Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Porter Wagoner - Wagonmaster

For those who long for country lyrics that don't read like Hallmark cards, and for those who want an artist whose talent exceeds his (or her) tan, Porter Wagoner is just the thing - the genuine thing. His latest album, Wagonmaster (June 5, Anti-), is a timeless collection of songs written from a heart more connected to back porches and wooden floors than shopping malls and Wal-Marts. There's heartbreak without drama, religion without oversentiment, and a ton of glorious call-and-response steel pedal and fiddle. There's also song written by Johnny Cash especially for Wagoner - Committed to Parkview. Both were Parkview guests, and the 79-year old Wagoner convincingly declares, "Hope I never have to go there again." Don't think that you have to listen to the Cash song to hear great songwriting, though - the entire album is packed with lines from an experienced, well-travelled pen. Take the funereal lament about loss of a love because of one's own addictions, Late Love of Mine, which begins this way:

The ceremony's beginning
For the late love of mine
But there's no one attending but me
And the memories she left behind

I watched as her love for me
Died a little at a time
She tried in every way she could
The late love of mine

And how perfect is that guitar solo in the middle of Satan's River. Not too much, not too little. You tell me.

Porter Wagoner - Committed to Parkview (mp3)
Porter Wagoner - The Late Love of Mine (mp3)
Porter Wagoner - Satan's River (mp3)

Own Wagonmaster.

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