Loretta Lynn - Still Country!
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Still Country! (Audium, 2000)

Loretta Lynn

Reviewed by Dan Williams

The Favorite Daughter of Butcher Holler, Kentucky is back...Aside from an appearance on 1993's "Honky Tonk Angels" trio album, "Country!" is Lynn's first release of new material in over a decade. She spent much of that time caring for her ailing husband Mooney, who passed away in 1996. Much of this record's energy and grit seem a clear attempt to come to terms with that loss.

Mooney's spirit does indeed hover over the proceedings. Ballads like "Table For Two" and "I Can't Hear The Music" are deeply felt testaments; while she tentatively stakes out a new life with "On My Own Again." She proffers a pair that seem Statements of Purpose: the back-to-roots "Country In My Genes,"and the defiant sass of "The Blues Ain't Workin' On Me."

Producer Randy Scruggs has assembled a group of players that nicely enhance this material: a tasty fiddle here, the crackle of Earl Scruggs' banjo there. And her voice remains a thing of beauty; plaintive and low on the ballads, brassy and assertive elsewhere. Lynn imbues everything she sings with real emotion, a quality too often lost on the current crop of hitmakers and scenesters.

Welcome back, Loretta. The old-guard firmament's seemed incomplete without you.

CDs by Loretta Lynn

White Christmas Blue, 2016 Full Circle, 2016

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