Loretta Lynn w/Patty Loveless, Joanna Smith, Vince Gill, Pure Prairie League, Opry Square Dancers, Jimmy C. Newman, Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith & John ConleeCountry
Hurricane Mills TN | Country
For fifty years now, Loretta has fashioned a body of work as artistically and commercially successful—and as culturally significant—as any female performer you’d care to name. Her music has confronted many of the major social issues of her time, and her life story is a rags-to-riches tale familiar to pop, rock and country fans alike. The Coal Miner’s Daughter—the tag refers to a hit single, an album, a best-selling autobiography, an Oscar-winning film, and to Lynn herself—has journeyed from the poverty of the Kentucky hills to Nashville superstardom to her current status as an honest-to-goodness American icon.
Fans of roots music have asked Patty Loveless for years to reprise the Appalachian sound of her 2001 Mountain Soul CD, and now she has at last. Like its predecessor, Mountain Soul II features Patty’s crystalline country vocals amid bluegrass-tinged instrumentation.
“It’s Appalachian, bluegrass and country combined,” says Patty of her new collection’s sound. “You should never try to duplicate something like Mountain Soul. What you should do is enhance. So this is like a continuation.”
The first Mountain Soul CD was issued in June 2001. As a result of its enthusiastic reception, Patty Loveless was invited to perform on the critically acclaimed “Down From the Mountain” tour. She says that experience introduced her to a whole new audience.
“I was blessed to be able to expose my music to people who normally don’t listen to country music. They loved the more organic, roots-y thing, but they don’t listen to mainstream country. I met quite a few people who told me that. They kept wanting me to try and recapture that sound. They’d say, ’When are you going to do another record like this? We love this album.’ I guess they kind of talked me into it.”
As before, Patty surrounded herself in the studio with a stellar supporting cast. Her husband and producer Emory Gordy Jr. recruited fiddlers Stuart Duncan and Deanie Richardson, Dobro player Rob Ickes, singer Jon Randall and harmony vocalists Rebecca Lynn Howard, Tim Hensley and Carmella Ramsey, all of whom had backed Patty on the original Mountain Soul CD.
But Mountain Soul II has some new textures as well. Bluegrass greats Del, Robbie and Ronnie McCoury participate, as do Vince Gill, Carl Jackson, Bryan Sutton, Mike Auldridge, Emmylou Harris, steel guitarist Al Perkins, Patty’s 16-year-old vocal discovery Sydni Perry and several other visitors to her Music Row recording sessions.
“We just had such a great time,” says Patty. “It was like we were singing and playing for each other. We wanted to try and make it live, as much as possible. There were no drums, so everybody gravitated towards each other’s inner rhythms. We started the sessions on a Monday, and we finished that Thursday evening. I had so much fun making this record that I didn’t want it to end.”
The repertoire on Mountain Soul II ranges from the traditional gospel tunes “Working on a Building” and “Friends in Gloryland” to contemporary compositions such as Jon Randall’s gorgeous ballad “You Burned the Bridge” and Barbara Keith’s soaring folk ode “Bramble and the Rose.” The daughter of a Kentucky coal miner, Patty restores the original mining lyrics to Harlan Howard’s 1962 classic “Busted.” On the Emmylou Harris song “Diamond in My Crown,” Patty’s vocal is accompanied by a harmony part from its originator.
Emory’s co-written “When the Last Curtain Falls” is a honky-tonk masterpiece on Mountain Soul II. The lovely melody of “Fools Thin Air,” penned by Susanna Clark and Rodney Crowell, is drenched in bluegrass harmony. The throbbing, emotional “Prisoner’s Tears” is backed by sighing steel guitar.
Patty Loveless reemerges as a songwriter on Mountain Soul II with “(We Are All) Children of Abraham” and “Big Chance” with Emory as her collaborator. That latter song is one of the new collection’s sprightliest bluegrass romps. “Blue Memories” and “Feelings of Love” are other acoustic-music standouts. Tony Arata’s inspirational “A Handful of Dust” is one of the most thrilling performances on the new CD. Patty’s vocal on Karen Staley’s heartache ballad “Half Over You” is stunningly rich and lustrous. Moutain Soul II
Raised in a part of the country known for farming, Georgia red clay and family values, Joanna Smith had Music City aspirations at an early age. Growing up in Arlington, GA, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it small-town in Southwest Georgia, Smith got the performance bug from an intoxicating combination childhood tape recorder and listening to strong women of country including The Judds, Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton.
