Various Artists

Conmemorativo: A Tribute to Gram Parsons

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In his short recording career, Gram Parsons attempted to bridge the gap between country and rock music. Arguably the founder of country-rock, Parson's timeless influence on music is undeniable, and that is perhaps why this tribute works so remarkably well. A diversity of artists are included, with interpretations that range from reverent note-perfect readings, like the Musical Kings' (featuring Kevn Kinney and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck) version of the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Cody, Cody" to renditions that rework the songs, as in Finger's cover of "Still Feeling Blue," which takes straight honky-tonk country and gives it a rockin' Rolling Stones feel. And although he recorded a number of cover versions, every song on this tribute was either written or co-written by Gram. Every phase of his career is also represented in the 17 tracks: from his folkie days in the mid-'60s -- "November Nights" (Coal Porters) to his final recording session in 1973 -- "Return of the Grievous Angel" (Joey Burns and Victoria Williams). Noteworthy is the inclusion of Polly Parsons (Gram's daughter) & Eden performing "The New Soft Shoe." All in all, there really isn't a bad version, and some of them are superb, such as Uncle Tupelo ("Blue Eyes"), Steve Wynn ("Christine's Tune") and Stephen McCarthy("One Hundred Years From Now").

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