HANK WILLIAMS RE-EXAMINED
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HANK WILLIAMS RE-EXAMINED
of things, a flood of grief and loss often sends back a wave of
and understanding. No greater proof of that could have been provided
the new Calgary-produced collection Sorrow Bound: Hank Williams
The two-disc collection arrives with a backstory tinged with inspiration as well as infinite sadness. The idea of music lover and Ruby Moon Records label founder Joel Shortt, the sessions for the recordings collected a handful of singer-songwriters and paired them - in the tradition of old label and studio bands such as Motown’s Funk Brothers and Booker T & the MGs - with a set group of local players to pay tribute to the music and memory of ol' Hank.
Before the project saw the light of day, though, Shortt died and friend and local bluesman Tim Williams - who hand-picked the players and produced the sessions - was left to see it to completion. Of course, before that happened, Billy Cowsill, one of the featured singer-songwriters in the project, also died - giving an extra sense of sadness and notoriety to the proceedings.
And while Cowill's appearance on the disc will likely gain a great deal of the attention based on the fact it was his last studio session, it certainly shouldn’t eclipse what he and the other musicians and songwriters accomplished with Sorrow. It is a once-in-a-lifetime effort, that accomplishes everything it set out to do while giving back so much more.
Disc one features the band - Tim Leacock, Kit Johnson, Thom Moon, Charlie Veilleux and Ron Casat - laying down the music to 15 of William's most beloved numbers, such as I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, Jambalaya, Cold, Cold Heart and Hey, Good Lookin'. Alone, without vocal accompaniment, the performances are the warmest, most skilled and soulful you'll be blessed to encounter. The band plays together as if it weren't assembled, but born from the same musical womb, creating a sense of intimacy and familiarity that really is stunning.
As for the voxes lovingly welcomed into the mix, producer Williams, Cowsill, Tom Phillips, Stewart MacDougall and the inimitable Jane Hawley, they become family the second they open their mouths and lend their own distinct and unique takes on the songs.Hawley, especially, adds a dollop of honey to I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry and Take These Chains From My Heart, which makes you weep at the bittersweetness.
The second disc allows the vocalists to bring in their own Hank-inspired material and have it treated the same way - with the exact same results. There are nothing but highlights amongst the 15 originals - Phillips' remarkable Wherever There's A Party, MacDougall's clear and cloudless Wrong Side of the Hill, Williams' easy For Loving You, Cowsill's breezy Hotter Than Fire and the closing heartbreaker It's Over Now.
just a tribute to Hank Williams and an interesting story - it's an
Disc 1: Songs Of Hank Williams:
1. You Win
- performed by: Billy Cowsill
Disc 2: Touched By The Spirit Of Hank:
- performed by: Tim Williams
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