What does it sound like?:
This is a public service message as much as a review.
Rodney Crowell has press-ganged various of his chums into providing tracks for a digital only compilation in aid of the Music Health Alliance in the States, which offers support to the music community including critical mental health and COVID-19 support. It’s avaiable on Bandcamp, and for two weeks only – up until the 19th of February, so just a couple of days left.
It’s all in a good cause, but the bonus is that it’s actually rather good. There’s a great list of artists inclduing Ry Cooder, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Jeff Tweedy and Crowell himself. Most tracks are demos of songs already released – Harris has a lovely rendition of her song ‘Gold’, for example, and Williams contributes ‘When the Way Gets Dark’ from her last album. Taj Mahal performs a great version of ‘Sittin’ On Top of The World’. And there are some songs which as far as I know are previously unreleased, including a terrific one from Costello, ‘Maud Gone Wrong’ (Costello fans can correct me if it is already out there somewhere). Cooder, bless his cotton socks, opens the album with a typically rambuctious song for our times entitled ‘Baby Started Wearing Her Mask’.
All in all it has a pleasantly laid back feel and coheres as an album much better than these things typically do. If you like these artists its certainly worth £11 or so of your hard earned money,
What does it all *mean*?
It doesn’t mean much but it’s one of many examples of musicians helping each other in these times, and Crowell is to be applauded for pulling it off, and doing it so well. The fact that it is entitled Volume 1 suggests there will be more.
Goes well with…
A social conscience and a desire to help some of those musicans out there who are struggling so badly in all of this.
Out now but only until 19 February
Might suit people who like…
Country, blues, folk; Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Rodney Crowell, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy, Taj Mahal, etc – so basically the entire Afterword, amirite?