My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Sampling a little Mountain Soul

mountainsoul2Amazon has some preview clips from Patty Loveless’ upcoming Mountain Soul II album, which will be released on September 29th on Saguaro Road Records. She’s re-recorded quite a few songs that appeared on previous albums, such as “Handful of Dust”, “Half Over You”, “Big Chance”, “Blue Memories” and “Feelings of Love”, in addition to ten brand-new ones.

This is going to be a very strong contender for best album of the year — in my book, anyway. I can’t wait until it’s available. Click here to listen.

31 responses to “Sampling a little Mountain Soul

  1. Sam Sattler August 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    I am really looking forward to this one. The original “Mountain Soul” is still one of my most played albums and I have a feeling that, hard as it will be to make it happen, this one will be just as good. I love the idea that Patty is doing something for bluegrass fans this time.

    Thanks for the info.

  2. Chris August 8, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Very cool, “A Handful Of Dust” is one of my favorite Patty songs!

    This will probably be in my top 3 for the year as well.

    • Razor X August 8, 2009 at 11:56 pm

      I like “Handful of Dust” a lot too … great lyrics. I’m really looking forward to hearing the entire album — mostly bluegrass with some pedal steel sounds like a great combo to me.

  3. Steve from Boston August 9, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Razor, thanks so much for the Amazon link that leads to pre-order information and samples for the songs.

    This is going to be amazing! πŸ™‚ Another Loveless-Gordy masterpiece on the way!

  4. Occasional Hope August 9, 2009 at 6:00 am

    This is definitely one of my most anticipated albums this year.

  5. Erik August 9, 2009 at 8:09 am

    This is going to be awesome, even though I’m not the biggest fan of bluegrass.

  6. J.R. Journey August 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I’m interested to hear Patty’s bluegrass spins on those previously recorded songs. ‘Handful of Dust’ has always been a favorite of mine too.

    And I agree this is going to be one of the best albums of the year – certainly one I am highly anticipating. I’ve already heard ‘Busted’ and it was marvelous.

    • Razor X August 9, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      I’m wondering why she chose to revisit “Big Chance” which was on Dreaming My Dreams and was already given the bluegrass treatment. I wonder how this version will differ from the original.

      • Steve from Boston August 10, 2009 at 12:37 am

        I don’t think Big Chance needs to differ much from the original. It was written as a Bluegrass song, and has an iconic Bluegrass sound. Patty’s vocals sound just as Mountain perfect on the ciip as they did on the original,… I just hope they kept the dobro flourishes between the verses in tact.

        Patty herself gives an indication why it is included here, she considers Pretty Little Miss from the first MS a sort of part one of the story, and Big Chance part two.., the girl’s 14 now, and is REALLY ready to move out, lol.

        But as well as Big Chance fit on Dreamin’ My Dreams, it’s inclusion here on a more purposeful Bluegrass style record seems an even better fit.

        I’m really sorry Patty’s version of Bill Monroe’s Close By didn’t make the cut. She did an awesome job with Ricky Skaggs on the Big Mon compilation album.

        Also Claire Lynch’s “Some Morning Soon” would have been awesome.

        Anyone for a Mountain Soul III? πŸ˜‰

      • Mark August 10, 2009 at 10:53 pm

        Razor, I was wondering why she cut “Big Chance” again too. It doesnt need to differ, but considering it was so recently cut, I have to admit my disappointment seeing it on the list of songs.

        It may fit the album, but if I went with that, I could have said that for a ton of her recordings. Something like ‘I’ll Never Grow Tired of You” would fit too. So, I would have rahter seen something else in place of big CHANCE.

  7. Razor X August 10, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Steve, with respect to Bill Monroe’s “Close By”, there’s always the possibility that could turn up as a bonus track sometime. Just something to hope for.

    • Steve from Boston August 11, 2009 at 12:11 am

      Absolutely Razor, and hopefully Pretty Polly too! The possibilities are endless.

      And Mark, I undersand what you are saying, but I am delighted Big Chance is back, even so soon.

      Look at it this way, Pretty Little Miss was part one of the story on Mountain Soul I, ..

      And Big Chance is part two of the story on Mountain Soul II..

      Patty has been introducing Big Chance since ’05 as part II of the “Pretty Little Miss” saga, in the former, the girl was 12, and in the latter, 14. So the inclusion of Big Chance on her current project was something of an inevibility.

      Oh, and I agree, “I’ll Never Grow Tired of You” would have made an awesome choice for MS II, seems we already have a growing list here, and I sure hope there is a MS III or as Razor indicated, some well chosen bonus tracks!

  8. Mark August 11, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Definitely. Patty used to do “Tired” in her acoustic set everytime she did one live, way before Big Chance was thought of πŸ™‚

    I can see your points on Big Chance. However, she gave the same story about Big Chance when DMD was released and the cut by cut came out. She said it almost word for word at her show. So, just to say it’s a continuation when she already continued it just a couple years ago on another record seems odd to me, irregardless of the type of album she’s chose to cut.

    I was hoping for more “different” stuff, that’s all. Cutting the song almost the same as she did just a few years ago doesn’t do much for me, and unfortunately, the song will be the one I’ll end up skipping when I listen.

