Face a Frowning World : an E.C. Ball Memorial Album

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
E.C. Ball was a genius composer of old-time country and gospel songs, the man responsible for classic bluegrass fare like "Poor Ellen Smith" and "Pretty Polly," as well as the deathless gospel anthem "Tribulations." A tribute album like this, overdue as it is, is a tightrope walk: irony will kill it dead, but so will overarching earnestness, both of which, sadly, are tendencies among the urban singer/songwriter hipsters who are frequently drawn to such projects. It's a tribute to the professionalism of the mixed bag of musicians who contributed to this album that both irony and earnestness are kept tightly in check -- for the most part. Both Dave Bird (on "He's My God") ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
E.C. Ball was a genius composer of old-time country and gospel songs, the man responsible for classic bluegrass fare like "Poor Ellen Smith" and "Pretty Polly," as well as the deathless gospel anthem "Tribulations." A tribute album like this, overdue as it is, is a tightrope walk: irony will kill it dead, but so will overarching earnestness, both of which, sadly, are tendencies among the urban singer/songwriter hipsters who are frequently drawn to such projects. It's a tribute to the professionalism of the mixed bag of musicians who contributed to this album that both irony and earnestness are kept tightly in check -- for the most part. Both Dave Bird (on "He's My God") and Catherine Irwin ("Cabin on the Hill") commit fairly serious crimes of quavery falseness on their contributions, but Rayna Gellert's beautifully understated rendition of "Lord I Want More Religion" is absolutely perfect, as is the Handsome Family's eerie take on "Jenny Jenkins." The Sandpaper Dolls pay "Jubilee" the respect it is due, by rendering it with plainspoken professionalism, whereas Bonnie "Prince" Billy joins with Bird and Irwin to halfway destroy Ball's holiday-gospel masterpiece "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem." Jon Langford delivers a loosely but wonderfully rocking interpretation of "When I Get Home, I'm Gonna Be Satisfied," and Joe Manning gives "Warfare" an equally fine country-rock setting. All in all, this is a deeply uneven but ultimately rewarding tribute to a man who deserves one or two more similar homages.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/8/2009
  • Label: Tompkins Square
  • UPC: 894807002288
  • Catalog Number: 2288
  • Sales rank: 266,717

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Introduction - E.C. Ball (1:01)
  2. 2 He's My God - Dave Bird (3:07)
  3. 3 John the Baptist - Bonnie "Prince" Billy (3:28)
  4. 4 Jenny Jenkins - The Handsome Family (4:05)
  5. 5 Warfare - Joe Manning (3:56)
  6. 6 Plain Old Country Lad - Pokey LaFarge (2:40)
  7. 7 Lord I Want More Religion - Rayna Gellert (3:43)
  8. 8 The Early Bird Always Gets the Worm - Michael Hurley (3:13)
  9. 9 When I Get Home I'm Gonna Be Satisfied - Jon Langford (2:30)
  10. 10 Tribulations - Glen Dentinger (4:35)
  11. 11 One Day I Will - Nathan Salsburg (3:19)
  12. 12 Cabin On the Hill (3:27)
  13. 13 When I Can Read My Titles Clear - Glen Dentinger (4:49)
  14. 14 Beautiful Star of Bethlehem - Dave Bird (4:37)
  15. 15 Fathers Have a Home Sweet Home - Jan Bell (2:54)
  16. 16 Jubilee - The Sandpaper Dolls (4:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Michael Hurley Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Jon Langford Vocals
Joe O'Connell Background Vocals
The Handsome Family Vocals
Rachel Grimes Piano, Background Vocals
Paul Oldham Bass
Catherine Irwin Vocals
Bonnie "Prince" Billy Vocals
Samantha Parton Vocals
Jolie Holland Vocals
Nathan Salsburg Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Rayna Gellert Fiddle, Vocals
Jan Bell Vocals
Pokey LaFarge Vocals
Kirk Kiefer Piano, Accordion, Electric Guitar
The Sandpaper Dolls Vocals, Background Vocals
Joe Manning Vocals
Glen Dentinger Vocals, Background Vocals
Dave Bird Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Amber Estes Background Vocals
Brian Manley Mandolin
Eli Hall Pedal Steel Guitar
Rebecca Dennison Background Vocals
Neil Hulswede Pedal Steel Guitar
Justin Eslinger Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Dobro, Percussion
Jordan Forst Electric Guitar
Suki Anderson Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Alan Lomax Engineer
Paul Oldham Engineer
Kevin Ratterman Engineer
Nathan Salsburg Producer, Liner Notes
Zak Riles Engineer
Marcos Sueiro Bal Mastering
Justin Eslinger Engineer
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