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Various Artists (from Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson available on Easy Eye Sound/Concord) (by Lee Zimmerman)
An artist’s worth can often be measured by the musicians that line up to pay tribute whenever the opportunity arises. In the case of singer and songwriter John Anderson, it was an A-list gathering of friends and admirers who stepped up to honor the man many consider an iconic presence within traditional Country circles. The contributing credits read like a list of today’s best and brightest — with the late John Prine, Jamey Johnson, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Tyler Childers, Eric Church, Sierra Ferrell, Sierra Hull, Nathaniel Rateliff, Luke Combs, Ashley McBride, and Sturgill Simpson, among the many. Overseen by producer Dan Auerbach, the resulting album, Something Borrowed, Something New, offers honors in a dynamic and distinctive way.
Given the fact that Anderson could be considered old school — he’s rarely mentioned in the same breath as today’s more commercial contenders or radio-ready superstars — some might be enticed to acquire the album because of the marquee names billed on the album cover. Of course, that’s not to demean Anderson’s original material. However, it’s likely that only those who are fully aware of John Anderson’s resume will be induced to buy it for that reason alone.
Hopefully then, the guest list alone will provide ample incentive. Nevertheless, none of the those involved take extraordinary liberties with their interpretation of the material. However, they do bring the songs to full fruition, courtesy of the emotional investment imbued within each of their offering. That’s not to say they don’t provide a personal approach. Prine’s reading of “1959” is diligent, down- home, and decidedly nostalgic as is Sierra Ferrell’s take on “Tears”, Brent Cobb’s cover of “Wild and Blue”, and Tyler Childers’ “Shoot Low Sheriff” contribution. Other offerings veer towards more emphatic fare, like Nathaniel Rateliff’s turn on “Long Dog Blues”, Luke Comb’s demonstrative approach to “Seminole Wind”, and a spunky and funky “Mississippi Moon” that comes courtesy of Eric Church.
In fact, every song finds new life in the capable hands of these exceptional artists, allowing Something Borrowed, Something New to bring truth to its title. Fans of John Anderson have reason to rave, while those who may have been unaware of Anderson before can now claim to have made an exceptional new discovery. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Something Borrowed, Something New from AMAZON
Please go to the Something Borrowed, Something New website for more information
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