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The Essential Joe Diffie

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Barnes & Noble - David McGee
In the '90s, Joe Diffie had little competition when it came to putting a contemporary spin on traditional honky-tonk, a fact abundantly evident on The Essential Joe Diffie, a hit-packed retrospective of his work in that decade. An expressive male baritone crooner in the style of Frizzell-Jones-Haggard and his contemporaries Randy Travis and Alan Jackson, Diffie exhibits an immaculate sense of the song in his interpretive choices, whether the tunes require a straightforward expression of longing, as on the gentle ballad "Home," or some lighthearted philosophizing, as on the lively western swing two-step "If the Devil Danced In Empty Pockets." A weeping pedal steel sets ...
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04/01/2003 CD Original recording remastered Good Customer service is our top priority! The item or packaging may have identifying markings from its owner or show limited signs ... of wear. Digital copies may or may not be present. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
In the '90s, Joe Diffie had little competition when it came to putting a contemporary spin on traditional honky-tonk, a fact abundantly evident on The Essential Joe Diffie, a hit-packed retrospective of his work in that decade. An expressive male baritone crooner in the style of Frizzell-Jones-Haggard and his contemporaries Randy Travis and Alan Jackson, Diffie exhibits an immaculate sense of the song in his interpretive choices, whether the tunes require a straightforward expression of longing, as on the gentle ballad "Home," or some lighthearted philosophizing, as on the lively western swing two-step "If the Devil Danced In Empty Pockets." A weeping pedal steel sets the mood on the devastating "Is It Cold in Here," as Diffie relates the scathing details of love coming apart, his voice climbing from a whisper to an anguished cry. Diffie and Mary Chapin Carpenter exchange vows of trust and commitment on the classic country and Grammy-nominated duet "Not Too Much to Ask," backed by a honky-tonk piano, a romantic Spanish guitar, and soaring pedal steel lines. On the rowdy side, drinkin' songs don't rock much harder or get more sensible than "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox If I Die," whereas "Honky Tonk Attitude" is a Brooks & Dunn–style dance-floor scorcher and "John Deere Green" blazes a southern rock trail for Diffie, who belts out a jubilant story of small-town love. Joe Diffie's got a lot more good music in him, but The Essential puts a big exclamation point on the important body of work he laid down during the '90s.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Epic/Legacy's 2003 collection The Essential Joe Diffie weighs in at 14 tracks, just two less than the 2002 collection 16 Biggest Hits, with which it shares a whopping 12 tracks. Given that considerable overlap, it's not surprising that the two collections are essentially interchangeable, but 16 Biggest Hits has the edge, not just because it has two more tracks, but because the four songs unique to that collection are stronger than the two unique songs here for the record, they are the Mary Chapin Carpenter duet "Not Too Much to Ask," which has never appeared on a Joe Diffie album, and the modest hit "This Is Your Brain". That said, The Essential Joe Diffie is hardly a bad album -- after, it's pretty much the same album, down to identical sequencing for the first three cuts -- and it is also an effective overview of the peak of Diffie's career. 16 Biggest Hits may be slightly stronger, but that's all it is: a slight difference. On its own terms, The Essential Joe Diffie is a first-rate collection.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/1/2003
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998906921
  • Catalog Number: 89069

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joe Diffie Primary Artist, Background Vocals
Jerry Douglas Dobro
Matt Rollings Piano, Keyboards
Tim Mensy Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals
John Wesley Ryles Background Vocals
Bruce Bouton Steel Guitar
Walt Cunningham Piano, Keyboards
Stuart Duncan Fiddle, Mandolin
Paul Franklin Dobro, Steel Guitar
Vince Gill Background Vocals
Rob Hajacos Fiddle
Yvonne Hodges Background Vocals
John Hughey Steel Guitar
Bill Hullett Acoustic Guitar
Carl Jackson Background Vocals
John Jennings Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar
Larry Keith Background Vocals
Robbie Magruder Percussion, Drums
Brent Mason Electric Guitar
Mike McAdam Guitar (Tremolo)
Randy McCormick Piano, Keyboards
Kenny Mims Electric Guitar
Kim Morrison Background Vocals
Steve Nathan Piano, Keyboards
Ron Oates Piano, Keyboards
Larry Paxton Bass
Dave Pomeroy Bass
Michael Severs Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin
Billy Joe Walker Jr. Acoustic Guitar
John Willis Acoustic Guitar
Lonnie Wilson Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Glenn Worf Bass
Lee Bogan Background Vocals
Terry MacMillan Percussion, Drums
Kenny Bell Acoustic Guitar
Clay Keith Background Vocals
Mike Chapman Bass
Technical Credits
Joe Diffie Composer, Producer
Larry Williams Composer
Dennis Linde Composer
Mary Chapin Carpenter Composer, Producer
D. Gibson Composer
John Jennings Producer
Danny Morrison Composer
Paul Nelson Composer
Johnny Slate Producer
Mark Wilder Mastering
Lee Bogan Composer
Sterling Whipple Composer
Kim Williams Composer
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Fred Lehner Composer
Don Schlitz Composer
Andy Spooner Composer
Jeb Stuart Anderson Composer
Rick Blaylock Composer
Steve Dukes Composer
Brian Mansfield Liner Notes
John Greenebaum Composer
Ken Williams Composer
Kerry Kurt Phillips Composer
Tony Martin Composer
William Morrison Composer
Howard Perdew Composer
Ken Spooner Composer
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