Sunday, August 2, 2009
John Doe wears a lot of hats (X, the Knitters, and his solo stuff) and, although he's no stranger to cowboy hats, I think this is the first "Countrypolitan" record he's made in a while. He says he made a drunken promise to Travis and Dallas Goode (of the Sadies, a great band in their own right) when they were playing together in Toronto but those promises are usually forgotten. This one was not and the result is a pretty incredible record that combines a lot of really great songs with some top notch musicianship. There's four originals on this one, three by the Sadies, and one by Exene Cervenka, Doe, and the amazing Kathleen Edwards who sings on a few numbers too. The rest are standards or semi-standards made famous and written by the who's who of the country music world: Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Hank Snow, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings. Tammy Wynette, Hank Williams, Porter Wagoner. There isn't a dud on this whole record. I love it as an ensemble piece. I also love that this is not a Nashville style album (no strings, no horns, no choirs, no bullshit), this record is Cosmo Country right out of Bakersfield.