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NEW RELEASES


Romney Blues (sic), Guantanamo, The Wall Street Part Of Town. They may be obvious targets but they still need hitting, and Ry does it well. The greasy-slide blues of Cold Cold Feeling and the righteously rocking Take Your Hands Off It (the constitution), demonstrate that he’s on the warpath. There are some lighter (at least


musically) moments though too. Going To Tampa has the narrator heading down to the Republican convention to cut a few deals, all set to a jaunty old time beat, whilst The 90 And The 9 hammers into the frankly incredible fact that military recruiters are allowed into LA schools and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Perhaps the best piece though is the


aforementioned Cold Cold Feeling, wherein Barack Obama paces the Oval Office, aware of the ‘…stray dog Republicans, always snapping at my heels;’ aware that he’s not doing all he wanted to do or said he’d do and also of the impossibilities that his job entails, that only someone who’s been there can truly appreciate. There’s been more than a few laments lately about the dearth of protest singers and songs, particularly in the mainstream. Cooder may not quite be in that but he’s nailed his colours well and truly to the mast here, with a powerful set of songs that deserves to resonate from sea to shining sea. Jeremy Searle www.nonesuch.com/artists/ry-cooder


The Kennedys CLOSER THAN YOU KNOW Self-released HHHI Another wonderful album from New York duo comprised of sweet and soulful acoustic alternative folk-pop music If you are searching for an album that


has a terrific mix of relaxing music, then you will truly enjoy the wonderful songs on this marvellous album by husband- and-wife duo Pete and Maura Kennedy. Probably best-known for their work with Nanci Griffith—this past summer they toured the UK with the Texas folkabilly singer—they have been releasing quality pop-jazz-folk albums like this for the past twenty years. This is their eleventh one and in between they’ve worked on solo projects as well as in bands like the Strangelings and the Stringbusters. Totally self-contained, apart from Wild Honey, all


82 Maverick


songs are written by the couple as well playing all the instruments. An acclaimed guitarist Pete plays various acoustic and electric guitars, bass and keyboards, and Maura adds acoustic guitar, percussion and handles all the vocal work, including the intricate and inventive vocal arrangements. Opening Winter has Maura grooving


to a vibrant pop ambience and is quite a fascinating song. Marina Dream is the kind of song that has such a strong, resonating structure, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear it on the radio or played during an action moment in a film. Sweet and charming is Maura’s voice as she sings with passionate feelings the rhythmic Cradle To A Boat, whilst Sigh marvels at life’s simple pleasures, reminding listeners that dreams can come true despite the setbacks. Delicate music likes this washes over the listener like gentle waves of sound … maybe a little too smooth and polished for some, but beneath the veneer there is genuine emotion at work here. Alan Cackett


www.kennedysmusic.com


Robin & Linda Williams THESE OLD DARK HILLS Red House Records HHH THESE OLD DARK HILLS weds seven Williams’ co-writes to five cover songs With the estimable Grammy winner,


Jim Rooney, at the helm as producer, the twelve song THESE OLD DARK HILLS was recorded in Nashville. Supporting Robin (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Linda (banjo, vocals) throughout are Chris Brashear (mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar) a member of Their Fine Group road band, Al Perkins (Dobro, slide guitar, pedal steel guitar) is an alumni of the Flying Burrito Brothers and was a Nash Rambler with Emmylou and, finally, Todd Phillips (upright bass). The Williams’ are long time performers on A Prairie Home Companion and a harmony vocal by host Garrison Keillor graces Crossing The Bar. The latter song pairs words by Alfred


Lord Tennyson—the sea is employed poetically to describe the barrier between life and death—with music by Signature Sounds recording artist, Rani Arbo. It’s one of five cover songs on THESE OLD DARK HILLS;


the other titles being Beyond The Realm Of Words by the late Ron Davies; Storms Never Last, co-penned by Waylon Jennings’ widow Jessi Colter and Bosse Andersson; Bruce Springsteen’s My Lucky Day and the a cappella album closer, World Wide Peace. The other Williams’ road band regular, Jim Watson, along with Chris and Robin, add harmony vocals to Linda’s lead on World Wide Peace. Will M. Ramsey penned the song on the eve of the outbreak of World War I, and his lyric confirms that a century later, mankind has not altered his war- mongering ways. It’s worth noting, Storms Never Last enjoyed two stints at number 17 on the country music singles chart; Dottsy being the first in 1975, to be followed six years later by its female co-writer, Jessi Colter—the hit single drawn from the Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings album, LEATHER AND LACE. Co-written with Robin, Linda takes the


lead vocal on album opener Lonesome, launched by Chris Brashear’s melancholic sounding fiddle, and Linda’s banjo subsequently picking up the tempo. The album title song—one of half-a-dozen Williams writing collaborations—finds Robin take the lead vocal. The duo’s up-tempo offering Looking For Love, with Robin taking the lead, turns the spotlight on the many ways—traditional and modern—of finding love. It’s preceded by They All Faded Away, which is credited to Robin Williams and long-time co-writer, Jerome Clark. Arthur Wood www.robinandlinda.com


The Roys NEW DAY DAWNING Rural Rhythm Records RUR-1105 HHH Great music, just not enough of it … I hate these mini-albums that more


and more labels are releasing … with a passion. This second ‘album’ by brother-and-sister act the Roys has just seven tracks and I feel short-changed. I remember RCA tried this ploy back in the early 1980s and country fans quite rightly boycotted them. If record labels want to kill off the CD sooner rather than later, then this is the way to do it. At just 24 minutes, it seems I’d hardly started listening when the disc finished. In its favour the quality of the seven tracks


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