Album: Timeless

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Album:

Timeless: The Songs of Hank Williams

Artist: Various Artists
Honors:
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Label: Lost Highway

Like 1999’s tribute to Gram Parsons, Timeless: The Songs of Hank Williams revives the tired “tribute” concept and applies it in homage to a key figure in country music. Interpreting songs from across Hank Williams’s short and troubled career, a range of high-profile artists use different approaches with equally gratifying results. Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow and Hank Williams III play familiar songs with traditional arrangements (Ms Crow’s yodel is an eye opener); Beck, Mark Knopfler and Keb’ Mo’ stay closer to their own idioms. Keith Richards’ reedy vocal…

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Like 1999’s tribute to Gram Parsons, Timeless: The Songs of Hank Williams revives the tired “tribute” concept and applies it in homage to a key figure in country music. Interpreting songs from across Hank Williams’s short and troubled career, a range of high-profile artists use different approaches with equally gratifying results. Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow and Hank Williams III play familiar songs with traditional arrangements (Ms Crow’s yodel is an eye opener); Beck, Mark Knopfler and Keb’ Mo’ stay closer to their own idioms. Keith Richards’ reedy vocal makes “You Win Again” all his own and Bob Dylan, who has only rarely lent his services to these sorts of projects, leads his touring band through a blues shuffle on “I Can’t Get You Off of My Mind”. The estimable Lost Highway label has assembled an illustrious cast to sing the praises of the artist who inspired its name, and in doing so it has created a far better testament to its musical mindset than can ever be captured in the term “Americana”. —Rob Stewart

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