Norman OK | Country
"Vince Gill is quite simply a living prism refracting all that is good in country music. He uses the crystal planes of his songwriting, his playing, and his singing to give us a musical rainbow that embraces all men and spans all seasons." - Kyle Young/Country Music Foundation on Vince's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Read more at http://www.VinceGill.com
Pure Prairie League
Pismo Beach CA | Rock
Pure Prairie League, sometimes abbreviated PPL, is an American country-rock band whose roots began between 1964 and 1969 in Waverly, Ohio, with Craig Fuller, George Powell, Tom McGrail, and Robin Suskind. In 1970 McGrail named the band after a 19th century temperance union mentioned in the 1939 film Dodge City. The band has had a long run, active from the 1970s through the late 1980s and was revived in the late 1990s for a time, then again in 2004.
Jimmy C. Newman
TN | Country
The legendary Jimmy C. Newman is an absolute pioneer in Cajun-Country music history! He charted 33 songs on the Billboard Country Chart from 1954-1970. A Grand Ole Opry member since 1956, Jimmy C. and wife Mae continue to make their home on their Singing Hills Ranch in Rutherford County, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.
Titusville PA | Country
Along with many accolades including awards from Billboard, Cashbox and Record World, country music legend Jeannie Seely has achieved No. 1 songs as a solo artist, as a duet partner and as a songwriter. Her deeply moving vocals earned her the nickname of "Miss Country Soul".
Jeannie’s recording of "Don’t Touch Me" not only topped the charts, but also earned her a Grammy Award for the "Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female". It is ranked at No. 97 in the book "Country Music’s 500 Greatest Singles" published by the Country Music Foundation, and also included in "The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs".
Born in Titusville, Pennsylvania, and raised on a farm outside of nearby Townville, Jeannie was singing on Meadville radio station WMGW at age 11, and by 16 was performing on TV station WICU in Erie. When she moved to Nashville upon the encouragement of friend Dottie West, Jeannie only had $50 and a Ford Falcon to her name, but within a month Porter Wagoner hired her as the female singer for his road and television series.
It is a Nashville legend that Connie's first record, the aching and unforgettable "Once a Day," written by Bill Anderson and recorded on July 16, 1964 when she was just 23, became one of the most celebrated singles in country music history—the first debut single by a female country singer to go to Number One, a position it held for eight weeks. Forty-seven years later it is still the only first single ever to have done that. When Connie sang "Once A Day" in the all-star B-movie musical Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar the following year, she was introduced on-screen as "The Cinderella of Country Music." "Once A Day," and her stunning rendition of "How Great Thou Art" remain the two most requested songs by her fans to this day. Connie's memorable string of hits would include "You and Your Sweet Love" "If It Ain't Love" "Where Is My Castle?" "Run Away Little Tears" "Just One Time" and "I Never Once Stopped Loving You." The passion for singing and for the songs, and the singular vocal precision in delivering them that marked those standards-to-be are fully on display in this return to recording. "If you add up all the songs on this album," Ms. Smith says, "it would add up to my personality. It's me talking again, after so many years, with a message no different than I've always had. It's just that I love you, and I want that love to come back." It's bound to.
Fort Worth TX | Country
One of the most respected vocalists to emerge during the urban cowboy era, John Conlee was known for his superb taste in material and his distinctively melancholy voice. Conlee was born and raised on a tobacco farm in Versailles, KY, in 1946, and took up the guitar as a child, performing on local radio at age ten. He went on to sing with the town barbershop chorus, but didn't initially pursue music as a career, instead becoming a licensed mortician. He also worked as a disc jockey at numerous area radio stations, and made important industry connections via that area when he moved to Nashville in 1971. Five years later, Conlee's demo tape got him a contract with ABC. He released a few singles, but didn't find acceptance until 1978's "Rose Colored Glasses," a song he'd co-written with a newsman at his radio station, rocketed into the country Top Five. Conlee spent the next decade or so scoring hit after hit, nearly all of them helmed by producer Bud Logan. He had two number ones in 1979 alone -- "Lady Lay Down" and "Backside of Thirty" -- and four number two hits through 1981, which included "Before My Time," "Friday Night Blues," "She Can't Say That Anymore," and "Miss Emily's Picture." Conlee returned to the top of the charts three times over 1983-1984 with "Common Man," "I'm Only in It for the Love," and "In My Eyes," and had his last number one in 1986 with "Got My Heart Set on You." All told, Conlee made the Top Ten 19 times through 1987, when he moved from MCA to Columbia and reached the Top Five with "Domestic Life." Never much for touring, Conlee subsequently curtailed his recording activities as well, instead devoting his time to charity work (often on behalf of American farmers), raising his family, and running his own farm outside Nashville.