The Ballads of Madison County

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Pemberton Roach
A concept album "based on the themes" of The Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller's best-selling novel turned Clint Eastwood movie, The Ballads of Madison County is an engaging, beautifully performed but left of center album of '60s- and '70s-style pop-Americana music. Interestingly (considering he is an author), Waller plays acoustic guitar and sings lead vocals throughout, but only penned three of the ten songs. The difference is made up mostly of standards (both country and popular) and assorted extras, including a spooky, slightly psychedelic spoken word piece excerpted from a W.B. Yeats poem. Overall, it's an ambitious project that's far from a cheap ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Pemberton Roach
A concept album "based on the themes" of The Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller's best-selling novel turned Clint Eastwood movie, The Ballads of Madison County is an engaging, beautifully performed but left of center album of '60s- and '70s-style pop-Americana music. Interestingly (considering he is an author), Waller plays acoustic guitar and sings lead vocals throughout, but only penned three of the ten songs. The difference is made up mostly of standards (both country and popular) and assorted extras, including a spooky, slightly psychedelic spoken word piece excerpted from a W.B. Yeats poem. Overall, it's an ambitious project that's far from a cheap excuse to sell more books. In fact, Robert James Waller is one of those rare examples of a celebrity non-musician who, freed of the need to sell albums, is allowed to concentrate on making art. Produced by Arif Mardin, the disc has a dreamy, vaguely Brill Building/L.A. Wrecking Crew flavor, calling to mind the classic work of Glen Campbell. Waller is a competent singer, with a fragile, vibrato-soaked warble often reminiscent of Gary Stewart. Perhaps a little too arty and enigmatic for the mass public who bought the book that inspired it, The Ballads of Madison County is nonetheless worth seeking out for fans of hard to classify singer/songwriters like Dick Feller, Bob Lind, P.F. Sloan, or Rod McKuen.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/23/1993
  • Label: Atlantic
  • UPC: 075678251146
  • Catalog Number: 82511

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert James Waller Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
Eric Weissberg Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin
Rachele Cappelli Background Vocals
Charlie Brown Guitar, Harmonica
Angela Cappelli Background Vocals
Kenny Kosek Violin
Richard Crooks Drums
Shane Keister Keyboards
Seth Glassman Bass
Andy Snitzer Tenor Saxophone
Gordon Titcomb Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar, Steel Guitar
Technical Credits
Shane Keister Arranger
Arif Mardin Arranger, Producer
Michael O'Reilly Engineer
Robert James Waller Arranger, Liner Notes
Louise Fili Cover Design
Doug Morris Executive Producer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SUPERB!...Worth its weight in gold...

    An eclectic collection of songs...from standards like ''Tangerine'' to Bob Dylan's ''Girl From the North Country'' and reworked versions of ''Wabash Cannonball'' and ''Autumn Leaves'', the album really shines. Sophisticated arrangements blend country, jazz, folk... and the musicians are top rate. Get the album, listen to it a couple of times and you'll find yourself moved by songs that are incredibly well written and produced. Waller has a good voice that really grows on you as you settle into the album. ''Idaho Rain'', an original by Waller is a really impressive piece of songwriting with lyrics and music that stay with you long after the song is over. This man can write... At this price, buy some for your friends, too!

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