Sleepless Nights: The Traditional Country Soul Of

Patty Loveless

Saguaro Road Records, 2008

http://www.pattyloveless.com

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/11/2009

You know, I am starting to LOVE me some modern country music industry. Because of its tendency to chew female artists up, use them for four or five years, then spit them out, we are getting some really good music.

(The proceeding statement is meant to be irony. It does not, in any way, support the concept of the 'hit factory,' the continued exploitation of This Year's Model of country music female artist, the abuse taken by the Dixie Chicks, the utter mediocrity of country music radio, or the continued existence of Gretchen Wilson or Toby Keith).bim_ad_daily_vault_print_250

Nevertheless, Patty Loveless has followed the trail blazed by Suzy Bogguss and Dolly Parton; when country music radio was done with her, she decided to make the music she wanted to make. In Loveless' case, she sang with the Grand Old Opry and made one hell of a CD of country standards, Sleepless Nights.

This is classic country music, and Loveless delivers it magnificently. In her own words, "I want to inspire and remind people of what country is made of." With covers of George Jones ("Color Of The Blues"), Hank Williams ("Cold, Cold Heart"), Webb Pierce ("There Stands The Glass"), and Ray Price ("Crazy Arms"), this is a veritable encyclopedia of classic country music, some of the greatest American songs ever recorded. Loveless' vocals are sharp, clear and perfect for the material, and her session musicians and production (the disc was produced by her husband and long-time collaborator Emery Gordy, Jr.) are flawless.

My favorite tracks, however, have to be Loveless' energetic, powerful takes on "Why Baby Why" (again, originally by George Jones) and the often-covered classic "He Thinks I Still Care.” Both sound fresh and new despite their venerable stature.

Sleepless Nights is an incredible CD of traditional country by a gifted artist. Fans of the genre should not miss it.

Rating: A

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© 2009 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Saguaro Road Records, and is used for informational purposes only.