Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pierce Pettis is Born Again


Pierce Pettis has never gotten credit he deserves. He is a thoughtful lyricist. He delivers his stories and messages with a twist of irony and poignancy that is hard to ignore. Pettis has been laying low for the last 4 years. With the release of That Kind of Love it is apparent that Pettis has not spent that time slack-assin’ around. He has been creating the poetic piquant songs which have garnered him such a loyal following. Pettis’ fans are a loyal bunch who have no doubt been waiting for this release and will not be disappointed. His followers may not number as large of a group as Bruce Cockburn, John Hiatt or Steve Earle, but they are loyal just the same. Pettis also does a couple of good covers on this album. The best of the covers is the opening track, “Nothing but the Wind,” originally penned by Mark Heard. He follows the theme of the opener with the self-written tune, “I Am Nothing.”

That Kind of Love features many guest artists who have appeared on Pettis’ past recordings. Stuart Duncan (fiddle, banjo), Andrea Zonn (background vocals, strings), Reese Wynans (Hammond B3), Phil Madeira (Hammond B3, accordion), Byron House ( bass), and Garry West (electric bass). West also produced the album and co-owns the label Compass Records. Needless to say, with this supporting cast the musicianship equals the song craft. When Pettis is at his best, which he is on That kind of Love, his music is transcendent. In fact, he is most reassuring when he points us outside of ourselves. “I am nothing but the angels sometimes whisper in my ear. They tell me things and then they disappear. Though I am nothing, I sometimes like to make believe I hear.” I for one am listening.

Sample at Compass

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