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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

March 28, 2006

Patty Loveless: Dreamin' My Dreams

Patty Loveless has had a long career, which has veered from traditional-sounding stuff all the way to commercial country pop and back again. A couple of years ago, she released an album of bluegrass material Mountain Soul, and this new outing, Dreamin' My Dreams is about halfway between top 40 country and pure bluegrass.

It shouldn't work, and there's always the danger of falling between two stools, but it kind of does. Work, I mean. She has a strong voice, in the high-lonesome style, certainly not as "modern" sounding as Trisha Yearwood and some others, but more than capable of carrying a tune and evoking strong emotions.

This set opens with a Richard Thompson song, "Keep Your Distance," which also features the venerable Albert Lee on guitar (he turns up on several other tracks, too). Other guest appearances include Emmylou Harris on the track, "When Being Who You Are is Not Enough," and Dwight Yoakam on the Delaney and Bonnie song, "Never Ending Song of Love." If that wasn't enough guests and references for ya, Ms Loveless also covers Steve Earle's "My Old Friend the Blues."

The sounds are predominantly acoustic - guitar, dobro, banjo, mando, fiddle - with some pedal steel, plus the odd bit of slide and electric guitar from Mr Lee. It's a nice clean, open sound, and a good strong set of songs. I don't think she'll ever reach the heights she reached with her version of Matraca Berg's "You Can Feel Bad" a few years ago, but this'll do.

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