Various Artists: Livin (2003)
National Public Radio did more to expose and promote this fine recording than any other outlet. It was featured on Terri Gross’ Fresh Air and Morning Edition. And now it has crossed my path. This is certainly not the first time the Louvin Brothers have revealed themselves to me. Like many of my generation, I heard "I Like The Christian Life" on the Byrds' Sweethearts of The Rodeo and was also aware of Emmy Lou Harris’ cover of "If I Could Only Win Your Love." While the Louvin Brothers' reputation preceded them, it took bluegrass specialist and producer Carl Jackson to restore the Brothers to our collective unconsciousness.
Mr. Jackson has assembled the best that Nashville and Austin have to offer in honoring the Louvins and their legacy. Most notable are Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell singing "My Baby’s Gone," James Taylor and Alison Krauss singing "How’s The World Treating You," and Marty Stuart and Del McCoury singing perfectly "Let Us Travel, Travel On." The disc is closed with the Country and Western Opera Aria and recitative "Keep Your Eyes on Jesus" with Pam Tillis playing the prima donna and Johnny Cash playing the part of God.
This is traditional country music, music that lies at the intersection of Bill Monroe, Jimmy Rodgers, and the Carter Family. The true spirit in this music is the fragile high-lonesome tenor of Ira Louvin and the steadfast low tenor of Charles Louvin.
For more information, visit Universal South Records on the web.
This and all pieces published in December 2003 are dedicated to my late father, Norman L. Bailey (1915-2003).
Track Listing: Introduction; Cash On The Barrelhead