Paul Burch – Meridian Rising

Jimmie Rodgers has been the subject of tribute albums before — perhaps the most memorable is Merle Haggard‘s 1969 classic Same Train, a Different Time — but Paul Burch‘s Meridian Rising
is distinctly different: the singer/songwriter designed his 2016 album
as “an imagined musical autobiography” of the country legend. By neither
following the conventions of a traditional tribute album nor the
contours of a biography, Burch is freed to be fanciful, dreaming up scenarios for Rodgers that may not strictly adhere to written history and allowing himself to tip a hat to Rodgers‘ jazz and blues contemporaries. Such elasticity lends Meridian Rising considerable life, letting Burch
slide into hot dance music as easily as he cops to a blue yodel. He’s
playful but not at the expense of his subject: if anything, his blurring
of fact, fiction, and styles allows Rodgers to not be seen as a museum piece, a figure that exists only in dusty history books. Burch‘s
wry, witty compositions — which find their match in his swinging band,
its lineup shifting to accentuate the tones of the tunes — bring the Singing Brakeman
to a colorful, full-bodied life while also illustrating how he’s
peerless as an Americana craftsman: he’s absorbed tradition so
thoroughly, he knows it’s a shame to exist solely in the past, so he
makes albums as rich and delightful as this.

via Blogger


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