Anna Wilson Revives ‘Nashville Sound’ On Countrypolitan Duets Album
While browsing used CDs and albums at Last Vestige record shop in Albany, New York, I recently discovered a new artist and a CD that has become a favorite in my personal collection.
Anna Wilson, known primarily as a jazz singer whose also had success as a country songwriter, released ‘Countrypolitan Duets’ in 2011. The album is a time machine that will take you back on an easy journey to the days of Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, and Eddy Arnold. These artists conquered both the country and pop charts with a style known as the ‘Nashville Sound,’ using lush orchestration and background choruses. On this collection, Wilson twists the re-makes with a touch of classy jazz and well-respected special guests.
According to her website, Anna says “Countrypolitan Duets came about as an answer to the question that I always get in every interview, ‘What’s a jazz singer doing in Nashville?’ I realized I was in a unique position as an artist to combine these two genres, with a concept record in a way that had never been done before. My jazz artistry and the records I recorded in the past, for the most part, embody original jazz songs that I write that sound like they belong ‘back in the day.’ But as a member of the Nashville music community, when it came time to record standards, I chose classic country songs.”
From American Idol’s Matt Giraud to the legendary Kenny Rogers the album is an absolute delight. Highlights include Wilson’s duet with Lady Antebellum on ‘Walkin’ After Midnight’ and Keith Urban’s guest shot on ‘Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues.’ However, the album’s most unique collaboration is by far the star of the entire project- Rascal Flatts and Ray Price. Together all three deliver a well-favored version of Price’s 1973 No. 1 hit ‘You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.’ I admit that the pairing is so unique that I when I played the CD, I advanced to this cut right away- and it simply left me in awe. First, I was happy to see a hot country crossover band united with an 83 year old traditional Hall of Famer (the age he was when he cut the track). Second, I couldn’t have been more happy with what the recording actually sounded like. Kudos to Anna Wilson for making some wonderful music that I hope gets discovered by more and more people.
Now, go download a copy and sit back with a cold drink and get lost in the music!