Quite a curiosity, this latest album from Jazz bassist Charlie Haden. With his family and friends about him, he draws together various strands of Americana. Jack Black gives a fine belting performance (really, two vocal interludes in an instrumental) of Old Joe Clark. Roseanne Cash gives a creditable performance of Wildwood Flower but, having heard Karen Mal's perfect rendition of this beautiful Folk song, I'm afraid I'm spoiled for any other version. Petra Haden's rendition of The Fields of Athenry is my favorite track. A Folk song with lengthy Jazz sections, which suit it very well, it merits classic status.
Ricky Scaggs, Elvis Costello and others are also featured.
The penultimate track is a brief extract from a recording of the Old Haden Family Show, to remind us where Charlie began. This is followed by a profoundly moving rendition of Oh Shenandoah by the Charlie of today. His vocal chords damaged by polio, he is yet able to carry a tune, and infuse it with deep emotion. He was born in Shenandoah, Iowa, and has had a long and fruitful musical journey. He knew it was time to revisit his musical roots, and the result is a fine album.