Archive for the ‘Country’ Category

Live At Massey Hall – Neil Young | CD/DVD

(Reprise CD/DVD) 4 stars The long-haired hippie troubadour with that high, quavering voice and shy stage presence is Neil Young. The date is January 1971, the venue is Ontario’s Massey Hall and Young – already a cult figure after working with Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse, Crosby, Stills & Nash, plus fresh success with his own [...]

The Road to Escondido – JJ Cale-Eric Clapton | CD

(Reprise) 4.5 stars ERIC Clapton is the first to admit he owes an artistic debt to J J Cale. Clapton’s first hit single, in his post-Cream solo career, was a 1970 cover of Cale’s `After Midnight’ and his adaptation of the Oklahoman’s rough-hewn, laidback country-blues style helped transform Clapton from blues-rock “god’’ into an FM [...]

American V: A Hundred Highways – Johnny Cash | CD review

(American) 4 stars Cash recorded these dozen songs in the months up to his death in September 2003. There’s a dignified strength about the ailing musician’s performance and choice of material (from Hank Williams to Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Springsteen and Ian Tyson) that transcends the wasted voice.

This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson | CD review

 (New West) 4 stars There’s a lifetime of Sunday mornings coming down in Kris Kristofferson’s voice, but at 70, this former Oxford don-turned helicopter pilot, troubadour, actor and activist remains a potent performer. In his new recording the old dog sticks to the basics: honest ballads of love, loss, hope, despair and redemption, delivered with [...]

Stumble Into Grace – Emmylou Harris | CD review

(Nonesuch) 5 stars In 1995, after two decades of successful country/folk recordings, Harris embarked on a ground-breaking covers project with the Daniel Lanois-produced `Wrecking Ball’, redefining her as a performer. More impressive still was 2000′s `Red Dirt Girl’ (aided by Lanois protégé Malcolm Burn), featuring an array of original songs, but `Stumble Into Grace’ must [...]

American VI: Ain’t No Grave – Johnny Cash | CD review

(American/Universal) 3 stars I approached this CD with misgivings. The `American’ series started out in 1993 as an unlikely partnership between Johnny Cash and producer Rick Rubin. Their five albums, recorded over the decade up to Cash’s death in 2003, aged 71, contained some of the veteran singer’s finest performances.

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