Hits and Misses 4: Loretta Lynn’s ‘Full Circle’

Continuing this occasional department.  Previous entries: H&M 1; H&M 2; H&M 3

• Loretta Lynn: Full Circle (2016, Sony Legacy)

I’ve been meaning to do a little capsule on this album ever since it came out last year.  Now Loretta has been sidelined with a stroke (see below), making it more important not to wait to give her flowers.

Loretta-Full CircleThis is a wonderful album.  John Carter Cash and Patsy Lynn Russell (Loretta’s daughter) have been recording her since 2007, and according to the former have about a hundred songs in the can.  What can I say?  Loretta just turned 85, so she started recording these songs at 75.  She sounds as strong and clear and distinctively ‘Loretta’ as she did at 35!

The program is a mix of hits and favorites, including some old traditional numbers, like “Black Jack David” and “In the Pines.”   This new version of “Fist City” may even be more powerful than the original.  The CD begins with Loretta describing how she wrote her first song (and first album), “Whispering Sea,” and then she sings it.  What a moment!  A 25-year-old mother of four in the Pacific Northwest makes an album on her own, her husband Doolittle gets Speedy West to produce, and an enormous talent is unleashed upon the world.

Here’s Loretta recording “Whispering Sea,” with John Carter Cash producing:

My favorite is the T. Graham Brown-Bruce Burch-Ted Hewitt co-written “Wine Into Water,” for its poignant message.  But I could listen to Loretta sing “I Never Will Marry” with just Randy Scruggs on guitar and Will Smith on autoharp all day long.  The production of the whole album is impeccable.  The addition of Elvis Costello and Willie Nelson on the last two songs does no harm.  All told, a splendid HIT.  Available everywhere.

LATEST NEWS, from Loretta Lynn’s official website (Friday May 5th):

American country music legend Loretta Lynn was admitted into a hospital in Nashville Thursday night after she suffered a stroke at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
She is currently under medical care and is responsive and expected to make a full recovery.

Loretta, who just celebrated her 85th birthday, has been advised by her doctors to stay off the road while she is recuperating. Regrettably, upcoming scheduled shows will be postponed.

For information on when shows will be rescheduled, fans are encouraged to visit LorettaLynn.com.

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One Response to Hits and Misses 4: Loretta Lynn’s ‘Full Circle’

  1. Pingback: Hits and Misses 5 | Hillbilly at Harvard

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