Friday, February 22, 2013

40 Year Itch : Let's Sip A Cup Of Kindness

To be a songwriter's songwriter is a great way to win acclaim but it's not enough to make yous a household name. Such was the fate of Mickey Newbury who remains best known for writing "An American Trilogy" ( recorded by Elvis and more than 400 other artists) and "Just Dropped In ( To See What Condition My Condition Was In) --a hit for Kenny Rogers's band, The First Edition. 

Heaven Help The Child, released in February of 1973, features a lineup including Chet Atkins on guitar and Vassar Clements on fiddle. While "Why You Been Gone So Long" has traces of the kind of  bluegrass and country you might be expecting with such artists, the rest of the album has best been described as "hard to categorize".

Witness the beautiful title cut, another American Trilogy,  which begins in New York in 1912, makes it way through Paris in the 1920's and winds up quoting William Tecumseh Sherman's famous line "War is Hell". When Heaven Help The Child failed to sell, it took the wind out of Newbury's sails. He moved to Oregon, recorded sporadically and raised three kids with his wife. Newbury died in 2002 at the age of 62. For a more through review of the album check out my  Star Maker Machine buddy The Rising Storm review.

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