Charlie Rich

So Lonesome I Could Cry

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Fat Possum's 2015 So Lonesome I Could Cry release is a reissue of the 1977 Hi album of the same name, which itself is a reissue of a 1967 LP called Charlie Rich Sings Country and Western. An alternate title for the album could've been Charlie Rich Sings Hank Williams because this is a 12-track collection of Hank covers, about half of which are well-known and the other half relatively obscure. A handful of the songs are as loose and groove-oriented as the Hi imprint would suggest -- there's a nice swagger to "Half as Much" and "Nobody's Lonesome for Me," while "Cold, Cold Heart" finds an oddly appealing rhythm halfway between Memphis and Nashville -- but there's also a heavy dose of ballads, some of which are austere, some of which are lush. The backing vocals can be a little bit much at times, but Rich's casually virtuosic touch remains the focal point and is always alluring.

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