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Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time - All Star Duets (2014)

13-11-2014, 18:11
Music | Country

Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time - All Star Duets (2014)

Artist: Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
Title Of Album: All Star Duets
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Country/Bluegrass
Label: MightyCord Records
Quality: MP3 320 kbps
Total Time: 43:03
Total Size: 106 Mb

1. Against The Grain (Feat. Garth Brooks) (2:08)
2. Mama Don't Forget To Pray For Me (Feat. Diamond Rio) (4:22)
3. Highway 40 Blues (Feat. Ricky Skaggs) (3:11)
4. Lonesome Dove (Feat. Trisha Yearwood) (3:31)
5. The Bigger The Fool (Feat. Del McCoury) (2:58)
6. The Fields Of Home (Feat. Kenny Chesney) (4:23)
7. Lonesome Standard Time (Feat. Kathy Mattea) (2:56)
8. Murder On Music Row (Feat. Daryle Singletary & Kevin Denney) (4:13)
9. You Can't Take It With You When You Go (Feat. Dierks Bentley) (3:29)
10. Cure For The Common Heartache (Feat. Terri Clark) (3:39)
11. Rough Around The Edges (Feat. Travis Tritt) (4:00)
12. Two Highways (Feat. Alison Krauss) (4:09)

Sometimes you come across an album that is not only a huge undertaking, but it’s also an extremely successful one. Those albums may not always pick up the kind of press that catapults them to the top of year-end lists, or even the bottom; indeed, there may be no trending hashtag, no #1 placement on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, no TV special. They cater for a smaller audience that is none the less appreciative of their work (and indeed, the receptive audience for this will adore it), fashioning another gem in the crown of country music’s history. It just so happens in this case, that the full tracklisting on Larry Cordle’s album ‘All Star Duets’ is already a revered collection of gems in country music’s history, with fresh, pristine versions sliding into 2014 to show everyone else up.

You may know the name Larry Cordle, or you may not, but he is a responsible for a huge number of hits during the past thirty or more years, including Garth Brooks’ ‘Against The Grain’, George Strait and Alan Jackson’s ‘Murder On Music Row’, Diamond Rio’s ‘Mama Don’t Forget To Pray For Me’, and more than a few Ricky Skaggs hits. With such a distinguished career he could lie back and rake in the rewards, but instead chose to bring together a celebrated group of artists, partly consisting of those who have recorded his songs in the past, partly of new friends with a new angle to bring on the old music. The result is ‘All Star Duets’, a 12-track, blissful 44 minutes that incorporates traditional country, bluegrass, mountain, folk, honky tonk, and even contemporary country sounds for a thoroughly nuanced, musically proficient listening experience. These are the songs you love reimagined, but not to the point you’d struggle to get on board or recognize those tunes so beloved.

On the bill are Garth Brooks (‘Against The Grain’), Kenny Chesney (‘The Fields of Home’), Alison Krauss (‘Two Highways’), Dierks Bentley (‘Can’t Take It With You)’, Trisha Yearwood (‘Lonesome Dove’), Ricky Skaggs (‘Highway 40 Blues’), Del McCoury (‘The Bigger The Fool’), Terri Clark (‘Cure For The Common Heartache’) Kathy Mattea (‘Lonesome Standard Time’), Diamond Rio (‘Mama Don’t Forget To Pray For Me’), Daryle Singletary (‘Murder On Music Row’), and Travis Tritt (‘Rough Around The Edges’). Not only do the artists listed here come from vastly different facets and eras of country music, but the resulting recordings all offer different flavors while maintaining a common trad. country/bluegrass theme, and simply glittering performances. Each artist/band takes to the mic in harmony or in alternate parts with Larry, shining the spotlight on that little known fact that most professional songwriters are actually fantastic singers too.

And despite the varying corners each artist hails from, they sound like they could make up one huge super-group. Featuring rich, smooth arrangements, each vocalist merges with the project to the point where often they are not an instantly recognizable as they might once have been. Although it’s not to the point where they lose their identifiable charm, it’s an impressive feat as too often these kinds of projects can sound disjointed and awkward, like mixing chalk and cheese. Luckily whoever planned this and put it together – Larry, his team, or just fate – was brilliant at their job. It’s a wonderful record that deserves far more airtime than I know sadly it’s going to get, simply for the popularity of country pop and the way the industry is going nowadays. ‘Murder On Music Row’s inclusion is apt when we look around us, even so many years after it was first written and caused a splash, just as fabulous real country music is being created all around in the shadows.

But perhaps my favorite thing about this record – and there are a few – is the liner notes. Instead of just credits, lyrics, maybe a thank you note, Larry has included a substantial paragraph detailing the creation of each song on the record, the way each one took off with their respective recording artists and how they came to be with a duet on this record. Underneath are chosen lyrics from each song, and it makes for a great package that really cements Larry’s place in the history of country music. The stories, the songs, the artists old and new. The care taken over every detail. If you’re looking for real country music this year, look no further than Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time’s ‘All Star Duets’.

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