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Our Year [VINYL]

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (14 July 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Premium Records
  • ASIN: B00JN68J2S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,983 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

If Austin’s happily egalitarian music scene suddenly switched to a monarchy, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis might have to learn to perform while balancing hefty crowns. The two already reign as one of Americana music’s coolest couples, and their latest release, Our Year, elevates them closer to the lofty territory once occupied by beloved royals Johnny ’n’ June and George ’n’ Tammy. Working again in Nashville with producer Brad Jones (Cheater's Game), they delivered their musical thoughts in 10 outstanding tracks, from formidable originals to well-honed covers including a knockout version of the Tom T. Hall-penned “Harper Valley PTA.” Jeannie C. Riley’s 1968 hit sounds like a classic all over again in the hands of this pair — and the chicken-pickin’, mandolin-plucking, shaker-grooving players who back them on this tart tale.
The desire to capture that live dynamic — their “swampier, grittier side” — drove the creation of Our Year, Willis says. Robinson calls their style “a modern take on classic country music, without being retro.”

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By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 July 2014
Format: Audio CD
Bruce's and Kelly's marriage seems to be much happier than George's and Tammy's ever was, and the contrast is reflected in the music, where the love that the couple have for each other shines through. This album is a mix of seven covers and three originals, but while some of the covers are of famous songs, others most certainly are not. Bruce Robison co-wrote two tracks (Carousel, Anywhere but here) while Kelly co-wrote Lonely for You. Those are the three original songs. The choice and arrangement of the covers show plenty of imagination, some sounding more like the originals than others, but all of them distinctive in their different ways. Shake Yourself Loose, a cover of a T-Bone Burnett song, I'll Go to My Grave Loving You, a cover of a Statler Brothers song, the title track, a cover of a Zombies song, provide great examples of that imagination..

The opening track is a cover of Departing Louisiana, which I've not heard before, along with the vast majority of people on Planet Earth. It was written and first recorded by Robyn Ludwick (Bruce Robison's sister), and was released on her 2005 album For So Long.

Next comes Motor City Man, written by Walter Hyatt who died in a 1996 plane crash. His own version was unfinished but was released posthumously after some overdubbing,

Hangin' on, first recorded by The Gosdin Brothers (one of them was Vern Gosdin), but has been covered by several country singers as well as pop singers such as Cher and Cliff Richard. The title varies, sometimes prefixed (Just enough to keep me), sometimes prefixed (You keep me) and sometimes without a prefix, but it's still the same song.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Arrived quickly, very pleased
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9289fbf4) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x927ec540) out of 5 stars Soulful, classy old-school country duets 12 Jun. 2014
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis
"Our Year"
(Premium Records, 2014)
. . . .

Another fine album from hard country's reigning husband-wife duo... Honestly, I can't tell you how how much I love hearing their voices together (and solo) and of course, the calibre of songwriting and musicianship is always top-notch. In addition to more great Bruce Robison originals, this set features several cool cover tunes, such as Walter Hyatt's homage to Detroit and American car culture, "Motor City Man," and Buddy Mize's weeper, "Hangin' On." The album's most delightful surprise is that the title comes from their cover of an old rock ballad by The Zombies (one of my favorite '60s bands!) and when Willis croons "This Will Be Our Year" to a stripped-down country arrangement -- with a banjo and pedal steel taking the place of the brass fanfare and dreamy keyboards of the original -- it's a moment of sheer brilliance. Not surprisingly, Willis and Robison have chosen perfect accompanists, with particularly strong contributions from Eamon Mclaughlin on fiddle and mandolin, and Geoff Queen playing dobro and pedal steel. This is sweet, soulful country traditionalism at its best... Another gem from these unfussy twangcore auteurs. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x927ec99c) out of 5 stars Two great sounds that sound great together 27 Jun. 2014
By hyperbolium - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This married pair has appeared together on stage and on one another's solo releases, but it's only in the past few years they've focused on working regularly as a duo. Their duets on tribute albums, and what at the time seemed a one-off project in 2003's Happy Holidays (and its 2006 expansion), turned into a deeper collaboration with 2012's Cheater's Game, live shows and now a second album. As on their previous releases, they trade leads, backing and harmony vocals, supporting one another with a familiarity that makes duets more than the sum of their parts. Robison contributes a pair of original songs, Willis one, and they fill out the track list with endearingly selected covers.

The album opens with "Departing Louisiana," a biographical song whose emotional details suggest a Robison original, but it's actually from the pen of his sister, Robyn Ludwick. When you count in their brother Charlie, it's clear that songwriting runs in the family. Robison's "Carousel" evinces the resigned sadness of Roger Miller's "Husbands and Wives," but the mood is turned around by the rolling beat and hopeful longing of Willis' "Lonely for You." The album's covers include Buddy Mize's "Hangin' On," sung with the same enthralled powerlessness as the Gosdin Brothers' original, and a funky take on Tom T. Hall's "Harper Valley PTA" that's become a staple of Willis' live act.

The lead vocal on T-Bone Burnett's "Shake Yourself Loose" is so shot-through with emotion that you scarcely need the lyrics, and the duo's harmony work is as bone-chillingly effective as anything sung by Gram and Emmylou. The album closes with the Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year," aptly demonstrating how Willis and Robison's country roots inform everything they do. Like the best duet acts, this pair builds upon their individual talents as singers, forging a third voice that's the unique combination of the individual elements. Their strengths as singers and songwriters peek through at every turn, but it's the way their emotional conversation amplifies one another that sets this apart from their solo work. [©2014 Hyperbolium]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91a4c648) out of 5 stars Well Played 14 Aug. 2014
By J. Burke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I haven't heard a Kelly Willis record since the oughts. I was never a huge fan and really wanted to like her stuff more than I did. This record really brought out her potential.
Bruce and Kelly not only work together well, they bring out the best in each other. There are a lot of cover tunes on the album that they service well. It is odd however to hear someone other than Jeannie C. Riley sing Harper Valley P.T.A., but Kelly Makes it work.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x927eee58) out of 5 stars They've done it again. 3 Jun. 2014
By jrcpoet - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Kelly and Bruce continue to blow me away with their talent. Their voices work so well together... and this album is a great one. Give it a twirl.
HASH(0x927eed68) out of 5 stars Satisfying on every level 6 Jun. 2014
By G. Brozeit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is great American music. This follow up to last year's Cheater's Game--one of the best albums of 2013--is every bit as strong and satisfying.

Bruce and Kelly are so much more enjoyable together (not that they were bad as soloists). As a duet, their talents seem to jump exponentially. Every song is great. But their version of Harper Valley PTA is downright soulful. Motor City Man echoes some of the swinging songs from Cheater's Game. And even though I originally thought This Will Be Our Year was a love song that would surely endure as a classic, thanks to a posted Amazon comment, I learned that it already was a classic first performed by The Zombies and later the Foo Fighters.

Let's hope they continue to make many more great records like this!
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