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Long Road Home

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Album Review

Fate can be a funny thing. Into his fourth decade as a singer/songwriter and battling emphysema (he's hooked up to an oxygen tank around the clock), Mickey Newbury has made his piece de resistance. Newbury rose amidst friends and colleagues such as Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and the late, great Townes Van Zandt as a formidable Texas songwriter in the late '60s and early '70s. He wrote memorable hits for other artists while recording his own, less-recognized albums. A Long Road Home finds the embattled singer/songwriter deeply reflecting upon the journey, and it's a touching and strong song cycle. There are memories of when he was a teen with vinegar in his veins tearing down endless highways toward something or another (and more importantly away from something or another), in the form of "In '59." There are also multiple tales of romantic regret, such as "I Don't Love You," with its parsimonious lyrics, and "Where Are You Darlin' Tonight." There's also the stirring and disconcerting "So Sad," which ranks among Newbury's best compositions. He also revisits past victories with an updated take on "Here Comes the Rain, Baby," which was originally recorded for 1968's Harlequinn Melodies. Newbury may be embattled physically, but the creative fires burn fiercer than ever. This is a remarkable album.


Born: 19 May 1940 in Houston, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Along with fellow songwriters such as Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Tom T. Hall, Mickey Newbury helped revolutionize country music in the 1960s and '70s by bringing new, broader musical influences as well as a frank, emotional depth to the music -- while at the same time never losing respect for tradition. Newbury infused his country music with haunting beauty and spiritual melancholy, creating an impressive collection of introspective, emotionally complex songs that are more spiritual cousins...
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Long Road Home, Mickey Newbury
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