Kitty Wells Dresses
Spit & Polish SPIT039
The Princess of Alt pays homage to the Queen of Country
This album is already kicking up a stink in the UK as the Paramilitary Wing of the Country Musicologists think its sacrilege that a young upstart from the Alt-Country field should dare cover these tracks and Laura Cantrell’s Loyalest fans are up in arms because she has released an album of cover versions.
For me both arguments are futile because this is Laura Cantrell’s finest album to date and will win her a legion of new fans when the traditionalists actually listen to it and the young kids on the block will no doubt seek out Kitty Wells’ original recordings and possibly move on to other forgotten artistes of that generation too.
Personally I’m in a little bit of Heaven as I’m a fan of both Laura and Kitty.
For the record; the album opens with a new song called Kitty Wells Dresses, which is what it says on the tin; a song from a young woman who is looking back on her own youth after seeing a photograph in a magazine. It’s in the style of Ms Wells and the following 9 cover versions are all sung with the same care, love and faithful delivery.
Obviously Kitty Wells was a prolific singer in her time and recorded an abundance of songs so I wasn’t aux fait with everything here; but trust me; it’s all ‘killer and no filler!’
I wasn’t aware of either I Don’t Claim to be an Angel or Poison in Your Heart but I absolutely love Laura’s treatment of them both.
As with the classic God Didn’t Make Honky Tonk Angels and the excellent duet with Chuck Mead; One by One I’m actually shocked at the subject matter that the songs cover – infidelity and…….S.E.X! I wasn’t aware that these things were discussed in polite company or even invented in the 50’s & 60’s…..Hahahaha!
Probably much like me you will have had many drunken arguments about what makes a ‘great’ song – yes/no?
Well; Roy Acuff’s Searching For a Soldiers Grave was originally a hit in 1956 for Kitty Wells and will have struck a chord with War Widows who lost loved ones in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and this version is sadly still relevant today; even though the dead from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are repatriated. When Laura tells the widows tale you can picture the lonely woman wandering through the myriad of immaculately kept gravestones looking for the single one that means the most to her.
If you want an anti-war song listen to this song.
Phew; tears, smiles and laughter all in one album of 10 songs – what more do people want?
album released April 26th 2011