Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week’s alternative CD releases
Rosanne Cash - She Remembers Everything (Blue Note Records). It can never be easy to live a rewarding creative life in the daunting shadow of a famous father, but Johnny Cash’s eldest daughter has coped admirably with the additional pressure that this brings, and her latest Blue Note CD finds her serving up a string of subtly compelling musings on the human condition observed from a distinctly feminine perspective. Devotees of country music and Americana in general should find it a well nigh indispensable package. with luminaries such as T-Bone Burnett. Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Costello lending a hand as Rosanne delivers her finest album in many a long year.
Jess Klein - Back To My Green (Blue Rose Records) Back To My Green is the first offering that alt country singer-songwriter Jess Klein has unleashed on an unsuspecting world since she made the momentous decision to tie the knot with fellow tunesmith Mike June and relocate from the musical hotbed of Austin, Texas to the wilds of rural North Carolina.The new domestic arrangements and change of scenery have obviously done Jess the world of good on the evidence presented by this vibrant and life-enhancing set.
Tommy Emmanuel & John Knowles - Heart Songs (Thirty Tigers). This absorbing new instrumental collection finds acclaimed acoustic guitar virtuosos Emmanuel and Knowles breathing new life into a varied assortment of songs linked by the common theme of love. The subtle and sophisticated interplay which develops between these two master musicians is a joy to behold as they revive such unlikely bedfellows as Hank Williams’s Cold. Cold. Heart, West Side Story’s Somewhere and The Hollies’ poignant 1969 hit, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother for your listening pleasure.
Car Songs: The 70s (Demon Music). Archive anthologies such as this invariably contain a bewildering blend of the classic and the eminently disposable, and this fun filled four-CD set is no exception to the rule. Timeless gems from the likes of Mott the Hoople, Lou Reed and Sly and the Family Stone sit snugly here alongside much more forgettable contributions from seventies hit-makers such as The Nolans, Clout and 1972 chart-toppers Chicory Tip of Son of My Father fame.