Monday, March 12, 2007

(03.12.07) Recommends:

Charlie Louvin, "Charlie Louvin" (Tompkins Square, 2007).

In 2007, Charlie Louvin is being called the father of He wrote "The Christian Life" and performed it with his brother in the aptly-named band the Louvin Brothers. Then Gram Parsons covered that song during his stint with the Byrds. And Gram Parsons was a heavy influence on, among others, Uncle Tupelo, the first modern alt. country band. Hence: Charlie Louvin, father of

He is 80 now, and recently put out a solo record. It's just him singing old songs with some new voices (Jeff Tweedy, Will Oldham, Paul Burch) and some old voices (Bobby Bare Sr, Elvis Costello). It's produced by Mark Nevers, occasional member of Lambchomp (another great project). I love projects like this -- rediscovery of great artists -- and we've seen some great ones over the last several years: Rick Rubin/Johnny Cash. Jack White/Loretta Lynn. Rick Rubin/Neil Diamond. Last year's Springsteen album full of Pete Seeger covers. This is an album that goes on that list.

The two tracks I've listened to most frequently are "Great Atomic Power" (w/ Tweedy) and "My Long Journey Home" (w/ Burch). Uncle Tupelo covered "Great Atomic Power" on their album "March 16-20, 1992." I was hoping John Kerry would have used this as a campaign song in '04. It certainly would have gotten most people's attention. And freaked the holy hell out of everyone else. Which was needed in '04. But alas: irony and politics, meet oil and water.

Here's the album version of "Great Atomic Power."
Here's Uncle Tupelo's version.
(links via Each Note Secure)

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