Ronee Blakley

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Welcome, Ronee Blakely's 1975 album, is her sophomore effort, recorded three years after her self-titled debut, and after she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Award for her role as Barbara Jean in Robert Altman's Nashville. It was released while she was out on the road with Bob Dylan & the Rolling Thunder Revue. Produced by Jerry Wexler, and recorded at Muscle Shoals in Alabama, the album featured the cream of that studio's crop including Pete Carr, Eddie Hinton, Reggie Young, Barry Beckett, Jimmy Johnson, Roger Hawkins, David Hood, and of course, the Muscle Shoals Horns and pedal steel wizard Buddy Emmons. Blakely rocked up the sounds of her folk and country debut a bit and the results are stellar. Her songwriting is a fluid combination of country, classic American pop and R&B. Live versions of two tracks, "Tapedeck," and "Idaho Home," were included on the Nashville soundtrack. "Need a New Rising Sun," was Blakely's staple with Rolling Thunder. All of this said, the music here stands up, but its transfer to CD sounds thin, tinny and flat. To be truthful, it's unfortunate: Blakely deserves far better treatment than this.

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