Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
For several years, the iconic Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris have been quietly recording a remarkable collection of duets whenever the Grammy winning artists could steal away from their own illustrious careers. The extraordinary result is All the Roadrunning. The songs from their Nashville sessions, all originals, while undeniably modern, have the appeal of classics, whether country, Celtic flavored or gently soulful. All the Roadrunning is Knopfler & Harris making music and, as they lyric for "This is Us" puts it, making history. Over the last seven years, Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris quietly recorded an album by stealing "a few precious hours of studio time here and there," as the ex-Dire Straits singer/guitarist puts it. Good thing they kept it largely under wraps--expectations would have pushed through the clouds, especially as Knopfler conjured 10 of the 12 cuts, and Harris, who writes potently, but little, contributed two ("Love and Happiness," "Belle Starr"). Yet now that it's here, All the Roadrunning--while beautiful--seems somehow underwhelming, and without a true centerpiece. Anyone familiar with the artists' famous catalogues would expect the repertoire to be poetic and brooding, and that Harris's ethereal soprano would add light to Knopfler's dark Prozac rumblings. But the surprise is that the album is too tame, never breaks out of its midtempo groove, and never takes any big chances.That said, there is much to like: The marital scrapbook romp of "This Is Us," the bluesy bickering of "Right Now," the wrenching poignancy of the 9/11-inspired ballad "If This Is Goodbye." Knopfler, ever the hypnotic guitarist, turns in some thrillingly droll and laconic vocals, and Harris brings the spirited coltishness of her early work to "Belle Starr." In the end, though, this is not so much a duet album as two famously melancholy musicians singing together--at times, strikingly so. --Alanna Nash More Mark & Emmylou Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler Brothers in Arms D...
Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Reigning ACM and CMA Male Vocalist of the year, Blake Shelton presents his first Christmas album, Cheers It's Christmas on Warner Bros. Records. The album will feature several duet performances including fellow The Voice advisor Michael Buble, long-time friend Reba, and a very special duet with his mother, Dorothy Shackleford. The album includes classic Christmas songs that have touched Blake over the years. Many of the tracks were also recorded at the famous Capitol Studios with full orchestral accompaniment.
His #1-smash "best-of" from 1973 plus three new bonus tracks! Includes his classic hits Take Me Home, Country Roads; Sunshine on My Shoulders , and Rocky Mountain High plus Follow Me; Goodbye Again; Leaving, on a Jet Plane; Sail Away Home; Daydream , and more.
Manufacturer: Mercury Records
Brand: Virgin Emi Records
Brilliant 1998 album of tales of dusty trails...one of her best! Includes 'Right In Time' & Drunken Angel'. Lucinda Williams makes this whole music thing seem so simple: Write in plain language about the people and places that crowd your memory; add subtle flavors of a mandolin here, a Dobro there, perhaps an accordion or slide guitar; above all, sing as honestly and naturally as you can. Of course, it took her six years to achieve this simplicity, an amazing achievement considering the number of knobs that were turned. Her exquisite voice moans and groans and slips and slides--she delivers a polished tone in a coarse manner. On the superb "Concrete and Barbed Wire," soft acoustic guitars are punctuated by electric slide, accordion, mandolin, and Steve Earle's harmony. Williams's deeply personal stories are matched with bluesy rumbles, raunchy grooves, and plaintive whispers. The entire Deep South is reduced to a sleepy small town filled with ex-lovers, dive bars, and endless gravel roads. --Marc Greilsamer
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
We've sold a ton of Marty's legendary 1959 concept album about the Old West on expensive import, but now it's out domestically with the rare B-sides The Hanging Tree; Saddle Tramp , and the long version of El Paso joining such classics as Big Iron and Billy the Kid ! A lonely Westerner in Nashville, Marty Robbins salved his soul by cutting an album (in one afternoon) of mostly self-composed cowboy ballads. One of them was a four-and-a-half-minute epic, "El Paso," that broke every rule of Top 40 programming to become a No. 1 pop and country hit in 1960. Robbins was arguably the most surefooted and accomplished singer in all country music, and that was never more obvious than on these Western ballads performed to often breathtaking perfection with a very small group and a vocal trio. Other titles include "Big Iron" (also a Top 30 hit), "Running Gun," and Western classics like "Cool Water," "Billy the Kid," and "The Strawberry Roan." Three extra tracks flesh out the 1999 release, including "Saddle Tramp" (the B-side of "Big Iron") and "The Hanging Tree" (title song from the 1959 Gary Cooper Western). --Colin Escott
Jack's Mannequin, the angst-flavored, SoCal-vibed side project of Something Corporate's singer-song-writer Andrew McMahon, debuted live at SXSW and now debuts on album with Everything in Transit. Produced by Jim Wirt (Incubus, Alien Ant Farm), and featuring Motley Crue's Tommy Lee on drums, Everything in Transit offers yet another stage for the ethereal voice of an iconoclastic performer who is among alt-rock's most popular artists.
Manufacturer: Reprise Records
A quadruple platinum #1 smash and the best-selling album of 1972, Harvest was Neil Young's fourth solo effort. With the gold #1 'Heart Of Gold,' Top 40 'Old Man,' powerful 'The Needle And The Damage Done,' controversial 'A Man Needs A Maid' and 'Southern Man' companion 'Alabama', Harvest won inclusion in Rolling Stone's '100 Greatest Albums Of All Time'.