Goodnight Tender

Goodnight Tender

by Amy Ray


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Goodnight Tender

Though singer/songwriter Amy Ray has flirted with the boundaries of country music via her Americana outings -- Prom from 2005 and 2012's Lung of Love in 2012 -- until now, she's never attempted to engage in it fully. Goodnight Tender, the Indigo Girl's sixth solo album, collects 12 songs that delve into a rootsy hybrid that uses country as a solid base, but threads elements of bluegrass, folk, country, gospel, and rock through its songs. She produced all but three tunes here, and co-produced the rest with Phil Cook. First single "Oyster and Pearl" is a slow, bittersweet, gospel-tinged number that features a tender Wurlitzer organ and the first of several appearances by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon on banjo and vocal harmonies. He plays a mean mandolin and sings backup with Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire on the bluegrass-inspired "The Gig That Matters." Ray's mandolin, along with Adrian Carter's fiddle and Matt Smith's forceful pedal steel, fuel the Cajun-inspired country rock of "Duane Allman" (a tune that also features a stellar harmony vocal from Susan Tedeschi). Ray has always been convincing when it comes to delivering sad love songs. The shuffling "Time Zone," with its weeping pedal steel, the two-stepping honky tonk of "More Pills," and the parlor room waltz "Broken Record" all fit that bill beautifully. The title track with Kelly Hogan singing harmony, "Let the Spirit" with Vernon in that role, and closer "When You Come for Me" -- a stirring duet with McEntire -- are all gospel-tinged numbers that address mortality head-on without melancholy or morbidity, but a humble acceptance of a grander mystery. In the hands of a lesser songwriter, an album like this could feel constrained or even cloying, but Ray is in full command of her own gifts on Goodnight Tender. Her use of country music as a way of getting these songs across is not only convincing, it's compelling.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/28/2014
Label: Daemon Records
UPC: 0767691905921
catalogNumber: 19059
Rank: 61480

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Amy Ray   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Jim Brock   Percussion,Drums
Kelly Hogan   Harmony
Susan Tedeschi   Harmony
Jon Ashley   Harmony
Adrian Carter   Fiddle
Brian Speiser   Harmony
Justin Vernon   Banjo,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Slide Mandolin,Harmony
Jake Hopping   Standup Bass
Jeff Fielder   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Dobro,Piano,Electric Bass,Electric Guitar,Harmony,Guitar (Baritone)
Heather McEntire   Vocals,Harmony
Hannah Thomas   Harmony
Brad Cook   Electric Bass,Harmony
Terry Lonergan   Drums
Phil Cook   Banjo,Piano,Wurlitzer,Harmony
Matt Smith   Pedal Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Mark Greenberg   Engineer
Amy Ray   Composer,Producer
Brian Joseph   Piano Engineer
Brian Speiser   Producer,Engineer
Heather McEntire   Composer
Denise Plumb   Artwork
Bobby Tis   Engineer
Jaron Pearlman   Engineer
Phil Cook   Producer

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