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An American Trilogy

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Editors’ Notes

Mickey Newbury had a gift for writing powerfully melancholic songs that wedded impressionistic imagery and complex narratives to a terse, matter-of-fact delivery. His distinct songwriting was enormously influential on outlaw country luminaries like Billy Joe Shaver and Kris Kristofferson, who claims that Newbury’s “Why You Been Gone So Long” inspired him to write his signature “Me and Bobbie McGee.” With American Trilogy, Drag City has reissued three of Newbury’s best and most ambitious albums: 1969’s It Looks Like Rain, 1971’s Frisco Mabel Joy, and 1973’s Heaven Help the Child. The label has also appended a disc of studio outtakes and rarities, providing some insight into Newbury’s songwriting process. Though many of the songs here became hits in other artists' hands, the interpretations on these albums are definitive. Listeners will be particularly struck by Newbury’s understated take on “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye,” which replaces the bitterness of Jerry Lee Lewis’ chart-topping read on the song with a palpable sense of loss.

Customer Reviews

Almost perfect

This is an amazing collection of songs, and would have been perfect if the liner notes had been included in the purchase.

Mickey Newbury American trilogy

This CD is off the charts as is all of his music. Just makes me ache that he is gone. First got turned on to his music in '73 and have been a loyal fan every since.

Difficult to classify

Mickey Newbury might be generalized as a country artist, but even though this was made in Nashville by a Texan, if has more to do with folk, rock and psychedelia than country, which sadly might be why this series of albums and Mickey himself arent more well known...

The series of albums are absolutely exquisite. Looks like Rain, a hauntingly beautiful album, masterfully performed without a single misstep and some of the most heart-wrenching lyrics ever put to tape.

These 3 albums are newbury's peak and they're all packaged together with wonderful sound (that these albums were recorded in basically a garage is never apparent as there's a lushness to this production that belies the likely low budget it was recorded on). The bonus album is almost as fantastic as the core trilogy...

Words can hardly put justice to the lush, melancholic beauty of the songs within....Newbury had it all, fantastic tunes, solid instrumentation, and a voice of the angels...

That last note on heaven helps the child is jaw dropping....

Newbury should be up there with the Beatles, Dylan, Kinks, etc of the 60s greats.

Had he only made looks like rain (the first of these three releases) he'd be worthy of that stature but the fact he followed that with 2 more masterpieces adds more to that claim.

I'm a huge music fan, north of the 25k iTunes Match limit :(. I'd never heard of Newbury until a random message board post about unknown artists mentioned him (and a short library check out gave me a taste), but man am I glad I found him.

This series are 3 of the very best albums I've ever heard

A 5/5 if there ever was one....genius starts here.

Biography

Born: May 19, 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...
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