This newest disc by this collective group of virtuoso players has so many things going for it; Cowboy Jack Clement is at the helm, there are 5 new songs by band members (4 by Dan Wheetman and 1 by Mike Phelan), and the other 8 songs are by writers as renown as Kris Kristofferson, Levon Helm, and Bobby & Shirley Womack, Katy Moffatt and Tom Russell to name but a few. Folks who stop by to lend a hand include John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, Larry Campbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, Byron House and Don Heffington. Even with such heavy hitting guests and great songwriting this is a balanced disc that features the players of Marley's Ghost with their well-known friends sitting in to support and not taking over the disc. Marley's Ghost has a well-deserved reputation as one of those groups where no one player is dominates, however each of them is master players on his instrument, and together they are greater than the sum of the parts.
This disc shows them taking a variety of songs and putting them out there and playing with a passion instrumentally but where the disc fails to excite is in the singing. None of the band members has a bad voice, they all have good voices, and with the additional help of singers like John Prine and Marty Stuart doing a lead vocal apiece, and Emmylou adding her unmistakable harmony vocal, we should be in heaven. The band's vocals don't have the same verve, and ownership as their instrumentals. They don't grab the song and sing it with conviction, which is a shame, because instrumentally it is absolutely outstanding, and you can feel the passion with which these musicians play.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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