Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Loretta Lynn comes 'Full Circle' with Willie Nelson duet

Since Thursday is Loretta Lynn’s 84th birthday, it’s a good time to remind fans that the Queen of Country Music recently put out Full Circle (Sony Legacy) – her long awaited studio follow up to the acclaimed, Grammy-winning Van Lear Rose in 2004.

Last month, the album marked Lynn’s career high chart debut on the Billboard 200, entering at #19. 

Produced by her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell with longtime family friend John Carter Cash, the Full Circle selections were recorded over the past eight years at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn.

Following a dialogue snippet providing background, “Whispering Sea” opens the collection. It was the first song Lynn ever wrote and initially appeared as a single B-side in 1960.

Cash says in the liner notes that they put close to 100 songs down to tape and future volumes are planned. Full Circle finds the legend (who still tours regularly) in remarkably fine voice, particularly on a new version of her classic 1968 chart topper “Fist City,” traditional folk number “In the Pines” and perennial “Always on My Mind.” 

The artist most identified with the latter, Willie Nelson, even does a duet with Lynn during “Lay Me Down.” Penned by Mark Marchetti, the tune ponders mortality (key lyric: “There are no tears where I am bound/I’ll be at peace when they lay me down”) to subtle acoustic guitar, mandolin, upright bass and violin strains.

A new music video directed by David McClister finds Lynn and Nelson singing alone around the backstage halls and dressing rooms of the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville.  They later join each other on stage there. The last onstage pairing was Farm Aid ‘85.

“I am so proud to be able to sing a song with my friend, Willie. I love this song, ‘Lay Me Down,’ so much,” said Lynn, in a press release. “It had been 30 years since we’d last seen each other. Willie and I got to meet and talk about old times when we shot the music video in Nashville. Willie is one of those people that even if you haven't seen them for 30 years you feel like it was just yesterday. We have a natural respect and love for each other.”

Added Nelson, "I'm excited to have a new record and video out with Ms. Loretta Lynn, who is one of the few remaining traditional country artists, and one of my favorite people.  She's an original!" 

Other album highlights include the countrypolitan-leaning “Band of Gold,” the spiritually-minded “Water Into Wine” and “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven.” Another fine duet, with Elvis Costello, comes via “Everything it Takes,” co-written by Lynn and Todd Snider.

In related news: the new documentary Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl is now available on DVD (also through Sony Legacy).

Rare material and interviews with White, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, Sissy Spacek and Bill Anderson are included throughout the film. 

Some country enthusiasts might have caught Still a Mountain Girl during the American Masters television debut on PBS.

Upcoming tour dates:

4/16 Shipshewana, IN...Blue Gate Restaurant
4/17 Northfield, OH...Hard Rock Live
5/13 Biloxi, MS...IP Casino
5/14 Houston, TX...Arena Theatre
5/28 Hurricane Mills, TN...Loretta Lynn Ranch 

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