Eva Cassidy, Chieftans, Steve Earle...
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rickfri

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During the last four or five months I have been spending more on music (old and new) than on improving my headphone system. In the last month and a half I have purchased three CD's that are very good, that have not been mentioned here. So, in a never ending quest to impress my tastes on everybody else, here's some small reviews.

Eva Cassidy - "Imagine" This is, of course, previously unreleased material. The songs vary in recording quality. Some of them are very good. The ones I really like are "Fever", "Who Knows Where the Time Goes", and "Early Morning Rain". Her phrasing on these songs is completely her own. After "Live at the Blues Alley" this is my favorite Eva Cassidy CD.

Chieftans - "Down the Old Plank Road/The Nashville Sessions" Since the release of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" it seems like everybody has been putting out compilations of traditional/bluegrass music. This CD is the Chieftans entry. The fact that they have been recording traditional music, and doing collaborations, for longer than I can remember, gives them the right, and maybe the obligation, to record this CD. The people on this CD are some of the best in traditional music today (Earl Scruggs, Ricky Scaggs, Alison Krauss, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, etc.) John Hiatt even sings backup on a couple of the songs. My favorites are "Katie Dear" with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings and "Give the Fiddler a Dram" a ten minute acoustic jam.

Steve Earle - "Jerusalem" In an era when CCR's "Fortunate Son" is used by a jeans company to wave the flag, this CD is going to piss some people off. It already has. I suspect the people it will piss off the worst are the ones who haven't listened to any of the CD or the people who have only listened to one song off the CD. I put this CD on and was going to read while I listened to it. From the first note to the last I didn't get a word read, then I played it again, it's that good. Half the songs (including "Amerika v. 6.0" and "John Walker's Blues") are pure protest, "I Remember You" a love song, and "Jerusalem" is a plea for understanding in some troubled times. Earle has never been afraid to take chances with his music, and this CD is no exception.
 
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Born2bwire

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The Chieftains did "Another Country" a lil while back, which is another country music flair album. I'd suggest you check it out. Plus, the album is recorded in Dolby Surround, so that's a neat lil gimmick.
 
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neil

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Thanks for info on the Eva CD. Man, I really do wish she was still with us. I'm sure we would have been treated wonderfully for years and years with her beautiful voice.
 
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