John Prine and Marc Weisman CD review [OhBoy]

Music Reviews
John Prine and Marc Weisman CD review [OhBoy]
Apr 25, 2007, 01:23


JOHN PRINE & MAC WISEMAN Standard Songs for Average People CD

There's no pretense on this quietly effective record that's a little bit country and a little bit folk-n-roll.

John Prine's world-weary, hangdog vocals play well against the more refined stylings of bluegrass crooner Mac Weisman, and both musicians choose songs that are damn near impossible to resist. They're classics, after all—many with titles that just beg for a listen. Who's going to quibble with a song about “Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine”—an old classic by Tom T. Hall.

When a tribute project involves a batch of musty—but literate—country-folk songs, Kris Kristofferson's work is always bound to sound freshest and that's the case here. “Just the Other Side of Nowhere” reminds me of something a melancholy Wilco might have written just a few years back, when they were still tinkering with banjos and doleful piano.

Although these interpretations veer perilously close to dull on a couple of occasions, the accomplished musicianship and deceptively simple song craft consistently inspires admiration. This disc is all about sturdy singers, singing sturdy songs dressed up just enough for an early evening dinner party or a spin on a front porch swing afterward. [OhBoy]

-Michael Coleman

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