Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman

Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman

     
 
Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman is one of the best conceived and most impassioned tribute albums of all time -- no hype. Newman's songs reward critical listening, a knowledge of history and current events, and an understanding of the damn-near-inscrutable ways of the heart, and the artists here all understand the double-edged nature of their material.

Overview

Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman is one of the best conceived and most impassioned tribute albums of all time -- no hype. Newman's songs reward critical listening, a knowledge of history and current events, and an understanding of the damn-near-inscrutable ways of the heart, and the artists here all understand the double-edged nature of their material. Hence Allison Moorer's torchy, seductive approach to "Marie," a billet-doux to the title character from someone who's incapable of verbalizing his affection and so drinks himself silly and lays it down in song. Intentionally or no, Sail Away has a cutting political edge, thanks to the inclusion of songs so timely they might have been written today. Tim O'Brien's folksy "Sail Away," Sonny Landreth's bluesy "Louisiana 1927," and the Del McCoury Band's jaunty, languid "Birmingham" evoke an America that was a land of opportunity; by contrast, Steve Earle's angry, lacerating "Rednecks" (a wry send-up of segregationist pride); Sam Bush's gently swaying bluegrass treatment of "Mr. President (Have Pity On the Working Man"), and the Duhks' bouncy, sax-and-fiddle-fueled workout on the sardonic "Political Science" tell unsettling truths about a country that has misplaced its moral and ethical compass. Kim Richey closes the disc with an appropriately winsome, gospel-inflected reading of "Texas Girl at the Funeral of Her Father," and given the mood in America circa 2006, it may be a lament for a person or a nation once beloved but now departed for good. Chew on that one while these wonderful performances play on.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - J. Scott McClintock
Hailed by critics, loved and revered by songwriters and musicians, Randy Newman still polarizes the public. Maybe it's the voice, maybe it's the heavy irony (maybe it's "Short People"), but folks seem to either love him or hate him. Perhaps that's why Sugar Hill Records felt the need to dip into its pool of top-notch roots artists and put together Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman -- a compilation of not-so-goat-eyed interpretations of Newman's work. For those out there whose main beef with Newman is his voice, this collection just might provide enough talk-singing relief to get to the heart of what really makes the man such an important American songwriter -- his lyrics, and the simultaneously comfortable and daring nature of his compositions. Tim O'Brien's thoughtful take on "Sail Away," the Del McCoury Band's utterly correct version of "Birmingham," and Steve Earle's fantastic reading of the wryly empowering "Rednecks" are highlights.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/09/2006
Label:
Sugarhill
UPC:
0015891401522
catalogNumber:
4015

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John H. Jackson   Saxophone
Jerry Douglas   Slide Guitar
Del McCoury   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Sam Bush   Mandolin,Mandola
Steve Earle   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Joe Ely   Vocals
Sonny Landreth   Guitar,Vocals
Jeff Coffin   Saxophone
Steve Conn   Accordion,Hammond Organ
Dennis Crouch   Bass
Mike Doster   Vocals
Dan Dugmore   Steel Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Béla Fleck   Banjo
Byron House   Standup Bass
Viktor Krauss   Upright Bass
Lloyd Maines   Steel Guitar
Kenny Malone   Percussion,Drums
Rob McCoury   Banjo
Ronnie McCoury   Mandolin
Tim O'Brien   Guitar,Vocals
David Ranson   Bass
Kim Richey   Vocals
Scott Vestal   Banjo
David Egan   Organ,Piano,Clavinet
Ryan Miller   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Brian Rosenworcel   Drums
Joe Pisapia   Banjo,Bass,Keyboards,Vocal Harmony
Allison Moorer   Vocals
Patrick Earle   Vocals
Kenneth Blevins   Drums
Joe Stark   Guitar
Cody Braun   Banjo,Fiddle,Vocals
Willy Braun   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
David Abeyta   Electric Guitar
Jay Nazz   Percussion,Drums
Marc Broussard   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Calvin Turner   Percussion,Bass Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Alan Bartram   Bass
Jimmy McFeeley   Bass
Chad Gilmore   Percussion,Drums
Jessica Havey   Vocals
Jordan McConnell   Acoustic Guitar
Leonard Podolak   Banjo
Scott Senior   Percussion
Jonathan Atkinson   Drums
Sammy Holbrook   Vocal Harmony
Billy Mowbray   Multi Instruments
Jason Carter   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Del McCoury   Producer
Sam Bush   Producer
Ray Kennedy   Engineer
Randy Newman   Composer
Sonny Landreth   Producer
Tim Austin   Engineer
Tony Daigle   Engineer
Béla Fleck   Producer,Engineer
Ronnie McCoury   Producer
Tim O'Brien   Producer
Gary Paczosa   Engineer
Dave Sinko   Producer,Engineer
Scott Vestal   Engineer
David Wild   Liner Notes
Done Piper   Producer,Engineer
Sue Meyer   Illustrations
Twangtrust   Producer
Cody Braun   Producer
David Abeyta   Producer
Adam Odor   Engineer
Calvin Turner   Horn Arrangements
Justin Tocket   Producer,Engineer
Billy Mowbray   Programming,Producer,Engineer

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