    “Close By” was in her set list in 2002 when she did an acoustic set as well, and “Some Morning Soon” made it on there many nights as well. I would love to see those re-cut, mainly Some Morning Soon being so long ago. She really did a beautiful job on it in her “acoustic/BG” shows in 2002.

    • Steve from Boston August 11, 2009 at 8:38 am

      I just think that “Big Chance” is a Patty and Emory masterpiece of a song…to me it is the perfect Bluegrass song by the perfect Country/Bluegrass singer.

      You aren’t alone though Mark, several other people have voiced the same reservations about the inclusion of the song…But no one seems to question the other re-cuts she made for the album. I had doubts about the inculsion of “Blue Memories” for example, but after hearing the sample, I think it’s going to work exremely well with he Bluegrass treatment!.

      Another reason I’m delighted about Big Chance is that (God willing) I may finally get to see her perform it in concert! I missed out on the whole Mountain Soul acoustic set days, but that was my own fault..

      • Razor X August 11, 2009 at 9:14 am

        I think people are questioning the inclusion of “Big Chance” and not the other re-recordings not because it isn’t deserving, but because:

        1. It was already done only two albums ago, and
        2. It was already done bluegrass-style whereas the other remakes will be acoustic reintepretations.

        Frankly, I was surprised that she was re-doing 5 songs for this project. I don’t really have a problem with it since it’s a 15 track album. But the decision to revisit “Big Chance” does seem odd. Nothing I can’t live with, but it’s definitely a head-scratcher.

  9. Leeann Ward August 11, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I get those reservations too. Rerecording five songs again is certainly a risk. I have the album and I can say that because it’s a 15 song set, it works out okay. Otherwise, it would be a problem. I was surprised about “Big Chance” being recorded after already receiving a bluegrass treatment, but I actually think the new version may be more energetic than the first. I like it better, anyway.

    This album is very good, though I can’t comfortably say that it’s as good as the original Mountan Soul yet.

    • Leeann Ward August 11, 2009 at 10:27 am

      Actually, strangely, when I listen to the two “Big Chance” recordings side by side right now, they sound pretty much the same. I wonder if it’s the same version after all. When I said the second version sounded more energetic, I was going by memory, but now that I literally compare them, I’m not so sure… I think the second recording may simply be a crisper recording as far as it’s four years newer?

      • Razor X August 11, 2009 at 10:44 am

        In order for it to be the same version, they would have had to license it from Sony. It was probably less hassle all around to just re-record it. My guess is it’s a faithful-to-the-original rendition.

  10. Steve from Boston August 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Interesting comments folks, and Razor, your explanation for the selective questioning of some of the songs included makes sense., But I still feel that Patty’s previous Mountain/Bluegrass stuff cried out to be on an album like this. It would have been nice to have Pretty Polly, Big Chance, I’ll Never Grow Tired of You, Some Morning Soon, and Close By all on the same record. I’m glad Big Chance made it anyway, and Working on a Building too,..

    I saw Patty and the DMB perform “Building” on a youtube clip, but I think it’s been removed. It was awesome… I seached the McCoury catalog to see if I could find a recorded version that included Patty, but to no avail, so I am especially delighted to see that it’s on MS II.

  11. Leeann Ward August 11, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Good point. I don’t feel so crazy then.:) The promotion CD that I got came with absolutely no liner notes, just the track list on the back of the case, though I’m not complaining. I’m hoping they’ll send us more promotional materials as the time draws nearer.

    • Leeann Ward August 11, 2009 at 11:00 am

      Maybe a Bluegrass Hits will be in order then, in order to put all of her bluegrass recordings together. Honestly, I don’t think I’d want already recorded material to be included on a regular studio albumin the future though. If she wants to reissue recordings like her Ralph Stanley duet or the Monroe song, I’d rather her collect a bunch of her best bluegrass flavored songs and call it a Collection rather than take up space on a new album. I look forward to new music of my favorite artists too much for old songs to take up too much space on what should be new material.

      • Steve from Boston August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am

        I hear ya, and a Bluegrass hits collection from Patty would be a great solution, but even with the one’s I listed, that would still leave ten open tracks for new stuff, if the other remakes were sacrificed. But there’s a real dilemma as well, because it sounds like Patty and Emory worked their Mountain magic on those other remakes and transmuted them into something truly wonderous, and consistent with the Appalachain theme of the album.

  12. Matt B. August 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I got the promo CD as well and It’s really good I even ended up downloading the original “Handful of Dust” from eMusic cause my CDs are locked up in a Nashville storage facility while I’m in Seattle and, to top it off, I can’t find all the patty music I do have on my external hard drives…yikes. Thankfully, I still have some on my iPod.

    • Matt B. August 11, 2009 at 6:29 pm

      Yikes, I should have proper grammar usage here, lol.

      “I got the promo CD as well. It’s really good and I even ended up downloading the original “Handful of Dust” from eMusic ’cause my CDs are locked up in a Nashville storage facility while I’m in Seattle. And, to top it off, I can’t find all the Patty music I do have on my external hard drives…yikes. Thankfully, I still have some (the more recent songs) on my iPod.”

