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Ten golden musical nuggets.
on 26 April 2014
"Reflections" is the new album by now 74-year-old Don "Gentle Giant" Williams, the follow-up to his 2012 album "And So It Goes." The tracks on this album are not originals but classic tunes from other great songwriters. What is immediately obvious when you start playing this album, is that his smooth bass-baritone, one of the most iconic voices of country music, has lost none of its power to mesmerize the listener with these reflections on a life well-lived.
The songs covered on this album are, as performed by the original artists: "I'll Be Here In The Morning" (Townes Van Zandt), "Talk Is Cheap" (Alan Jackson), "I Won't Give Up On You" (Jordyn Shellhart), "Sing Me Back Home" (Merle Haggard), "Working Man's Son" (??), "Healing Hands" (Steve Gillette), "If I Were Free" (Jesse Winchester), "Back To The Simple Things" (??), "Stronger Back" (Doug Gill) and "The Answer" (??). Sadly, for the songs marked (??), I couldn't find the names of the original artists.
Quality oozes from this album like filling from one of America's best, home-made burgers. The ten songs, carefully produced by Garth Fundis, show that the veteran singer picked ten golden musical nuggets out of the country music catalog, putting together a compilation of beautiful authentic country tracks. Songs like the folksy "I'll Be Here In The Morning," the romantic "Working Man's Son," the tugging-at-your-heartstrings "Sing Me Back Home" or the somewhat snappier "Talk Is Cheap" are exemplary for this. Ever the sensitive story-teller, with the easy, almost conversational musical style in which he sings, he manages to touch the soul of the listener with every intonation.
Don Williams is truly gifted as a singer and the way he interprets these classics lifts this album way above it being "just a cover cd." Personal favorites on this album are "I'll Be Here In The Morning," "I Won't Give Up On You," "Sing Me Back Home" and "Healing Hands." In less than a month, we were blessed by the outstanding, but alas posthumous Johnny Cash album "Out Among The Stars," and now "Reflections" by living legend Don Williams. Highly recommended!
Unfortunately, the bare-bones cardboard CD sleeve provides only the song-titles and the names of those who wrote the music and/or lyrics. No booklet is provided with the lyrics of the songs and their histories, or info about the original artists. For those interested, I've put this in the comment-section. For the songs marked with (??), I couldn't find the names of the original artists who sang these songs, even when using The Encyclopedia Of Country Music, Wikipedia and/or googling the internet. So if anyone can provide them so I can edit this into the review, it would be much appreciated.