On the CD Patchwork River, all of the 13 songs are co-written by Robert Hunter (of Grateful Dead fame) and Jim Lauderdale. The selections are expertly executed by a great set of session sidemen brewing a rock stew infused with an Americana undertow. This collection combines a flowing flair of rural rhythms and thought provoking imagery in equilibrium.
The songs stitch a tapestry of hope, heartbreak, and mystery amid a bit self deprecating humor. Within the character driven beautiful vivid poetry of Hunter’s “Patchwork River” is an immediately captivating beguiling tale. Herein lie’s the woven creative collaboration between dual artists as Lauderdale’s vibrant vocals spark seamlessly throughout. The growing snippets of electric guitar licks from Kenny Vaughan start off with a tease then rise up within the song.
Equally fun is “Jawbone” about masterful storyteller spinning tales of wonder with his yarns. The ace guitar work of James Burton is in perfect rock counterpoint with the pedal steel guitar from the masterful Al Perkins. Ron Tutt adds the drum-line to pace the tale forward while Garry Tallent blends the bass tones with finesse.
The amusing journey charted in “Alligator Alley” brings us into this curious marsh with Byron House prodding a pulsing bass towline. We shadow our protagonist from Florida’s famed highway across the Everglade swamps as they become an inferno with ash falling from the sky. This illustrates the wonderful cinematic visuals Hunter consistently provides our now curious listeners.
“Turn to Stone” outlines a mystic seductive sorceress spell inducing draw of dreamy voodoo upon fearful neighbors mesmerized in a fascinated union. Stuart Duncan’s proven fiddle bow is the special spice stirring up this scary story.
Patty Griffin adds harmony vocals on the mythical legend contours inside “El Dorado.” This coaxing background warning illuminates the unknown puzzling secrets passed down for generations about a palace of gold. Also, Griffin brings floating vocal harmonies into “Between Your Heart and Mine.”
“Winnona” is a propelling great rock & roll combustible tune designed to dispatch you with haste onto the roadhouse dance- floor. This song lets loose your boogie behavior to fire-up your footwear.
Hopefully, Hunter and Lauderdale can work together again soon. These gracious gentlemen have generated a terrific disk which is burning a hole in my speakers already.
Download Patchwork River on iTunes