Vern Gosdin

Time Stood Still

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On his second outing for American Harvest, Vern Gosdin put himself in the producer's chair with Robert John Jones and hired some of the finest musicians in Nash Vegas -- musicians fine enough to interpret his idea of traditional country music -- to accompany him. Cats like Pete Drake, Weldon Myrick, Jerry Douglas, Buddy Spicher, Vince Gill, Kenny Malone, Randy Scruggs, and others signed up for duty on a typically stunning Gosdin set. Interestingly, though a little less than half of the material was written by Gosdin, all of it could have been. The songs seamlessly segue into one another; whether it's the mid-tempo love song "It's Only Love Again," the shimmering elegance of a ballad like "For a Minute There," or a swinging country honky tonker like "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)," Gosdin goes deep into each lyric, pulling from it every ounce of emotion and story and placing it firmly in the listener's mind. And then there's Gosdin's pumpin', bumpin' barroom strutter "Two Lonely Hearts (Out of Hand)," with its killer Vince Gill harmonies and Scruggs' stuttering Telecaster in the verses popping through the mix, making it nearly transcendent in its seeking of the pleasure principle. The set closes with the country gospel tune "What a Price I've Paid." There are stunning moments of flatpicking and Gosdin's voice soars through the lyrics backed by Gill and Beverly Gosdin; it is positively rousing. As usual, Gosdin turns in a winner. He is one of the greatest ever.

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