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REGGIE YOUNG — FOREVER YOUNG (Ace Records)

 

www.acerecords.com

 

Now here is a big surprise and a pleasant one at that. It is a real coup, because recorded music under his own name is most rare. An album from session legendary guitarist, Missouri-born Reggie Young is unheard of. ‘He made this album for himself and for everyone who has ever listened to his intros, fills, turnarounds, and solos and thought ‘I’d love to hear an album of that’ (taken from Colin Escott’s wonderful liner notes).

 

For one, I am thrilled to see this album out, and after listening to some of the music left feeling I was walking on air. You too will feel this way if you enjoy the sound of cultured guitar playing. Young knows how to play and when little is more! He also makes it all so, so deceptively easy. If you have forty minutes, and want to chill I can’t think of a better sound to accompany you. It will undoubtedly ease your mind.    

 

Steeped in southern flavours, Young and his main support comes from (Clayton Ivey, wurlitzer), Catherine Marx (keyboards), Chad Cromwell (drums), Jennifer Lynn Young (cello) and David Hood (bass) plus, on a track or two you have David Hungate, Dennis Belfield (bass), Mike Rojas (electric piano), Jim Brown (keyboards), Shannon Forrest (drums) plus Jim Horn and the wailing horns (Horn, Steve Herman and Charles Rose), it is, in anyone’s book one hugely impressive array of talent. 

 

Drawing on sixty years experience, playing also non-stop Young kicks back. When he wasn’t in the studio he could be heard playing with the Highwaymen, Waylon Jennings’ last band, and going back to the 1960s when he was in the studio playing guitar on Dusty Springfield’s “Son Of A Preacher Man”, The Box Top’s “Cry Like A Baby”, Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto” and “Suspicious Minds” and later down the line Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind”, Willie & Merle Haggard’s “Poncho And Lefty”. The string of credits is endless as you also have Waylon’s “Luckenbach, Texas”, John Prine’s “Same Stone”, J. J. Cale’s “Cocaine”, Hank Williams Jnr’s “Family Tradition” and Danny O’Keefe’s “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” plus a ton more. In 1964 Young was a member of the Bill Black Combo that opened for The Beatles on their first tour of the States, and not too long afterwards he became a session man at American Studios in Memphis. Though he may be best known to many for his Nashville days his formative years playing blues, and r&b have a huge say in his playing. He also did some, along with his picking friends for Jerry Wexler in New York; in-between those for Buddy Killen in Nashville. What to be a fly on the wall in those studios and famous recording sessions? 

 

As far as the seven instrumental tunes that stretch over for thirty-nine minutes the recording is seamless, beautifully constructed and produced, the listener is eased through many flavours. “Memphis Grease” is a real gem, loaded in sax, trombone and trumpet and killer lead guitar it provokes memories of J.J. Cale! While “Soul Love” is more open, less intense, but like with the “Coming Home To Leiper’s Fork” and light ‘n breezy “Seagrove Place” and “It’s About Time” so beautifully fluent. More than anything it is the subtle variances, in and within the songs that impressed me most. As he hits a cool feel on “Exit” and “Jennifer” (written for his wife I presume) as the music eases effortlessly to a close.

 

                                                              Maurice Hope           

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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