Cayamo Sessions At Sea

Buddy Miller & Friends

New West Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Buddy Miller has made quite the career collaborating with other artists. Not that he can't hold down the fort on his own, though; on the contrary, his half a dozen solo albums have featured some of the best country, folk, and Americana songwriting in the business. Nonetheless, his albums with Julie Miller, Jim Lauderdale, and Sacred Cows have yielded plenty of fan favorites, and Cayamo Sessions At Sea is likely to add some new favorites to the Miller catalog.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Featuring duets and appearances by Lucinda Williams, Nikki Lane, Lee Ann Womack, Kris Kristofferson, and Jill Andrews to name a few, these cruise ship recordings represent an unparalleled amount of talent via some classic covers.

The album leads with the Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn classic “After The Fire Is Gone” which finds Miller and Lee Ann Womack interpreting it with a similar amount of timelessness. Buck Owens' “Love's Gonna Live Here” follows and spotlights Kacey Musgraves' sweet pipes with an upbeat honky tonk pace. Kris Kristofferson offers his own tune “Sunday Morning Coming Down” as the album turns slower and more pensive, while Miller provides the guitar work. Miller and rising star Nikki Lane then join forces on the key heavy and louder version of Dolly Parton's “Just Someone I Used To Know.” Probably one of the most anticipated tracks here, “Hickory Wind” finds Lucinda Williams gracing us with unimaginably gorgeous vocals on the Gram Parsons original.

I know what you're thinking – how could an album of such all stars get even better? Well, the second half is at least just as great, if not better than the first half. British folkie Richard Thompson lends his talents on the breezy, moving “Wedding Bells” and the fiddle acrobats and country shuffling of “If Teardrops Were Pennies” with Elizabeth Cook. The Rolling Stones' “Wild Horses” is reinvented with Shawn Colvin's emotionally stirring and haunting approach, and the album exits with Brandi Carlile and The Lone Bellow on the acoustic guitar group folk effort of “Angel From Montgomery.”

While this isn't exactly a Buddy Miller album in the sense that he's not always at the forefront, he's certainly a large portion of the allure on this warm, charming, and fun album.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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