Sunday, April 9, 2017
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: RICHARD LAVIOLETTE - TAKING THE LONG WAY HOME
A welcome return to recording from Laviolette, who hasn't been heard from since 2010. Old country music is still his game, acoustic and true, with pedal steel and fiddle for sweetening. It's an album about family and roots, mortality and connections, with the simple but profound truths the best old country music employs.
In fact, one of the strongest cuts here is called "Old Country Music," about a father's love for it, and the physical pleasure of the needle on the dusty grooves. The title cut has an outlaw twang, and the same warmth that Neil Young found back in the Harvest days. Jessy Bell Smith from the Skydiggers does classic harmonies here and throughout the album, and "The Rock and the Moss" they match Gram and Emmylou for sadness. In a completely unironic shot at people who don't know better, Laviolette declares "My Grandma's More Punk (Than Most Punks I Know)." The album is filled with honest words and music, from an artist who a genuine affection, and skill for this sound.