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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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November 2017

1
JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,BH,RST,LK
2
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
BP,FS,HD
3
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
HM,TK
4
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
TJ
5
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
 
6
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
BR,MW
7
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
JS
8
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Rivers
Independent
FC
 
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
SP
10
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
MG
 
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
JB
12
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
RK
 
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
HVB,PJ
 
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
 
15
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
HDB,JJ
 
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
LM,SZ
 
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
CVL,DHO
18
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
 
19
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
 
20
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Independent
 
 
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
 
 
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Matador
EZ
23
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Independent
 
 
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
 
 
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
 
 
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Independent
GC,RW
 
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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