copies for the store.
It features 30 of Guy Clark’s greatest songs, including some of my favorites such as “Magdalene,” “The Guitar,” “Homegrown Tomatoes,” “Stuff That Works,” “The Cape,” “L. A. Freeway,” “Desperados Waiting For a Train,” “Texas 1947,” “Texas Cookin’,” “Randall Knife,” “Worry B Gone” and “Dublin Blues,” to name a few.
Artists paying tribute to Clark include Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Rosanne Cash, Shawn Colvin, Kevin Welch, Townes Van Zandt, Radney Foster, Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker and 16 others on this wonderful two-CD set.
■ Speaking of tributes, there were several released in 2011 to celebrate 100th birthday of the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe.
In my opinion, the two best were released this year: Tony Rice with “The Bill Monroe Collection” and the Del McCoury Band with “Old Memories, The Songs of Bill Monroe.”
On “The Bill Monroe Collection,” Rice assembled a collection of Monroe songs recorded for Rounder Records prior to Monroe losing his voice, and Rice covered them as tastefully as anyone before.
McCoury, who played with Monroe in the 1960s and now leads the best bluegrass band in the world, chose to cover a different batch of the bluegrass giant’s songs making them his in the process and continuing to further the legend that is Bill Monroe.
■ Darrell Scott, “Long Ride Home” — Scott, a Nashville sideman since 1990, has played with the likes of Guy Clark, Tim and Mollie O’Brien, Sam Bush and others.
He also has written songs for several country artists such as the Dixie Chicks, Sam Bush, Darrel Worley and others.
This is Scott’s seventh solo recording since 1997 and his most cohesive. He presents the 16 songs as the story of his life with most of the focus on his earliest days as a musician.
Standout track include “Every Road Leads Back to You,” “The Country Boy,” “Still Got A Ways to Go” and “Out In the Parking Lot,” which was co-written with Clark.