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Kacey Jones - Amen For Old Friends (2014)
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Kacey Jones - Amen For Old Friends (2014)

2-05-2014, 16:24
Music | Blues | Country | Rock

Kacey Jones - Amen For Old Friends (2014)

Artist: Kacey Jones
Title Of Album: Amen For Old Friends
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: IGO Records
Genre: Blues Rock, Blues Country, Americana
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 48:25
Total Size: 114 Mb
Covers: Front

01. You've Tried The Patience Out Of Me (3:43)
02. Goin' Down Hill (Feat. Waylon Payne) (3:09)
03. I'm The One Mama Warned You About (3:35)
04. I Swear I Got The Blues (3:23)
05. That's What I Like About My Baby (3:20)
06. Tell Me Why (Feat. Rich Fagan) (2:07)
07. We're All In This Alone (4:02)
08. One Click Away (3:27)
09. Cold Turkey (2:54)
10. There's A Song In There Somewhere (3:45)
11. Climbed A Hill (3:22)
12. I Feel A Sin Comin' On (3:50)
13. I'm Free At Last (3:45)
14. Amen For Old Friends

Her fans think they know what to expect from Kacey Jones, the multi-talented, high-spirited musical power source with the always-ready smile, writer of the Top 10 country hit “I’m the One Mama Warned You About,” leader of the infamous trio Ethel and the Shameless Hussies, producer of the acclaimed album Pearls in the Snow—The Songs of Kinky Friedman, and the “O-fficial Songstress” to the Sweet Potato Queens. But Kacey Jones’ new album, Amen for Old Friends (IGO Records, releases June 17) will surprise them.

“I’ve never made an album like this one before,” says Kacey. In fact, the song “Amen for Old Friends,” by her old pal and mentor, the late Mickey Newbury, wasn’t even being considered for the album—until it was nearly completed. But then Kacey realized how well it captured perfectly the project’s celebration of friends, alive and gone—so not only did she add “Amen” to the record, she also made it the title track.

Even though the song’s somewhat introspective celebration of friendship describes the motivation for this new collection, Kacey doesn’t hesitate to proclaim that “laughter is still the best medicine.” After all, she was the front-woman of the over-the-top “Ethel & The Shameless Hussies,” and her live album—recorded at The Bluebird, Nashville’s hallowed music venue—is titled Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay, or Dead. Other landmarks in her storied career include Nipples to the Wind, Never Wear Panties to a Party, Donald Trump’s Hair, and The Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Box of Music.

“I had planned to do a more typical ‘Kacey Jones album,’ something that my fans would expect,” she says. “But I started thinking about friends and all the ways they have been there for me over the years—and what fabulous music they have made,” she says. “And then this project evolved into an entirely different album than the one I thought I was going to make.”

First there was “That’s What I Like About My Baby,” by her close friend Chuck McCabe. “Chuck was the best unknown songwriter ever,” she says, her smile fading momentarily. “He died of pancreatic cancer. I hope my recording of his song will inspire people to discover the rest of his incredible catalog.”

Covering one song to remember a friend, of course, doesn’t necessarily become an album theme … But then she got some horrific news from “one of my best friends in the world,” singer-songwriter Rich Fagan. “Rich got a Stage 4 liver cancer diagnosis,” she says. “He and his wife, Rose, and myself had written three new songs: ‘One Click Away,’ ‘I Feel a Sin Comin’ On’ and ‘I Swear I Got the Blues.’ I thought to myself: ‘If Rich has only six months to live, I need to get this project in gear because I want him to participate in it as much as possible.’” She adds, “And either the music was great medicine or doctors are miracle workers or both. Now, eight months after his initial diagnosis, Rich has been downgraded to Stage 2 liver cancer and continues to improve.”

This personal trek through her list of old friends to celebrate led her to Freddy Powers, who is battling Parkinson’s, and his song “I’m Free at Last.” “When I played him the final mix of ‘I’m Free at Last,’ he gave me the best compliment ever … tears of joy,” says Kacey.

Then she started thinking about her friend X. Lincoln, a crony from the annual Mickey Newbury Gathering in Austin, Texas, who was also suffering from cancer. After Waylon Payne and Kacey recorded his Texas swinger “Goin’ Down Hill” for the album, she made sure Lincoln “got to hear the final mix. He gave me his signature smile and a thumbs-up.” He died last October.

She shakes her head. “I have several friends represented on this album who have either left or are facing serious challenges. This is my chance to honor them.”

And also to honor many friends who are still very much alive and well—including California folkie Russell Brutsché and his song “Climbed a Hill.” “Russell and I have been friends a long time,” she says, “and he’s a great songwriter.” He is also the artist who painted the CD cover.

Another friend in fine fettle is Larry Book, who with Rusty Budde wrote “There’s a Song in There Somewhere.” “Larry’s been a close friend and supporter for years, and when he first played me this song I said, ‘I’m going to cut that someday.’ I’m so glad I can now say, ‘Thank you, old friend.’ ”

She co-wrote “I’m the One Mama Warned You About” with Mickey James, “You’ve Tried the Patience Out of Me” with Denise Stiff, and “We’re All in This Alone” with Doug Gill — and tops it off with her own solo concoction, “Cold Turkey.”

“The whole impetus to get this album recorded was Rich Fagan’s liver cancer,” she says. “It was a call to action like no other I’ve experienced prior to going into the studio.” And this is where Newbury—who died in 2002 after a lengthy illness—entered the picture. The man many regard as Nashville’s greatest-ever songwriter had befriended Kacey when she first hit Music City. There was only one way for her to finish this record off—which she figured out only as the album was nearing completion. A Newbury song she recorded on her tribute album in 2006 offered the perfect end-piece for this recording to honor friends.

“Old friends, old friends / That’s what matters in the end,” is just a snippet of the lyric of the song that gave its title to this album … Amen for Old Friends.

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