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Buddy Miller's Majestic Silver Strings

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As I was surfing around looking for Black Dub videos I chanced upon this:

Buddy Miller, Bill Frisell and Marc Ribot, playing in Nashville. They have apparently recorded an album together. Anyone know anything about this? Have I just been asleep at the switch?


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Plato

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LOVE this cover!

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And check the tracklisting:

NEW ALBUM & BONUS DVD OUT MARCH 1, 2011 VIA NEW WEST RECORDS

Buddy Miller

Buddy Miller teamed up with esteemed guitarists Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz to create The Majestic Silver Strings, a monumental musical experience to be released on CD, with bonus DVD, March 1, 2011 via New West Records.

The Majestic Silver Strings, produced by Buddy, is his re-imagination of country songs, loaded with guitars, atmosphere and attitude. Guest vocalists on the album include Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Lee Ann Womack, Chocolate Genius, Ann McCrary and Julie Miller. Rounding out the band are Dennis Crouch on bass and Jay Bellerose on drums. A bonus DVD with concert footage of the first, and only performance to date with Buddy, Marc, Bill and Greg playing the tracks selected for this project, will be included with the CD.

THE MAJESTIC SILVER STRINGS TRACK LIST:

1. Cattle Call (Buddy Miller sings)

2. No Good Lover (Buddy Miller & Ann McCrary sing)

3. I Want To Be With You Always (Buddy Miller & Patty Griffin sing)

4. Barres De La Prison (Marc Ribot sings)

5. Meds (Lee Ann Womack sings)

6. Dang Me (Chocolate Genius sings)

7. Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie (Marc Ribot sings)

8. That's The Way Love Goes (Shawn Colvin sings)

9. Freight Train (Instrumental)

10. Why I'm Walkin' (Emmylou Harris sings)

11. Why Baby Why (Buddy Miller & Marc Ribot sing)

12. Return To Me (Lee Ann Womack sings)

13. God's Wing'ed Horse (Buddy & Julie Miller sing)


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Got the Miller/Frisell/Leisz/Ribot album in the mail yesterday. Feel pretty safe saying that, if you enjoy country music in any way at all, you will find a lot to love here. It's a celebration of all the humor and heartache, the tradition and the weirdness, that you find in great country songs; and indeed, the songs here are all really great, and performed beautifully.

Don't go into it thinking that just because you've got four celebrated guitarists here you're going to have a fireworks show; they are all clearly more interested in creating atmosphere than in rattling off flashy solos, which I'm sure they could all do beautifully if they wanted to.

Highlights? I love hearing Marc Anthony Thompson doing "Dang Me"-- he brings loads of passion to it. Marc Ribot sings lead on two songs, and they're both utterly heartbreaking. Buddy does a terrifically feisty duet with Ann McCrary.and Lee Ann Womack is devastating (and funny) singing "Meds."

Great stuff, top to bottom. Honestly, one of the best things Buddy's ever done. (Though I do have to wonder why he didn't get Robert Plant involved!)


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Josh, thanks for the comments. I am very much looking forward to this one. It is nip-and-tuck as to whether I've listened to Buddy or Frisell more throughout the past decade. Their teaming up seems so natural. Can't wait to hear this one!

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Josh, thanks for the comments. I am very much looking forward to this one. It is nip-and-tuck as to whether I've listened to Buddy or Frisell more throughout the past decade. Their teaming up seems so natural. Can't wait to hear this one!

Absolutely. Like I said, if you like country music, or are a fan of anyone involved, you're going to love it. Everyone is in top form.


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There are many highlights, but a couple lowlights, in my opinion. I'm not as enamored by Marc Ribot's singing as Josh is. I'd give him a C- on "Barres de la Prison" and a B on "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie." The latter song still might be my favorite song on the album for its atmospheric (but hardly flashy) guitar interplay. Shawn Colvin is ... pleasant. She's always pleasant. I wish I could get more excited.

But the Chocolate Genius cover of Roger Miller's "Dang Me" is weird and wonderful. He takes what, in my opinion, was a throwaway novelty song in the '60s and turns it into a mad work of twisted dysfunction. Lee Ann Womack is superb on her two tracks. The Buddy/Patty Griffin duet is reliably great. The Buddy/Julie duet is magical. Emmylou is Emmylou. And the guitar interplay throughout is, of course, a highlight. It's always understated, although clearly these guys have the potential to rip it up if they so choose. I wish they had ripped it up at least once. But what's here is very fine.

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Agreed on all of the highlights that you mention, Andy, and agreed also on Shawn Colvin, who is, as you say, perfectly pleasant, but not particularly memorable. That song is the one that grabs me the least, as well, though the arrangement is quite pretty.

Regarding them "ripping it up," it doesn't really bother me that this record is so mellow-- I generally find flashy guitar stuff to be kinda tedious, truth be told-- but I do think it's funny that the closest anyone ever gets to really rocking out here might be Jay Bellerose on "No Good Lover."


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Can I put in a word for Shawn Colvin? She may be nothing more than "pleasant" these days, but I found her more than pleasant when Steady On came out. She stood out then as an artist of uncommon thoughtfulness and polish -- in my limited world of that time, at least -- and then followed up that album with Fat City, which remains one of my favorite albums from the 1990s.

At some point my love affair with her music cooled -- probably around the time Cover Girl came out. But A Few Small Repairs rekindled things for a while before apathy set in. Even now, when I put on my copy of Fat City, I crank it and -- shudder! -- sing along as loud as I'm able to! Especially http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZyGkpXoyWY.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Wow, there's some juicy news in there.

A new Julie Miller album in the works, maybe?

A new "three girls" album that Buddy's producing?

And he's producing the new Carolina Chocolate Drops album?

God bless Buddy Miller.

Great job, Andy!


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I've been traveling a lot for work, the Majeestic Silver Strings have been keeping me company. I have been enjoying it a lot. Andy, great interview.


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Plato

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