Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs

Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs

by Charlie Louvin
     
 
The second of Charlie Louvin's two albums for Tompkins Square in 2008, Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs is partially an inhouse project, as Louvin was partially inspired by the label's majestic box set collection from the previous year, People Take Warning!, an overview of many examples of

Overview

The second of Charlie Louvin's two albums for Tompkins Square in 2008, Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs is partially an inhouse project, as Louvin was partially inspired by the label's majestic box set collection from the previous year, People Take Warning!, an overview of many examples of the form from the early 20th century. Louvin's rough, weathered voice is many years removed from the clean, soaring work of his Louvin Brothers heyday but his joy in the material is audible, and as a re-encapsulation of the country and folk traditions he grew up with and helped shape, the album's a lovely treat. He revisits a number of songs he recorded with brother Ira, including "Katy Dear" and "Mary of the Wild Moor," an enjoyable instance of compare-and-contrast where these versions still work just fine on their own. His choice of song about the Titanic's sinking, perhaps an inevitable choice given the album's theme, is an inspired one -- "Down with the Old Canoe" a less familiar entry that concentrates on the spiritual lessons to be drawn from unpreparedness in the face of doom -- and his voice, especially on the conclusion with a repetition of the final line, suits the material perfectly. Hearing Chris Scruggs' marvelous steel guitar breakdown on "Wreck of the Old 97" is almost reason enough to listen in, but the whole ensemble backing Louvin knows their stuff, while Scruggs and fellow guitarist Ben Hall add gentle backing vocals along the way as well. Holly George-Warren's accompanying essay/interview and Joshua Black Wilkins' photography flesh out the overall release excellently.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/09/2008
Label:
Tompkins Square
UPC:
0894807002127
catalogNumber:
2127
Rank:
122094

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Charlie Louvin   Primary Artist
Pete Cummings   Bass
Andrew Bird   Fiddle
Matt Allen   Organ,Pipe organ
Chris Scruggs   Steel Guitar,Vocals
Billy Contreras   Fiddle
William Tyler   Guitar
Ben & Kate Hall   Guitar,Vocals
Ben Martin   Drums
Ben Hall   Vocals

Technical Credits

Carter Family   Composer
Merle Travis   Composer
Charlie Louvin   Arranger
Ken Nelson   Composer
Mark Nevers   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Helen Carter   Composer
Traditional   Composer
John Carson   Composer
Dorsey M. Dixon   Composer

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