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Touchstones
     

Touchstones

by James Talley
 
Touchstones includes 16 newly recorded songs that originally appeared on James Talley's acclaimed Capitol albums in the mid-'70s, but it's much more than a trip down memory lane. These are the vivid, honest observations of a poet who offers sensitive and bold commentary on both the ways of the heart and the issues facing today's worrisome world, rendering each

Overview

Touchstones includes 16 newly recorded songs that originally appeared on James Talley's acclaimed Capitol albums in the mid-'70s, but it's much more than a trip down memory lane. These are the vivid, honest observations of a poet who offers sensitive and bold commentary on both the ways of the heart and the issues facing today's worrisome world, rendering each palpable with his every breath. Hearing Talley caress the lyrics of the beautiful "Deep Country Blues," you sense his abiding affection for a rare woman who got away, and it may trigger the memory of sweet perfume wafting on a spring breeze. Listening to his reflections on the temper of the times -- in "Are They Gonna Make Us Outlaws Again?" and "What Will There Be for the Children?" -- you gain a deeper understanding of a society that takes too much of its populace for granted. Country love songs don't get any more wistful or poignantly rendered than "Sometimes I Think About Suzanne," unless it's Talley's quiet, devastating blues number "Up from Georgia." And it's been a while since a western swing number sounded as organic and celebratory as his duet with Joe Ely on "W. Lee O'Daniel and the Light Crust Dough Boys." On Touchstones, Talley artfully balances the mystical with the concrete, a romantic's sensitivity with a populist's social conscience; the songs' emotional markers pointing us toward something real and everlasting, something that makes better people of us all.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
James Talley is that rarest of things these days, a true country singer. Not "new country", not "alt-country", but the real thing. He writes beautifully about real people and the problems of their everyday lives, and sings his songs in a voice that could belong to Willie Nelson's brother (indeed, "Not Even When It's Over" could have been written for Nelson, so perfectly does it suit his style). He can go from a tender family ballad like "Richland, Washington" or "Give My Love to Marie" to a wonderful little slice of history ("W. Lee O'Daniel and the Light Crust Dough Boys") and make it all flow perfectly. A pretty stellar cast helps out, including accordionist Ponty Bone and Texas singer Joe Ely, but it's always Talley who's at the heart of things, remarkable perhaps even more for the perceptiveness of his writing and the poetic lyricism to lines like "Hand of amber, soul of gold/There's a story to be told," which might seem silly from someone else but make perfect sense coming from his lips. He's someone to be experienced when you're tired of all the inanities that often masquerade as lyrics, and want to revel in the quiet joy of his performance. American classics, true American classics, are a rarity, but James Talley is one, and Touchstones, like all his other records, is a gem to be discovered.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/23/2002
Label:
Cimarron Records
UPC:
0693249101128
catalogNumber:
1011
Rank:
122588

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