15 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There was always a neo-traditionalist strain of country running through the work of the Los Angeles punk group X, and John Doe’s vocals exuded that understated country charm. With the Canadian roots-rock group the Sadies providing the lean, mean, neo-traditionalist backing, Doe tries his hand at some serious country classics — Hank Williams’ “Take These Chains from My Heart,” Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone” — and other lesser-knowns with positive results. Doe never tries to wring the anguish out of the situation. Instead, in the tradition of Ray Price or Willie Nelson, Doe allows the circumstances to play out and he reports back with a minimum of fuss, expressing his joys and disappointments in the pause of a note. Doe and the Sadies toss in an original apiece (with two brief instrumentals interspersed) that sound right at home. From Merle Haggard to Hank Snow and Elvis Presley, Doe pays tribute without fanfare but with charm and grace.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There was always a neo-traditionalist strain of country running through the work of the Los Angeles punk group X, and John Doe’s vocals exuded that understated country charm. With the Canadian roots-rock group the Sadies providing the lean, mean, neo-traditionalist backing, Doe tries his hand at some serious country classics — Hank Williams’ “Take These Chains from My Heart,” Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone” — and other lesser-knowns with positive results. Doe never tries to wring the anguish out of the situation. Instead, in the tradition of Ray Price or Willie Nelson, Doe allows the circumstances to play out and he reports back with a minimum of fuss, expressing his joys and disappointments in the pause of a note. Doe and the Sadies toss in an original apiece (with two brief instrumentals interspersed) that sound right at home. From Merle Haggard to Hank Snow and Elvis Presley, Doe pays tribute without fanfare but with charm and grace.

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