September 19, 2020

Various Artists – Dancehall Dreamin’: A Tribute to Pat Green – Greenhouse Records

By Kristi Kates | April 21, 2018



Various Artists – Dancehall Dreamin’: A Tribute to Pat Green – Greenhouse Records
Following Pat Green along the ol’ dirt road are a plethora of his fans — who also happen to be his musical peers — and they’ve contributed their versions of his songs on this eclectic tribute album. A total of 20 tracks are included here. Ten of them are music, by the likes of John Baumann (“Nightmare”), Aaron Watson (“Crazy”), Walt Wilkins (“Washington Avenue”), and the Randy Rogers Band featuring Radney Foster (“Three Days”); the other 10 are intriguing “behind the scenes” stories about the making of each track. ***

Will Stewart – County Seat – Cornelius Chapel Records
On Stewart’s first full-length effort and his first release since moving from Nashville to his home state of Alabama, his influences are clearly outlined, as solid as with a Sharpie, as each track reveals its roots on first listen. Whether Stewart is drawing upon more vintage inspirations like Neil Young or Bob Dylan (“Sipsey,” “Dark Halls”), or quirkily bringing more modern-day folk-pop into the mix (just listen to those Michael-Stipe-ian phrasings on “Brush Arbor”), it’s a set full of personal detail. *** 

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers – Years – Bloodshot Records
If you like the edgier side of country — aka alt-country — Shook and her gang are probably right up your alley. Fusing upright bass drones with steel guitar riffs and the group’s direct, pointed songwriting, this album charges directly ahead at all times, from the coastal-California rock of “Lesson” to the Arkansas punk of “Good as Gold.” Even the slower numbers never really let up, as Shook simply substitutes dramatic emotions for tempo on tracks like the agonizingly personal “Parting Words.” ** ½

Johnny Cash – Forever Words – Legacy/Columbia
Bringing forward a collection of Johnny Cash’s previously unknown lyrics, poetry, and even some letters, an assortment of musicians pay tribute to Cash and his writings by setting his words to music. Recorded in Nashville and co-produced by John Carter Cash, the album includes standout contributions from Brad Paisley (“Gold All Over the Ground”), Alison Krauss “The Captain’s Daughter”), Elvis Costello (“I’ll Still Love You”), and the late Chris Cornell (“You Never Knew My Mind”). It’s an emotional set worthy of Cash’s work. *** ½


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