Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Leftover Feelings – John Hiatt with the Jerry Douglas Band
****

I’m been a fan of the now 68-year-old singer-songwriter John Hiatt’s music since his 1987 album Bring the Family. Leftover Feelings is his follow-up to 2018’s The Eclipse Sessions. The new album, one of my favorites of 2021, is a collaboration with the Jerry Douglas Band. It was produced by Douglas and recorded at the historic RCA Studio B in Nashville. Hiatt is joined by multi-instrumentalist Douglas (dobro, lap steel guitar, etc.), Daniel Kimbro on bass, Mike Seal on guitar, Christian Sedelmeyer on violin and Carmela Ramsey on vocals. They chose to record without drums to keep expressive Hiatt’s voice and lyrics in the spotlight. The album features a bluegrass and country rock sound and features a number of Hiatt’s story songs along with a few introspective songs.

Here are a few brief comments about each song:

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and a review of
    • Fogerty’s Factory (Expanded Edition) by John Fogerty
  • Song of the Week Lyrics ~ I Wanna Remember by NEEDTOBREATHE, featuring Carrie Underwood

Long Black Electric Cadillac – The opener is an upbeat song about his long black electric Cadillac. She goes a thousand miles on a charge. He’s heading out west to see his girl and will only have to stop twice. The band is fantastic on this song, giving you a taste of what is to come on the album.

Mississippi Phone Booth – This is a bluesy song about being at a Mississippi phone booth in the middle of the night. He’s somewhere close to Jackson and needs Memphis on the line.

The Music is Hot – This song has a bluegrass feel to it. It’s a sentimental song about a time in the past. The transistor radio is on playing Waylon Jennings (who recorded in Studio B) and Merle Haggard, and the sheets are drying on the line. The song features backing vocals and a memorable chorus.

All the Lilacs in Ohio – This song was originally recorded on Hiatt’s 2001 album The Tiki Bar is Open. It’s about a girl he met briefly in New York City and shared a taxi ride with. This is a more restrained version than the original, and it’s an excellent showcase for the band, with a nice solo, and features some backing vocals.

I’m in Ashville – On this acoustic track, he’s in Ashville and he’s sorry for having dropped the ball and thrown in the towel on a relationship. He’s sorry for leaving her behind. He’s on a road he never traveled to a place he’s never been. From these leftover feelings a vision of her comes up again.

Light of the Burning Sun – This acoustic song is about Hiatt’s brother who shot himself when Hiatt was 11 years old after gambling away his father’s company’s payroll.
Key lyric:
The message was sent
The task was done
Prayers offered up in the night
Faced the light of the burning sun

Little Goodnight – This upbeat song features Mike Seal’s electric guitar and backing vocals. It’s about a little baby girl named Little Goodnight who wouldn’t sleep at night, keeping her parents from sleeping.

Buddy Boy – This acoustic song features a passionate vocal from Hiatt and strings arranged by Christian Sedelmeyer. It features a nice acoustic guitar solo mid-song. Buddy Boy needs to stop his ramblin’ and come home and sleep in his own bed.

Changes in My Mind – This is a beautifully written and performed acoustic song, with the band allowing Hiatt’s tender vocals to be front and center. He has regrets of not being the man he and she both hoped he would be.

Keen Rambler – This is an upbeat song about a rambler who walks all over town from the morning until the sun goes down. The band is allowed to stretch out on this song, which will sound great in concert as Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band plan to tour together.

Sweet Dream – The closing song is another story song about a girl he once had a relationship with. It’s an acoustic track that has a nice instrumental break mid-song. The upbeat music contrasts with the sadness of the lyrics. They were a long time together and he has kept her memory near. In his mind he goes there for a little while until his sweet dream disappears.

Favorite songs:
Long Black Electric Cadillac
Mississippi Phone Booth
All the Lilacs in Ohio
Changes in My Mind
Keen Rambler
Sweet Dream


Fogerty’s Factory (Expanded Edition) – John Fogerty
*** ½ 

I’m a longtime fan of John Fogerty’ music, both as the leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival and as a solo artist. Fogerty’s Factory has Fogerty with a new backup band – sons Shane (a regular member of his touring band), Tyler and daughter Kelsy. The twelve-track project is comprised of five Creedence songs (“Proud Mary”, “Fortunate Son”, “Bad Moon Rising”, etc.) five Fogerty solo songs (“Centerfield”, “Hot Rod Heart”, etc.), in addition to two covers – Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans”, which was made popular by Arlo Guthrie, and Bill Wither’s “Lean on Me”, the latter of which is preceded by a few brief comments Fogerty about racism, which he says is not intended to be political, but about human rights, empathy and compassion. The title and cover of the album are a nod to Creedence’s classic 1970 Cosmo’s Factory album, with the cover photography done by Fogerty’s brother Bob, who shot the original cover for Cosmo’s Factory fifty years ago.
The idea for the project was inspired by Fogerty’s wife and manager Julie. The COVID-19 pandemic project is intended to be fun and innocent, and began as informal, lockdown-inspired jams in the family’s Southern California home in the spring, and later grew to a series of weekly performances on YouTube, an EP released in May, 2020, and now this full-length album. Fogerty stated that they didn’t have a drummer, but Shane developed a bass style that’s somewhat percussive, and Kelsy also played some snare drum. He said that the spirit of the project was to be fun, and to sound like a jam.
“Centerfield” was recorded in center field at an empty Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Fogerty’s 75th birthday on May 28, 2020. Watch the video of the performance here.


I Wanna Remember by NEEDTOBREATHE, featuring Carrie Underwood

This week’s song of the week is “I Wanna Remember” by NEEDTOBREATHE, featuring Carrie Underwood. The song is from NEEDTOBREATHE’s Into the Mystery album, which will be released July 30. Watch the video for the song here.

This feels like
One of those moments moving by so fast
You wanna do something just to make it last
You wanna do something to remember 

Breathe it in
The feel of your body on my fingertips
The moonlight on fire and the clothes we’re in
We gotta do something to remember
We don’t wanna forget it

Chorus
I wanna memorize you
Wanna stay here forever
Cause I, I…
I take a picture in my mind so we’re always together
Cause I, I wanna remember
I wanna remember 

The night is clear
All of the stars out in the atmosphere
Wishing that they were you and me right here
They’re showing off for us
I don’t wanna forget it

Chorus

I don’t know how
Every second gets better
I wanna be here now
I want to remember

Chorus

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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