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Jenni Muldaur & Teddy Thompson (from the album Once More: Jenni Muldaur & Teddy Thompson Sing the Great Country Duets
Jenni Muldaur & Teddy Thompson (from the album Once More: Jenni Muldaur & Teddy Thompson Sing the Great Country Duets available on Sun Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
As the offspring of famous parents — Jenni Muldaur’s mom being Maria Muldaur and Teddy Thompson’s parents, Richard and Linda Thompson — these two artists naturally claim a common bond. They also find themselves in a similar situation, given the fact that they had a high standard to live up to and in that regard, had plenty to prove.
Instead of attempting to move the needle forward, the pair turn it back instead by replaying a series of Country standards made famous by George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Bobby Braddock, Bill Owens and Jack Clement. Drawn from those archives, it finds the pair reimagining the classic collaborations that had George Jones first sharing the spotlight with Tammy Wynette, Porter Wagoner duetting with a young Dolly Parton, and, of course, Gram Parsons teaming with Emmylou Harris. As before, the harmonies are seamless, a perfect fit for songs about heartache and happenstance, tear-stained memories and lingering laments about love gone astray. Any number of timeless tunes set the standard — “Just Someone I Used to Know”, “Golden Ring”, “After the Fire Is Gone”, and “Just Between You and Me”, among them.
To their credit, Thompson and Muldaur deliver the material with both passion and pathos. There’s no false steps or ill-managed emotion, and whether the two are trading vocal licks ack and forth or simply putting their voices together in shared harmony, they remain assuredly in sync in each and every entry.
Thompson himself is on a kind of retro roll, given that Once More follows the tribute album he released earlier this year, the telling titled My Love of Country. It too paid homage to vintage offerings culled from the archives of Americana. There’s added authenticity in the fact that this particular album is released on the recently rebooted Sun Records label, the original home to so many of the iconic architects of modern country music.
It might be going overboard to call this album essential, but at very least it’s a definitive effort that demonstrates how legacy lives on and continues to be projected from past to present. Once More proves that any revisit can never be enough. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Jenni Muldaur & Teddy Thompson from AMAZON
For more information, please visit the Sun Records website
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