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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
Singer-songwriter, Fayssoux (McLean) was in an earlier life (1970s) harmony vocalist to Emmylou Harris no less. Harris the then Queen of Country rock and more was only just starting out, but making huge waves via her albums Elite Hotel and Pieces of Sky; followed by the likes of Luxury Liner, Quarter Moon In A 10 Cent Town etc.
Much water has run under the bridge since. Not least the fact that has emerge, finally as a recording act in her own right and debuted in 2008 with her album, Early (also on Red Beet).
Joining Fayssoux you have esteemed player and producer, Thomm Jutz (acoustic guitar, harmony vocals) plus Sierra Hull (mandolin), Jen Gunderman (accordion, piano), Justin Moses (fiddle, banjo), Mark Fain (upright bass), Pat McInerney (percussion) and vocalists Peter Cooper (co-producer), Donna Ulisse, Eric Brace and special guest, Tom T. Hall on his song “I Made A Friend Of A Flower Today”. The record opens with the superb, soothing fiddle, mandolin enhanced “I Can’t Wait” to set the tone (one of gentle rolling melodies). As you have country as they come David Ball and his beautiful song “When The thought Of You Catches Up With Me” and Mose Allison’s “My Brain” (reminiscent in melody to Rosetta Sharpe’s gospel tune “This Train Is Bound For Glory”) and with Fayssoux using her experience well, she is likewise a hit with covers of Merle Haggard’s “Mama’s Hungry Eyes” and superb bluegrass romp “The Last Night Of The War” (McLean, Jutz, Cooper). As banjo, fiddle and mandolin and sprightly melody propel Fayssoux vocals along a path that is anything but rocky. Time has been kind to her vocals as displayed on a jazz hinted, flexible “Ragged Old Heart”, before wrestling with R.B Morris’ “Hell On The Poor Boy”. This is where Fayssoux's ability as a storyteller eases through as she makes lyrics count. Likewise, the soulful “Running Out of Lies”, a clever little piece of writing from Jutz, Cooper and herself it too finds her in fine form.
Jim Lauderdale’s melancholy love ballad “Some Things Are Too Good To Last” closes the album. On which Cooper lends his lonesome tones to those of a lady not only able to count on Emmylou as a fan, but many others. It is some list too, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Rodney Crowell (who is a huge fan), Ricky Skaggs and Buddy Miller.
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