Charlie Louvin [2007]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Although country giant Charlie Louvin has rarely taken a break from recording, this effort promises to be his highest-profile album release in some time. As one half of country's greatest brother duo with his older sibling Ira, Charlie sang a sturdy, emotive lead tenor harmony to Ira's soaring, otherworldly high tenor (Bill Monroe considered Ira the second-best tenor ever, after himself); now nearing 80, his weathered voice is endearingly rough around the edges, but he can still plumb the heart of a song like no one else. The dozen tracks here amount to Louvin landmarks, both from the brothers' catalog (towering entries such as "When I Stop Dreaming," featuring a wobbly ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Although country giant Charlie Louvin has rarely taken a break from recording, this effort promises to be his highest-profile album release in some time. As one half of country's greatest brother duo with his older sibling Ira, Charlie sang a sturdy, emotive lead tenor harmony to Ira's soaring, otherworldly high tenor (Bill Monroe considered Ira the second-best tenor ever, after himself); now nearing 80, his weathered voice is endearingly rough around the edges, but he can still plumb the heart of a song like no one else. The dozen tracks here amount to Louvin landmarks, both from the brothers' catalog (towering entries such as "When I Stop Dreaming," featuring a wobbly second vocal by Elvis Costello, and the ever-topical "The Great Atomic Power," complete with a children's chorus plus Jeff Tweedy backing Charlie) and from Charlie's solo work (most notably his stirring tribute "Ira," which articulates most vividly how Charlie continues to feel his brother's presence in his music). Although Tift Merritt conjures a chilling performance when her turn comes on the Carter Family's "Grave on the Green Hillside," and Bright Eyes' Alex McManus is suitably doom-laden on "Kneeling Drunkard's Plea," the most effective duet partners are veterans George Jones, Tom T. Hall, and Bobby Bare Sr. Bare Sr. and Tom T. (the latter in a husky recitation) are good 'n' greasy on "Blues Stay Away from Me," and Jones is ragged but right on Bill Anderson's comical breakup song "Must You Throw Dirt in My Face" and on a rustic version of Jimmie Rodgers's "Waiting for a Train." But Charlie is always the star -- he's the one who brings it on every cut, his depth of soul and buoyancy of spirit leaving a listener slack-jawed.
All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
Charlie Louvin has been singing on his own for more than four decades, but he'll still always be known above all else as the lower-voiced half of country's famed Louvin Brothers. Every so often Charlie -- his brother, Ira Louvin, died in 1965 -- trots out a new album to remind fans that he's still going strong, and this time -- for his first new studio set in a decade -- he's got a lot of help to assist in making the point. Among the guests lending a hand here are George Jones, the omnipresent Elvis Costello, Marty Stuart, Tom T. Hall, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, and members of contemporary rock and country bands such as Superchunk, Clem Snide, and Lambchop, all invited into the proceedings by producer Mark Nevers. As is often the case when superstars pay tribute to admired old-timers by mixing it up with them, be it Jerry Lee Lewis or Ray Charles or Charlie Louvin, the innate talent of the old-timer, if egos are kept in check, only gets magnified, and that's a good thing indeed. Louvin's voice has weathered plenty over the years, but he's still a master, and though there are little touches of rock and other contemporary sounds injected (not surprising, perhaps, because the Louvins were among the first to use electric guitar in country), more often than not the visitors find their space in Louvin's groove and ornament it without getting in his face. There are Louvin Brothers classics here, including "The Christian Life," once recorded by the Byrds, and -- with Tweedy in tow -- 1952's "Great Atomic Power," co-written with Buddy Bain and as relevant today as it was at the start of the Cold War era. Jones and Stuart lend vocals and mandolin, respectively, to Jimmie Rodgers' "Waiting for a Train," and Stuart returns, along with Hall and Bobby Bare, Sr., for the oft-recorded "Blues Stay Away from Me," written by one of the other great sibling harmony acts, the Delmore Brothers. But it's not until the album's penultimate track, "Ira," that the full emotional depth of Charlie Louvin's singing and songwriting is fully exposed. A tribute to his late brother ("I still hear you, off in the distance, your sweet harmony"), it's touching and sweet, the perfect juxtaposition to Charlie Louvin's voice, road-weary but still carrying the torch.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/20/2007
  • Label: Tompkins Square
  • UPC: 856075001042
  • Catalog Number: 1042
  • Sales rank: 141,812

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Must You Throw Dirt in My Face (2:34)
  2. 2 Great Atomic Power - Jeff Tweedy (2:44)
  3. 3 Blues Stay Away from Me (3:17)
  4. 4 The Christian Life - Eef Barzelay (2:24)
  5. 5 When I Stop Dreaming (3:05)
  6. 6 Waiting for a Train (3:45)
  7. 7 The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea - Alex McManus (2:56)
  8. 8 Worried Man Blues - Kurt Wagner (3:04)
  9. 9 Grave on the Green Hillside - Tift Merritt (3:41)
  10. 10 Knoxville Girl - Will Oldham (4:14)
  11. 11 Ira (3:47)
  12. 12 My Long Journey Home - Paul Burch (3:24)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charlie Louvin Primary Artist
Marty Stuart Mandolin
Tom T. Hall Vocals
George Jones Vocals
Elvis Costello Vocals
Chip Young Acoustic Guitar
Dennis Crouch Upright Bass
Pete Cummings Acoustic Guitar
Tony Harrell Keyboards
Tracy Miller Background Vocals
Jeff Tweedy Background Vocals
David Kilgour Electric Guitar
Mac McCaughan Organ, Guitar
Kurt Wagner Vocals
Alex McManus Vocals
Tony Crow Piano
Will Oldham Vocals
Paul Burch Guitar
Tift Merritt Vocals
Chris Scruggs Acoustic Guitar
Dan John Miller Background Vocals
Lily Nevers Background Vocals
William Tyler Acoustic Guitar
Brian Kotzur Drums
Technical Credits
Anita Carter Composer
Charlie Monroe Composer
Mother Maybelle Carter Composer
A.P. Carter Composer
June Carter Cash Composer
Jim DeMain Mastering
Henry Glover Composer
Ira Louvin Composer
Charlie Louvin Arranger, Composer, Producer
Mark Nevers Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Wayne Raney Composer
Helen Carter Composer
Alton Delmore Composer
Rabon Delmore Composer
Joel T. Jordan Art Direction
Buddy Bain Composer
Traditional Composer
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