Nashville, Tenn. – Fans of roots music have asked Patty Loveless for years to reprise the Appalachian sound of her 2001 Mountain Soul CD, and now she has.
Saguaro Road Records will issue Mountain Soul II on September 29. Like its predecessor, the album will feature Patty’s crystalline country vocals amid bluegrass-tinged instrumentation.
“It’s Appalachian, bluegrass and country combined,” says Patty of her upcoming collection’s sound. “You should never try to duplicate something like Mountain Soul. What you should do is enhance. So this is like a continuation.”
The first Mountain Soul CD was issued June 2001 and as a result of fan response, Patty Loveless was invited to perform on the critically acclaimed “Down From the Mountain” tour. She says that experience introduced her to a whole new audience.
“I was blessed to be able to expose my music to people who normally don’t listen to country music. They loved the more organic, roots-y thing, but they don’t listen to mainstream country. I met quite a few people who told me that. They kept wanting me to try and recapture that sound. They’d say, ‘When are you going to do another record like this? We love this album.’ I guess they kind of talked me into it.”
As before, Patty surrounded herself in the studio with a stellar supporting cast. Her husband and producer Emory Gordy Jr. recruited fiddler Deanie Richardson, Dobro player Rob Ickes, singer Jon Randall and harmony vocalists Rebecca Lynn Howard, all of whom had backed Patty on the original Mountain Soul. But Mountain Soul II has some new textures as well. Bluegrass greats Del and Ronnie McCoury participated, as did Vince Gill, Carl Jackson, Bryan Sutton, Mike Auldridge, Emmylou Harris, steel guitarist Al Perkins, Patty’s 16-year-old vocal discovery Sydni Perry and several other visitors to the Music Row recording sessions.
“We just had such a great time,” says Patty. “It was like we were singing and playing for each other. We wanted to try and make it live, as much as possible. There were no drums, so everybody gravitated towards each other’s inner rhythms. We started the sessions on a Monday, and we finished that Thursday evening. I had so much fun making this record that I didn’t want it to end.”
The repertoire on Mountain Soul II ranges from the traditional gospel tunes “Working on a Building” and “Friends in Gloryland” to contemporary compositions such as Jon Randall’s gorgeous ballad “You Burned the Bridge” and Barbara Keith’s soaring folk ode “Bramble and the Rose.” The daughter of a Kentucky coal miner, Patty restores the original mining lyrics to Harlan Howard’s 1962 classic “Busted.” On the Emmylou Harris song “Diamond in My Crown,” Patty’s vocal is accompanied by a harmony part from its originator. Emory’s co-written “When the Last Curtain Falls” is a honky-tonk masterpiece. The lovely melody of “Fools Thin Air,” penned by Susanna Clark and Rodney Crowell, is drenched in bluegrass harmony. The throbbing “Prisoner’s Tears” is backed by sighing steel guitar.
Patty Loveless reemerges as a songwriter on Mountain Soul II with “(We Are All) Children of Abraham” with Emory as her collaborator. The team also co-wrote “Big Chance.”
“It all just came together,” says Patty of the Mountain Soul II recording sessions. “It was like we were in my living room performing. I loved being around those folks. Having all of those people in there, you felt like you were at a really special get-together.”
Mountain Soul II is the follow-up to Sleepless Nights, Patty’s Grammy Award nominated debut album for Saguaro Road. To date, the singer has issued eight Gold Record albums, four of which have gone on to Platinum status. Patty Loveless is also noted for such chart-topping hits as “Timber I’m Falling in Love,” “Chains,” “Blame it on Your Heart,” “You Can Feel Bad” and “Lonely Too Long,” as well as such enduring fan favorites as “I Try to Think About Elvis,” “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye,” “I’m That Kind of Girl” and “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am.”