Thank God this wonderful album is still available. It means all is right with the world.
I have admired Buffy Sainte-Marie's songwriting abilities for a long while, and she never displayed her craft any better then she does here. Of course, she is primarily known as a folk singer rather than a country star, but these songs never stray very far from her true identity. The lines between folk and country have been blurred by many other artists, including Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, so Buffy is certainly in good company.
The title song starts off with an announcement - Buffy has come to Nashville, and she's gonna visit a spell. She gets right down to it with a great love song; He's A Pretty Good Man If You Ask Me, exhibiting her fine poetry and scoring the first bulls-eye of the album. There are more to come. After horsing around with Uncle Joe, her second love song, A Soulful Shade of Blue, is an ode to second chance love and masterfully and touchingly romantic. From the Bottom of My Heart is no sloucher either, but then she pulls out all the stops.
For me, the high-point of this album is Sometimes When I Get To Thinkin', which has my vote as the tenderest, most adult love song ever written. In my opinion, it is also the best song Buffy ever penned. The gorgeous imagery of her stunning lyrics reminds us that love is serious business, and relationships are not for children, the feint of heart or the immature. The beautiful poetry - "Love is for lovers, in love and full-grown. Life's for the living, and death's for the dead, and the depth of heart is a fathom unknown" also reminds us that life is short and time is a-wastin'. "Sometimes when I get to thinking about you, and all the things that we've never said to each other, it seems such a shame to go mute when there's so many years to lie silent and dead". Every time I hear this song, the words "how beautiful" flash through my mind, and I thank God for love, and for the love that is in my life.
She doesn't stop there. Almost every single song on this album is a standout. Now that the Buffalo's Gone is a worthy companion piece to her most heartfelt protest, My Country `Tis of Thy People You're Dying (which is not on this album) but after reminding us not so gently that many people are still second-class citizens, she brings the mood right back up with They Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dawg Around.
The Love of a Good Man brings us back full-circle to a romantic mood, and just to let us know that relationships are not always as successful as we'd like, she hits us with a great, quiet sad, sad song, Take My Hand For Awhile. Again, the poetry and imagery are stunning in their simplicity, yet fully articulated and brilliantly performed.
If you are not familiar with this amazingly talented songwriter, this CD is a good place to start. If you own some of her other albums, but avoided this one because of the country label, it just may surprise you. Buffy is one of the classiest acts around.