Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Coal Miner's Daughter - A Tribute To Loretta Lynn

This 2010 compilation was released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Loretta's first single. Lynn
personally selected the artists included and they were allowed to personalize the tuns and use their own musicians and producers. As many of these are modern country performers, I am not very familiar with them, but overall this actually works.

Opening with two of her best numbers, we have Gretchen Wilson doing a fine "Don't Come Home Drinkin'" - with some excellent steel guitar work - and Lee Ann Womack doing "Honky Tonk Girl", in a fiddle-based, honky-tonky take. Of course, the most divergent version on this record is the White Stripes doing "Rated X" as a very stripped down acoustic song, which still totally works. I'm afraid that I find "You're Looking At Country" far too goofy lyrically, so despite Carrie Underwood being a good singer, the song just isn't that great. Alan Jackson and Martina McBride do a pretty traditional take of "Louisiana Woman and MIssissippi Man" while Paramore (no idea what/who this is) does a nice, simple, acoustic "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)".

The ballad "Love is the Foundation" receives a sweet, though a bit sappe, treatment from Faith Hill and "After the Fire is Gone" is modernized a bit too much for me by Steve Earl and Allison Moorer. But a highlight is Reba featuring the Time Jumpers doing a Texas-swing version of "If You're Not Gone Too Long" that is followed by Kid Rock's doing "I Know How". I have never cared for Kid, so I don't care for this all that much, but I have to admit that it's not terrible. Lucinda Williams' "Somebody Somewhere" is a bit overwrought but the closer has Ms. Lynn herself joined by Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert doing her classic "Coal Miner's Daughter".

Really pretty darn good for this kind of thing - everyone is reasonably respectful, though maybe a few more chances could have been taken. Still, good job!