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Gove Scrivenor

Shine On – 1998 (Compass)

Reviewed by Stephen L. Betts

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CDs by Gove Scrivenor

If you can tell a lot about a man from the company he keeps, then Gove Scrivenor's new album would obviously be judged one powerful record. Lari White, Nanci Griffith, John Prine and "Cowboy" Jack Clement all join the autoharp virtuoso.

In the past, Scrivenor has contributed his stylish playing to recordings by the likes of Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Hank Williams, Jr., Glen Campbell and Iris Dement. A thoughtful writer as well as a skilled instrumentalist, Scrivenor+s album includes songwriting contributions from Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Bob Dylan. Interestingly, if you blended that trio of voices together they could easily approximate Scrivenor's own rugged, evocative sound.

From the calypso-esque opening number, to the more folk and blues-tinged tunes included, the album covers a lot of ground, but it does so quite lovingly, as evidenced in "Maybelle's Dance," an instrumental tribute to his obvious hero, Mother Maybelle Carter. Scrivenor, who has, thus far, managed to create little excitement for his own few recordings, offers a totally enthralling and eclectic album.