Country Music People May 2019 - Page 47

memories to melody in a way no one else does. Cabbage Head reminded me of Dolly’s Applejack; Out Of Arkansas is a brand new song, written by Irene and her daughter Justyna Kelley, that sounds like a classic; while Anything To Help You Say Goodbye has a commercial, modern feel and a great melody. Perfectly executed throughout, Irene Kelley consistently hits the target. Every track here is a winner — the picking is superb and features Stuart Duncan on fiddle as well as appearances by Dale Ann Bradley, Jerry Salley, Jimmy Fortune and Carl Jackson, and the stories Irene Kelley weaves paint pictures of simpler times. They almost make me wish that I’d grown up with Pennsylvania coal dust in my lungs. Kelly Gregory JACK INGRAM Ridin’ High...Again  Alright Alright Alright / Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance / Staying Outta Jail / Desperado’s Waiting For A Train / Where There’s A Willie / Gotta Get Drunk / Tin Man / Down The Road Tonight / Never Ending Song Of Love / Sailor and the Sea / Everybody Wants To Be Somebody / Shooting Stars / Jesus Was A Capricorn Producer: Jack Ingram Beat Up Ford Records 75.21 This is Ingram’s tenth studio album and the word ahead of the album reaching me was that it was a bit Springsteen and Stones, It turns out quite an accurate description but it is rather more than that. The album title is a nod of the hat to Jerry Jeff Walker’s own Ridin’ High and the whole thing was recorded across just two days at the Arlyn Studio’s in Austin. The likes of Charlie Sexton play and co-writers include Miranda Lambert, so you know it’ll be quality. It also features covers of songs by Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. Opening with Alright Alright Alright, you hear a little small-talk before the track builds subtly with kick drum, a little piano and Jack with his slightly gruff vocals before the full band starts up and off we go. Quite a straightforward song and one with which I am guessing they could open a live show to get the crowd up and running. The title of the song is basically the chorus, so it’s also easy to sing along to. Some cracking piano across the whole song and a big noisy end section. This one definitely has The Boss in mind. Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance follows in a similar vein, a little more restrained but a tune that will have you following along quite happily. Staying Outta Jail Jack tells us is a story about a failed trip to the post office! Over seven minutes long, so needing full attention, it’s a very chilled groove, with some subtle slide in places, a female voice backing him and a good story. It just about justifies the long song length. Guy Clarks’ Desperado’s Waiting For A Train is also quite lengthy at over six minutes. I always say that you never get a bad song about a train! Again, very low key musically at the start, this is about focussing on the story and Jack’s vocals totally suit such a song. Featuring a big chorus and even bigger end section, this one is full of atmosphere and a stand out track for sure. The first song released to the public from the album however, was his tribute to Willie and Waylon, and Ingram takes us over the eight minute mark on Where There’s A Willie. It’s a mid- paced drinking song with some subtle honky tonk keys, gang backing vocals and a false ending. It’s a great song. Gotta Get Drunk, as one might assume from the title, is a bit of a rollocking number and features some fabulous piano towards the end and is another one perfect for a bar gig. Tin Man is a song that Jack co-wrote with Miranda Lambert (among others) and which appeared on her last studio release. Here it is a chilled track where Jack’s husky vocals really come to the fore. Down The Road Tonight is the rowdiest track on the album, musically rather similar to the Rolling Stones, almost chaotic at times but in a good way. It could almost have Jerry Lee playing keys. I really need to mention his cracking version of Never Ending Song Of Love - yes, the The New Seekers hit from 1971, but I suspect Ingram knows it courtesy of the Delaney & Bonnie original. It took a few seconds before I realised it was the same song. Running nearly ten minutes long, Sailor And The Sea is very chilled, allowing all the sounds to make their mark and vocally it’s somewhere between Randy Newman and Mark Knopfler. Fantastic bit of songwriting here. There are thirteen songs across 75 minutes, so you do need to set some time aside to fully get involved with this and to really get it. there are definitely shades of Springsteen and Mellencamp at times, but then Ingram can take you to a backstreet bar with his more intimate songs. Lyrically it moves from humour to straight down the line serious, and all the while it paints musical soundscapes that fit all American flavours. There are lots of songs I can’t wait to go back and hear again, and that’s always a good sign. Dave Watkins MAY 2019 - cmp 47