13 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Teddy Thompson provided one of the highlights from I’m Your Man, Lian Lunson’s 2005 concert tribute to Leonard Cohen, with his countrified rendition of “Tonight Will Be Fine.” Though not a country singer in phrasing, intonation or overall style, Thompson intuitively knows how to convey the genre’s emotional gravitas with his smooth, sad voice caressing the hard luck stories. For his third solo album, Thompson bypasses his own compositions (“Down Low” is his only self-penned contribution) in favor of country classics from George Jones’ “She Thinks I Still Care” and Ernest Tubb’s “Walking the Floor Over You” to Merle Haggard’s “(From Now On All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” and Dolly Parton’s “My Blue Tears.” These are tough shoes to fill and Thompson doesn’t attempt any radical interpretations. Instead, he smartly allows his stellar backing group to set the scene — father Richard on guitar, alongside Marc Ribot, David Mansfield and Greg Leisz, with Iris DeMent, Tift Merritt and Jenni Muldaur providing harmonies and backing vocals. This all-star team practice brilliant restraint, serving not the ego but the song.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Teddy Thompson provided one of the highlights from I’m Your Man, Lian Lunson’s 2005 concert tribute to Leonard Cohen, with his countrified rendition of “Tonight Will Be Fine.” Though not a country singer in phrasing, intonation or overall style, Thompson intuitively knows how to convey the genre’s emotional gravitas with his smooth, sad voice caressing the hard luck stories. For his third solo album, Thompson bypasses his own compositions (“Down Low” is his only self-penned contribution) in favor of country classics from George Jones’ “She Thinks I Still Care” and Ernest Tubb’s “Walking the Floor Over You” to Merle Haggard’s “(From Now On All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” and Dolly Parton’s “My Blue Tears.” These are tough shoes to fill and Thompson doesn’t attempt any radical interpretations. Instead, he smartly allows his stellar backing group to set the scene — father Richard on guitar, alongside Marc Ribot, David Mansfield and Greg Leisz, with Iris DeMent, Tift Merritt and Jenni Muldaur providing harmonies and backing vocals. This all-star team practice brilliant restraint, serving not the ego but the song.

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