      There, better grammar and not so rambling, run-on worthy.

  13. Blake Boldt August 11, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    “Big Chance” just makes more sense on Mountain Soul II, considering “Pretty Little Miss” is on the original and it’s a “continuing story.” Plus, Dreaming sold about 500 copies because Sony put in a horrible marketing effort, so maybe she assumes very few have heard it! I certainly hope this sequel sells well and is really pushed by Saguaro. She’s up at about 60k, I think, for Sleepless Nights, which sold about 6,500 the first week. Tanya Tucker’s album, in contrast, only sold about 3,000 first week.

    I’ve shared this with Steve previously, but I have to say that I am looking forward to a modern-trad album from Patty, along the lines of OYWH. She seems to be recording (and touring) with renewed energy, so I expect her to be prolific for years to come. The possibilities (more bluegrass, a “contemporary” country album, a classic covers set) are endless.

    • Chris August 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm

      Not to mention the anti-pirating CD’s that kept people from putting the album on their MP3 players.

      I’m way too excited for this album, expect my fan-ness to ramp up as it gets closer to being released.

    • Razor X August 11, 2009 at 9:05 pm

      I hope that she’s going to continue putting out an album every year.

    • Leeann Ward August 11, 2009 at 11:03 pm

      I believe OYWH is one of my favorite Patty albums.

      • Razor X August 11, 2009 at 11:36 pm

        I was just listening to that one today. It is very good, but I like all of her albums. Strong Heart is the only one I don’t care much for.

      • Steve from Boston August 12, 2009 at 1:15 am

        For all us fans of Patty’s On Your Way Home, this is an awesome review. I love this guy Jurek, Love the review, Love the album and, of course, I love Patty πŸ™‚

        .Enjoy!

        Who says country music is dead? Patty Loveless and her producer, husband Emory Gordy Jr. obviously don’t give a damn about what’s popular in the morally reprehensible and artistically bankrupt world of Nash Vegas (anti)culture this week. On Your Way Home picks up where the rootsy heart of Loveless’ awesome Mountain Soul left off — with a solid, emotionally moving, honestly delivered set of honest-to-God country songs written by fine contemporary songwriters. These 11 songs lend a glimmering hope that the major labels in the heart of the beast of modern country haven’t been totally swallowed by aesthetic greedy blindness. The album opens with “Draggin’ My Heart Around,” by Paul Kennerley and Marty Stuart, full of guitars — both acoustic and electric, caressed by a lonesome fiddle and pedal steel, and a honky tonk two-step rhythm. The tale is classic, about a man doing his woman wrong and the woman in near despair, but the delivery is up-tempo and defiant. The old folksy mountain groan… that opens “Nothin’ but the Lonely,” a seemingly transformed old fiddle tune, takes the listener back to a time out of space, a color out of time, a place where the song revealed someone’s truth. Not their production values. And then there’s that sheen of country boogie and rockabilly in the Al Anderson/Gary Nicholson/Jessie Alexander-penned “I Wanna Believe,” driven as much by a pair of fiddles as an electric guitar and a subtle double-time beat. As for ballads, like the title track, leave it to Matraca Berg and whomever she happens to be writing with — in this case the wonderful Ronnie Samoset — to deliver the consummate broken yet determined break-up song every time. In Loveless’ voice, this song is an issue of profound truth for the protagonist; she is the one waiting up for the lies and excuses. In fact, in each of these songs Loveless offers everyday life as episodic revelation and epiphany. Her voice is a full million miles deep, full of mystery, pathos, and a hard-won tenderness. Nowhere is this more evident than in Roger Brown’s Celtic-flavored country waltz “Born Again Fool.” Here Loveless is the storyteller, offering both empathy and plainspoken wisdom about a man who actually believes a woman can save him from himself. There is no “I told you so” doublespeak here, and both people in the tale contain elements of victimization and perpetration. The shuffling honky tonk of “Lookin’ for a Heartache” — written by Jim Lauderdale with Buddy and Julie Miller — swings with pure Texas aplomb. Likewise, Rodney Crowell’s “Lovin’ All Night” is shuffling, scuffling rootsy rock roll disguised as up-tempo honky tonk. The final song on the disc, “The Grandpa I Know,” is caressed by a dobro and mandolins and falls like a prayer from Loveless’ mouth. Turning away from the shell left by a recently departed loved one is disregarded in favor of vibrant, reverent memory. In a lesser singer’s voice, this cut might seem corny or superficial; in that loose, untamable grain in Loveless’ instrument, it is an epitaph that holds the story of an entire life. Ultimately, On Your Way Home is further proof that in her midforties, Loveless is a singer who has just reached the pinnacle of musical and artistic greatness she has worked so hard for and has become a vocalist entitled to a legacy in the rich lineage of historic country music. It’s alive and well in her care. – Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

      • Chris D. August 12, 2009 at 7:21 am

        Me too. It was my absolute favorite until I started getting all of her albums, so I think Trouble With The Truth & When Fallen Angels Fly are probably tied for my favorite.

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