Monday, March 14, 2016

CD: JONI MORRIS - A Portrait of Patsy

A Portrait of Patsy
Walkin' After Midnight - Strange - Heartaches - Leavin' On Your Mind - Seven Lonely Days - Life's Railroad - I Fall To Pieces - In Care Of The Blues - Sweet Dreams - Crazy Arms - You Belong To Me - Gotta Lotta Rhythm - Have You Ever Been Lonely - End Of The World - Dream Lover - Ring Of Fire - Crazy

To get this many Patsy Cline songs in one location, much less have them all sound so good is next to impossible these days.  But here it is, a remarkable adventure in music featuring Joni Morris.  And much more than just Patsy Cline.  When we hear "Life's Railroad" we hear an entirely different kind of arrangement of a very old mountain song.  You'll also hear some amazing keyboard offerings here by Kevin Jachetta.  Some mandolin too, but we don't know who's doing the playing.  I get really interested in the musicians that back stunning artists like Joni, and right off the bat, on the first song, we hear Mike Lothrop on harmonica.  Wow, does that sound great or what.  It takes me right back to those great days of real country music.  There's been quite a few original Patsy Cline videos popping up on the you-tube these days, the most recent being one of her performing with Ernest Tubb and Little Jimmy Dickens.  AND then, just when you think there are no new twists in good country music, Art Coleman joins Joni Morris on ukulele on "Heartaches."  And wait a minute, Joni Morris does not in any way imitate Patsy Cline.  She sings Patsy Cline songs in her own Joni Morris way.  Being in the business as long as I have, right now it's right at 70 years (well I started playing when I was ten), I can tell you that the way Joni does Patsy's songs, if these two ladies ever had the chance to meet, they would become instant lifelong friends.  Two gorgeous women singing words very meaningful to each of them, and then a rest, just visiting, chatting, talking about the last gig, where to next, and of course a good looking man or two.  Joni makes her home in Stockton, California, so she has had ample opportunity to 'feel' the songs she sings, and how her California audience reacts.  In most cases it's standing ovation time when you go to a Joni Morris concert.  She made the trip far East to Iowa in 2015 to accept induction into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame for her continuing efforts in keeping country music country.  Nominated by Minnesota's top recording artist, Sherwin Linton, she did an amazing job stepping back in time at the LeMars, Iowa, festival.  And indeed, it was standing ovation time in Iowa.  Matt Cardinalli did the producing work on this album, and he did a remarkably fine job, good mix, good arrangements, good creativity.  This is one of Joni's earlier recordings, and I'm very glad to have the opportunity to review it.   More more more Joni, you are at the top of your game.
for Country Music News International
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