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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Snoop Dogg, Incubus, Buffy Sainte-Marie and more...

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2015

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Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell

"The Traveling Kind"


Grade: A

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell's first joint project, 2013's "Old Yellow Moon," was a rightful Grammy Award winner that showcased the magic of two kindred spirits in musical lockstep. And "The Traveling Kind" proves that was no accident. Harris and Crowell -- a onetime guitarist in Harris' Hot Band -- sing together with the fluid ease of siblings from different mothers, sounding comfortable in unison and weaving in and out of each other with an instinctual grace found only in the rarest of singing duos. The key difference is that while "Old Yellow Moon" featured covers, "The Traveling Kind," produced by Rochester Adams grad Joe Henry, features several originals by Crowell, Harris and collaborators such as Will Jennings and Cory Chisel. Among the highlights are a haunting new treatment of Crowell's "No Memories Hanging Around," a muscular rendition of Lucinda Williams' "I Just Wanted To see You So Bad" and a gentle version of Amy Allison's "Her Hair Was Red." Harris and Crowell love their melancholy (check out the title track or "You Can't Say We Didn't Try" but they know how to kick their heels up, too, as on the roadhouse shuffle of "Bring It on Home to Memphis," the cajun flavored album closer "La Danse de la Joie" and "The Weight of the World," a mid-set track that lets Crowell stretch out with a couple of hot guitar solos. He and Harris remain well matched and complementary to the core here, so they may as well engrave that Best Americana Album trophy for the duo yet again.

New & Noteworthy:

Steve Aoki, "Neon Future II" (Dim Mak/Ultra): The EDM kingpin's latest features collaborations with Linkin Park, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, Walk Off The Earth and Snoop Lion.

Della Mae, "Della Mae" (Rounder): The rootsy, all-female Nashville quartet follows its Grammy Award-nominated debut with this sophomore set produced by the ambitious Jacquire King.

Incubus, "Trust Fall (Side A)" (Island): The California modern rock troupe returns from a short hiatus with a four-song all-killer, no filler EP.

Pat McGee, "Pat McGee" (Noble Steed): The singer-songwriter from Virginia recruited a stellar group of players and guests -- including Blues Traveler's John Popper, Little Feat's Paul Barrere and the Punch Brothers' Gabe Wither-- to play on his latest release.

Buffy Sainte-Marie, "Power in the Blood" (True North): The veteran songstress worked with three different producers on this latest release, which includes a new version of "It's My Way," the title track from her 1964 debut album.

Snoop Dogg, "Bush" (Doggstyle/Columbia): Pharrell produced the Cali rapper's lucky 13th studio album, which features guest appearances by Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, Gwen Stefani and, of course, "Uncle" Charlie Wilson.

Also Out: Kelsea Ballerini, "The First Time" (Black River Entertainment); Brian Jonestown Massacre, "Misuqe De Film Imagine" (A Recordings); Cannibus, "Time Flies, Life Dies...Phoenix Rise" (RBC); Leonard Cohen, "Can't Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour" (Columbia/Legacy); Civil War, "Gods & Generals" (Napalm); Dark Sarah, "Behind the Black Veil" (Inner Wound); The Early November, "Imbue" (Rise); Vincent Herring, "Night and Day" (Smoke Sessions); Hinder, "When the Smoke Clears" (The End); Keith Jarrett, "Creation" (ECM); Jimmy Lafave, "NIght Tribe" (Music Road); Major and the Monbacks, "Major and the Monbacks" (self-released); Rhett Miller, "The Traveler" (ATO); The Revelers, "Get Ready" (self-released); Sirenia, "The Seventh Life Path" (Napalm); J.D. Souther, "Tenderness" (Sony Masterworks); Steve 'n' Seagulls, "Farm Machine" (Spinefarm); Surfer Blood, "1000 Palms" (Joyful Noise); The Tallest Man on Earth, "Dark Bird is Home" (Dead Oceans); The Wendy Woo Band, "Tipping Point" (Woo Music); Veil of Maya, "Matriarch" (Sumerian)

From The Vaults: Mariah Carey, "#1 To Infinity" (Legacy); Deep Purple, "Long Beach 1971" (earMUSIC); Wes Montgomery, "In the Beginning" (Resonance); Return To Forever, "Electric Lady Studio NYC June 1975" (Hi Hat)

Soundtracks: Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL), "Mad Max: Fury Road" (WaterTower); Rob Simonsen, "The Age of Adaline" (Lakeshore); Various Artists, "Pitch Perfect 2" (UMe)

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