‘Bakersfield’ Vince Gill & Paul Franklin
For those dismayed by contemporary country musics lack of steel guitar and shuffle rhythms, Bakersfield is your antidote.
With Vince Gill no longer competing for top radio hits, he turns his attention to one of the bedrock styles of the traditional American music that he loves. Recruiting Paul Franklin – by far the most recorded pedal steel guitarist in Nashville in the last 25 years – Gill swaggers into the Telecaster-and-steel country sounds of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, heroes to these two musicians and millions of others who revere brawny, succinctly poetic working-class music.
Gills tender tenor swings into these classic lyrics in a manner that tips his hat to the distinctive styles of both masters, yet finds his own honky-tonk persona through them. While his voice rises to the occasion, Gills Fender guitar and Franklins pedal steel are just as substantial.
Balancing five songs from both the catalogs of Haggard and Owens, the selections include standards such as Hags Branded Man and The Bottle Let Me Down as well as Owens Together Again and Foolin Around. Gill and Franklin dig out less familiar gems such as Holding Things Together by Haggard and He Dont Deserve You Anymore by Owens, both as good as anything on Bakersfield – a great country album in any era.