Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Gram Parsons Notebook: The Last Whippoorwill (2000)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

The Gram Parsons Notebook: The Last Whippoorwill
(Shell Point)

The story of John Nuese’s inheriting Gram Parsons’ notebook and turning six of its unfinished songs into finished ones is more interesting than most of the new songs themselves, but they’re not without their entertainment value, and if the playing and singing of Parsons legatees both famous and non- are a might too slick for Triple-A/Americana, O.K. versions of a few Parsons’ standards and “Dead Flowers” connect the project to its roots. The song that really jumps out, though, is “Jesus Is More Than a Name,” a gospel number that borrows from “Bridge over Troubled Water” on the verses, “To Love Somebody” on the choruses, and begs to be covered by someone who believes to his soul what it says. Rating: Three grievous angels out of five.

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