We've gone on a bit of a music buying kick lately. It's been quite some time since I'd purchased CDs, & now suddenly I've picked up a bunch. We watched a documentary on PBS a few weeks ago about Merle Haggard... I think that's what started this. Here's a quick overview of what we've gotten:
1) Gram Parsons: GP/Grievous Angel
I know there are people out there who have based their lives on The Burrito's Guilded Palace of Sin & Burrito Deluxe, but I've always thought they were a bit too slick & over-produced. This feeling has lead me to ignore Gram's solo stuff until now... & that was a big mistake. I'm sure most of you know this already, but these 2 albums are fantastic. More closely resembling his work on The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo than his stuff w/ the Burritos. I've been enjoying this a lot lately!
2) Kris Kristofferson: Kristofferson
This is a pretty strange album. It's got his biggest hits on it but them some silly 70s singer/songwriter talking blues stuff & a song that sounds like it could have come from Kurt Weill. I like it a lot though. "Sunday Morning Coming Down" is soooo cool... but you knew that anyway.
3) Phish: Colorado '88
This is the earliest Phish recording I have. (I used to have older tapes, but I don't know what happened to them over the years.) This finds them right in the middle of their circus music meets Zappa phase before they got into the jazzier stuff a couple years later. It has all of The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday stuff plus a few tunes from Junta 7 some cool covers. It's an amazing document from the early day. It's crazy to think about how long they've been around. I haven't seen them since 1997, but I think if they were to come around here, I'd be sure to go again.
4) Emmylou Harris: Elite Hotel
This has been in Stephanie's car since I brought it home & thus I haven't listened to it yet. One of these day, Emmylou... One of these day!
5) Neko Case: Live in Austin, TX
I listened to this a few times already & loaned it to Liz & Dan who promptly returned it already too. I imagine people who like her already know that this is worth getting & people who haven't listened to her wont run out & get this, but do yourself a favor & give it a go. Her cover of "Buckets of Rain" is amazing!
6) Merle Haggard: 16 Biggest Hits
This is horrible! The track listing is good, the original recordings are great, but this has some fucked up rerecordings. His voice & he pedal steel are fine, but the drums sound like they were programmed on an old Casio keyboard. It's almost unlistenable... I take that back... it is unlistenable.
7) Norman Blake & Tony Rice: Blake & Rice
I've been loving Tony Rice since Drivetrain introduced me to him in 1997, but my knowledge of Norman Blake has been limited to cover versions of "Ginseng Sullivan." This is a fun rootsy bluegrass album (I know... big surprise). I've really been digging "New River Train" & "Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar," but everything is well done on the entire album.
8) The Flying Burrito Brothers: Close Encounters to the West Coast
Although it was recorded few years after Gram's death, & as such, doesn't feature Gram Parsons, I think this is my favorite Burrito Brothers album. The fact that it's live means there isn't the same studio slickness & they include some fun covers too: "Rocky Top," "Rollin' in My sweet Baby's Arms," "White Line Fever," & "Truck Drivin' Man."
9) Del McCoury Band: Del & the Boys
I've never really listened to them before, but people have been raving about them for 15 years. I'm glad I found this @ a garage sale for a buck, because I doubt I would have shelled out the money elsewhere, & it's really cool.