Personnel: Jeff Taylor , Jerry Douglas , Mike Compton, Stuart Duncan, Dennis Crouch.
One of Elvis Costello's most interesting studio outings was the quietly-received 1986 sleeper KING OF AMERICA, a down-to-earth affair produced sympathetically by T-Bone Burnett, who knows how to bring out the best in singer-songwriters. Rematched here with Burnett (who co-wrote a few tracks), Costello bares his Americana soul on an unerring set of string-band roots numbers that resonate with authenticity and heart.
Themes of rejection, tainted love, and other strains of emotional disquietude flow through the songs, and the humble, sad melodies are supported by the aching cry of violin, dobro, and accordion, provided by Costello's backing band, the Sugarcanes (including Jim Lauderdale on vocals). Some of the songs began their life as part of a chamber opera that Costello wrote for the Royal Danish Opera about the doomed romance of Hans Christian Andersen and singer Jenny Lind, some are acousticized version of older albums tracks, and some are brand new, but each track crackles with the same shirt-sleeve torch and twang and inspired musicianship. Standouts include the country cheatin' waltz "I Felt the Chill," co-written with Loretta Lynn, and the boastful strut of "Sulphur to Sugar Cane."
- RSD Release Date: n/a
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock
- Genre: Pop
- Released: 7/29/2011