Wednesday, July 8, 2009
– Appalachian music worked the first time around for Patty Loveless, so she's going to do it again. "Mountain Soul II" comes out Sept. 29 on Saguaro Road.
"It's Appalachian, bluegrass and country combined," said Loveless. "You should never try to duplicate something like 'Mountain Soul.' What you should do is enhance. So this is like a continuation."
The first "Mountain Soul" CD was issued June 2001 and as a result of fan response, Loveless was invited to perform on the "Down From the Mountain" tour. She says that experience introduced her to a whole new audience.
"I was blessed to be able to expose my music to people who normally don't listen to country music. They loved the more organic, rootsy thing, but they don't listen to mainstream country. I met quite a few people who told me that. They kept wanting me to try and recapture that sound. They'd say, 'When are you
Loveless' husband and producer Emory Gordy Jr. recruited fiddler Deanie Richardson, Dobro player Rob Ickes, singer Jon Randall and harmony vocalists Rebecca Lynn Howard, all of whom had backed Loveless on the original "Mountain Soul."
Bluegrass greats Del and Ronnie McCoury participated, as did Vince Gill, Carl Jackson, Bryan Sutton, Mike Auldridge, Emmylou Harris, steel guitarist Al Perkins, Loveless' 16-year-old vocal discovery Sydni Perry and several other visitors to the Music Row recording sessions.
"We just had such a great time," said Loveless. "It was like we were singing and playing for each other. We wanted to try and make it live, as much as possible. There were no drums, so everybody gravitated towards each other's inner rhythms. We started the sessions on a Monday, and we finished that Thursday evening. I had so much fun making this record that I didn't want it to end."
Songs range from the traditional gospel tunes Working on a Building and Friends in Gloryland to contemporary compositions such as Randall's ballad You Burned the Bridge and Barbara Keith's folk ode Bramble and the Rose. The daughter of a Kentucky coal miner, Loveless restores the original mining lyrics to Harlan Howard's 1962 classic Busted. On the Emmylou Harris song Diamond in My Crown, Loveless' vocal is accompanied by a harmony part from its originator. Gordy's co-written When the Last Curtain Falls is a honky-tonker. The lovely melody of Fools Thin Air, penned by Susanna Clark and Rodney Crowell, is filled with bluegrass harmony. Prisoner's Tears is backed by sighing steel guitar.
Loveless took a rare turn at writing, penning We Are All) Children of Abraham with Gordy as her collaborator. The team also co-wrote Big Chance.
"It all just came together," Loveless said. "It was like we were in my living room performing. I loved being around those folks. Having all of those people in there, you felt like you were at a really special get-together."
"Mountain Soul II " is the follow-up to "Sleepless Nights," Loveless' Grammy Award nominated debut album for Saguaro Road.