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Foul Deeds

Pegi Young

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Album Review

The follow-up to Pegi Young's self-titled 2006 debut reaches farther than its predecessor. Young's voice here is fuller, though it still contains its inherent reedy, smoky quality; it's still somewhat plaintive, but she uses it to get exactly what she needs to serve these songs. Her band includes pedal steel guitarist and co-producer Keith, guitarist and pianist Anthony Crawford, bassist Rick Rosas, and either Phil Jones or Karl Himmell on drums. Husband Neil Young and Spooner Oldham reprise their sporadic guest roles from her debut. The set thematically examines emotions as complex as grief, loss, redemption, the acceptance of change, and heartbreak, but it's hardly depressing. Foul Deeds includes four covers and five originals with an untitled track hidden after the end. The most notable of the covers includes the opening country rocker "Pleasing to Me" by Will Jennings, a truly gorgeous reading of Lucinda Williams "Side of the Road" that actually lends depth to the already beautiful lyrics; and the closer and album standout: a lilting, deeply moving version of Devendra Banhart's "Body Breaks." Young and Oldham appear on the latter two. Of the originals, the title track, a vulnerable country waltz that expresses regret and repentance for unnamed transgressions, the 2-stepping country shuffle of "Who Knew," and the sparse, elegiac waltz "Traveling" are standouts. Foul Deeds reflects Young's growing confidence as a songwriter, singer, and producer. It appears that she knows exactly where she wants to go and exactly how to get there.

Biography

Born: December 01, 1952 in San Mateo, CA

Genre: Easy Listening

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After spending a number of years on the road as a backup singer for her husband, Neil Young, Pegi Young began recording her own material in the early 2000s. She began writing songs in high school, but found little time to pursue a solo career in the wake of caring for her son, Ben (who was born with cerebral palsy), touring with her husband, and co-founding the Bridge School. She recorded her meditative, Americana-tinged self-titled debut in 2006; it featured numerous cameos, including appearances...
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