Patty Loveless: Mountain Soul II

It would seem inevitable that Patty Loveless would opt to make a return to her roots via this sequel to 2001’s critically acclaimed Mountain Soul. Like that earlier effort, Loveless tackles tradition, serving up Americana standards that embody her rural Kentucky origins. Loveless’ honey-soaked vocals effortlessly meld with these country classics, whether it’s the mournful intonation of “Half Over You,” “Prisoner’s Tears,” “When the Last Curtain Falls” and “You Burned the Bridge,” the rousing bluegrass romps of “Busted” and “Blue Memories,” or the gospel wail of “Friends in Gloryland,” “Working On a Building” and “(We Are All) Children of Abraham.” Still, what binds this set so seamlessly is a reverence for back porch purity, a down-home sensibility imbued by fiddle-fueled, banjo-driven, mandolin-tinged arrangements and the music’s undeniable authenticity. Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Al Perkins, and Del and Ronnie McCoury each stamp their indelible touch on the proceedings, but its Loveless’ obvious reverence for the material that leaves the most lingering impression. Loveless deserves kudos for discarding commercial concerns and aiming instead for authenticity. (Saguaro Road Records 2009)

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