CD Review: Connie Smith – Long LIne of Heartaches

I am not sure this record belongs in the “bluegrass” genre, but since it’s published by Sugar Hill, I figured I’d give it a shot. Connie Smith has been a country classic queen who hasn’t released a new album in 15 years. This new album contains five new songs co-written with her husband, Marty Stuart. A few of these songs are in the style of her first country hit, “Once a Day,” one of my all time favorite songs and one of my favorite responses: “Only once a day, every day, all day long.”

I am going to focus on the two-step shuffles on this album. In my mind, I have never heard a bad shuffle with steel guitar backing, particularly any shuffle with a I-IV-V, with a few I-II-V turnarounds thrown in for variety. In this vein, we have the title cut, “Long Line of Heartaches,” with lyrics containing a few clever county cliches, like “Out of sight, out of mind“ and “What you love, you must set free.” This song reminds me of the classic, “My Shoes Keep Walkin’ Back to You.”

“Long Line of Heartaches”

“A Heart Like You” and “You and Me” are typical of Connie Smith’s classic style two-steps, like “Nobody but a Fool Would Love You” and “Then and Only Then.” In fact what I liked best about this album was that it made me go back to listen to “The Essential Connie Smith” and it reminded me how much I enjoyed her back then.

“I Don’t Belive That’s How you Feel,” is a country rhumba, which if you played on a banjo and mandolin would make a good bluegrass number. Kinda’ hard to keep your foot still while listening to this one.

Well, it’s not bluegrass, but it’s not bad. In fact, it’s a good change of pace and I commend Sugar Hill for keeping classic country alive and kickin’.

Sugar Hill Records

Steve Lipton

The Yard Sale Weasel is the alter ego of an anti-Trump administration agenda passive/activist super hero. He abhors minor key music, but will tolerate an occasional minor chord in the appropriate context, particularly in certain Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers or Emmylou Harris albums from 1968. He has spent many years scavenging flea markets and yard sales for musical instruments, guitar and bass amplifiers, vintage stereo equipment, and assorted related paraphernalia. His attic and basement contain a treasure trove of such equipment that would embarrass a clinically diagnosed hoarder.

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