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Cornbread Nation

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Surrounding himself with a familiar cast of impeccable pros -- electric guitarist Kenny Vaughan, percussionist/drummer Kenny Malone, bassist Dennis Crouch, and fiddler Casey Driessen form the core of the ensemble, with guest spots from Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, and Dan Tyminski, among others -- bluegrass stalwart Tim O’Brien leads a cookout that trades heavily on some freshly arranged traditional numbers, with a couple of hearty originals adding some spice to the recipe. O’Brien offers a rustic, haunting treatment of “House of the Risin’ Sun” made doubly effective by the restrained instrumental support of Charlie Cushman on banjo and Douglas on resophonic guitar. A ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Surrounding himself with a familiar cast of impeccable pros -- electric guitarist Kenny Vaughan, percussionist/drummer Kenny Malone, bassist Dennis Crouch, and fiddler Casey Driessen form the core of the ensemble, with guest spots from Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, and Dan Tyminski, among others -- bluegrass stalwart Tim O’Brien leads a cookout that trades heavily on some freshly arranged traditional numbers, with a couple of hearty originals adding some spice to the recipe. O’Brien offers a rustic, haunting treatment of “House of the Risin’ Sun” made doubly effective by the restrained instrumental support of Charlie Cushman on banjo and Douglas on resophonic guitar. A lively dialogue between Vaughan, Duncan, and Dan Dugmore on pedal steel introduces O’Brien’s waltz take on Harlan Howard’s “Busted,” heretofore better known as a Johnny Cash evergreen. Vaughan, one of the best guitarists around, is especially affecting with his lovely, soft punctuation on the lovely country-western love ballad “The Foggy Foggy Dew,” done here as a slow shuffle with Sam Levine’s warm, sensuous solos on tenor sax augmenting an altogether captivating soundscape. O’Brien will not go down as one of the great country or bluegrass singers, but there’s a lot to be said for a personable tenor that makes a listener feel right at home -- when he cries out “Let’s go to huntin’!” in the jubilant “Let’s Go Huntin’ ” and enumerates the particulars of a scrumptious supper in the mild stomp that is “Cornbread Nation,” he’s talkin’ the talk as credibly as Doc Watson. Cornbread Nation doesn’t arrive with a lot of pre-release fanfare, but its sterling musicianship and heartwarming soul mark it as one of the year’s high-water marks in traditional music.
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
In the early fall of 2005, Tim O'Brien simultaneously released two albums, Cornbread Nation and Fiddler's Green, on Sugar Hill. And while both dig deep into the fabric of American roots music, the albums also revealed O'Brien's split musical personality, a split that dates back to his work with Hot Rize/Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers during the 1980s. Cornbread Nation gives birth to the more expansive side of his neo-traditional core, allowing him to borrow from country and soul, and to meld instruments as varied as electric guitar and congas to a folk base. The opening cut, "Hold On," features an infectious hillbilly-rock beat, driven by Kenny Vaughan's electric guitar and Kenny Malone's rhythmic base, while the traditional "Moses" affects a gospel feel thanks to the presence of a small choir. "The Foggy Foggy Dew," on the other hand, co-opts a very mellow Western swing, while "Walkin' Boss" comes close -- save the presence of a drum kit -- to bluegrass. Eclecticism, then, rules the day on Cornbread Nation, with players and instruments changing from song to song. Far from scattered, though, the album is underpinned by the dominance of traditional songs like "House of the Rising Son" and "Boat Up the River." Further unity is provided by O'Brien's expressive vocals and exuberant performances by everyone involved. A couple of these songs, especially "Moses," are too long, and the O'Brien originals, like the title track, lack the fire that made his work with Darrell Scott so exciting on Real Time in 2000. Overall, though, O'Brien shows himself capable of adding to tradition on Cornbread Nation without stripping the raw authenticity from these old songs. Experienced with Fiddler's Green, the album represents O'Brien's continued exploration and updating of the best of American roots music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/13/2005
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • UPC: 015891400525
  • Catalog Number: 4005
  • Sales rank: 148,908

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hold On (3:49)
  2. 2 Moses (6:00)
  3. 3 Cornbread Nation (2:48)
  4. 4 The Foggy Dew (3:22)
  5. 5 Let's Go Huntin' (5:27)
  6. 6 Walkin' Boss (4:30)
  7. 7 House of the Rising Sun (5:37)
  8. 8 Runnin' Out of Memory (3:03)
  9. 9 Busted (3:27)
  10. 10 California Blues (3:50)
  11. 11 Boat Up the River (2:52)
  12. 12 When This World Comes to an End (4:29)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tim O'Brien Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Bouzouki, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Jerry Douglas Lap Steel Guitar, Guitar (Resonator)
Del McCoury Vocals
Dennis Crouch Bass, Bass Guitar
John Doyle Guitar
Dan Dugmore Steel Guitar
Stuart Duncan Banjo, Fiddle
Sam Levine Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Kenny Malone Drums, Tambourine
John Mock Concertina
Mollie O'Brien Vocals
Dirk Powell Banjo, Bass, Accordion
Darrell Scott Vocals
Dan Tyminski Guitar, Vocals
Kenny Vaughan Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Charlie Cushman Banjo
Chris Thile Mandolin
Casey Driessen Fiddle
Odessa Settles Vocals
Todd Suttles Vocals
Technical Credits
Seamus Egan Whistle
Harlan Howard Composer
Tim O'Brien Arranger, Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Sue Meyer Illustrations
Traditional Composer
Kit Swaggert Composer, Artwork
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