RED HOT + COUNTRY is the fourth album in the very successful RED HOT series of genre-specific recordings benefiting AIDS Awareness. This time it's country music's turn, and under the guidance of Kathy Mattea, numerous contemporary Nashville superstars chose a song or a style representing an influence on their own artistry. For the most part they chose songs of hope and healing.
From the opening "Teach Your Children" featuring Mattea, Suzy Bogguss, Alison Krauss, and Crosby Stills & Nash to the closing Carter Family tune, "Keep On The Sunnyside," featuring bluegrass greats Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, the entire album offers a ray of light in these fearful times.
High points (in an album heavy with highlights) include Sammy Kershaw's surprisingly true, yet personalized version of James Taylor's "Fire And Rain"; Carl Perkins, The Mavericks and guitar great Duane Eddy serving up a blistering (talk about RED HOT + COUNTRY!) version of Perkins' "Matchbox"; Mary Chapin's devastating folk narrative "Willie Short"; a show-stopping a cappela gospel rave-up featuring Marty Stuart & The Sullivans; and the extraordinary Patty Loveless on the traditional "When I Reach The Place I'm Going," sung in her inimitable, mournful perfection.
Country music artists make two big statements with RED HOT + COUNTRY. We have a social consciousness and we are musically and socially diverse. RED HOT + COUNTRY is one of the best albums of the year.