Friday, October 2, 2009

Patty Loveless - Mountain Soul II

Rather than view modern Country music as a creepy commercialized excuse for bad videos and depersonalized stadium tours, Patty Loveless is one of those artists who recognizes the priceless legacy she has been entrusted with. Country music is truly an American commodity. It is uniquely of this country, but it’s rich roots are easily traced to Blues, Irish and many other musical traditions. On Mountain Soul II Loveless surrounds herself with the cream of Country, Folk and Bluegrass players (Vince Gill, Del McCoury Band, Mike Auldridge, Rob Ickes, etc) and takes on a program of well-known standards as well as a few more personal selections to stunning result. Loveless is possessed of one of the great voices in modern music. She is a master of all the twang and pathos traditional country demands, but like her peer Emmylou Harris she also has a gift that defies categorization. On ballads like “Prisoner’s Tears” or the chilling duet with Vince Gill and Rebecca Lynn Howard “Friends In Gloryland/ Children Of Abraham,” she sends chills, while on traditional uptempo numbers like Harlan Howards’ “Busted” or the McCoury family aided “Working On A Building,” she is back-porch relaxed and injects just the right notes of reverence and fun into her performances. Mountain Soul is exactly the right term for what Loveless accomplishes on the excellent album.

Paul Epstein

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