My Kind of Country

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

Tag Archives: Carmella Ramsey

Classic Rewind: Mel Tillis – ‘Rose Of El Paso’

Album Review: Patty Loveless – ‘Mountain Soul’

patty loveless - mountain soulAfter 2000’s lackluster Strong Heart failed to chart any significant or memorable hits for Patty Loveless, she took a different approach with the material for her next record.  But these songs were really nothing new to Loveless, who had been including one or two of these sort of rootsy chestnuts on each of her mainstream albums for the past decade.

She’d also long been including them in her live shows, recalling at the time, “I was doing it during my shows, about three, four songs. The people would come up and ask, ‘where can we get this kind of music?… that song that you did?’, and I would say like, ‘I haven’t recorded it yet..’ So I said, well, this is something I want to do. And, for those folks that are going to be listening, or looking out for some of the more acoustic type of mountain blues, or mountain soul.. is what I’m calling it Mountain Soul.

So for her sixth album for the Epic label, and her eleventh overall, Patty Loveless returned to her Appalachian roots and the acoustic instrumentals and harmonies associated with bluegrass music.  The resulting album, recorded in Lepier’s Fork, Tennessee, featured an all-star cast of guests, contributing vocals and instrumentals.  Though it peaked at #19 on the Country Albums chart, it did go to #5 on the Bluegrass Albums chart.  Additionally, Mountain Soul made many critics year-end lists in 2001 as the best album of the year, and marked the beginning of a series of traditional and classic-sounding albums from Patty Loveless spanning this decade.

The disc leads off with ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, which was also the lead-single, though it failed to chart.  It’s a rousing number, with a plucky banjo mixed in with some tap-your-toes fiddling from Stuart Duncan.  This is an arrangement that frames many of the tracks on Mountain Soul.

A second single featured Travis Tritt.  The haunting tune, written by Kostas and Melba Montgomery is a tale of two lovers who are rekindling the fires of their relationship, but also bringing back the heartache that came with it:

Pain has no memory when you burn with desire
The flames grow higher and higher
Till we’ve reached an out of control ragin’ fire

Despite a major push from the superb music video being in heavy rotation on CMT, this single too failed to chart.  ‘Out of Control Raging Fire’ was also previously recorded by Tracy Byrd.  Travis Tritt also appears on ‘I Know You’re Married (But I Love You Still)’, a bluegrass standard which sounds admirable in the pair’s hands.

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