Cass County (2015)


 
1. Bramble Rose 2. The Cost of Living 3. No, Thank You 4. Waiting Tables 5. Take a Picture of This 6. Too Far Gone * 7. That Old Flame 8. The Brand New Tennessee Waltz * 9. Words Can Break Your Heart 10.When I Stop Dreaming 11.Praying for Rain 12.Too Much Pride * 13.She Sang Hymns out of Tune * 14.Train in the Distance 15.A Younger Man 16.Where I Am Now *Deluxe Edition Track

 

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that one of the two main singer-song writers of the best known “Country-Rock” bands of all time would finally put out a country album well into his sixties. It was a bit of a shock when the Eagles broke up in 1980 that Don Henley would emerge as one of the most popular artists during the next decade. A lot of this astonishment was due to the fact that his solo material was nothing like what The Eagles had done, and he had seemed to, instead, embrace many of the sounds and moods of the synthesized infested eighties. That was then, though, and we’ve progressed more than three decades since Mr. Henley started burning up the charts as a solo artist.

And Henley looks and sounds just like what a rugged country-western artist should. From the looks of the guy, he looks much more like a weathered farmer that never left his hometown of Gilmour, Texas than he does the Hollywood celebrity extraordinaire. So all the pieces are in place, along with a plethora of guest stars, for a full-fledged country album.

Now, my problem is, well, I just don’t particularly like Country music. Never have. Even amongst The Eagles hits, I much preferred them when they only had a hint of this particular genre in the songs, and even preferring their straight-ahead rockers. So no matter how “good” this record is, it doesn’t really do that much for me. And at sixteen songs (the “deluxe” version), it’s rather long. All of the songs sound as they should. A nice mixture of heartache, introspection, and prayers to God for a “lack of rain” during a particularly brutally hot summer. From what I understand, a handful of these songs are covers of older material, and the majority of them are originals. The fact that I can’t tell a difference should probably be taken as a compliment.

This is an album that I can take in small doses. A few songs during one listening session are about all I can handle. So you probably shouldn’t solely trust my opinion. Talk to someone that really likes Country music and get their assessment. At 68 years old, however, it’s probably for the best that he did an album such as this, though, as opposed to an album filled with cuts like All She Wants To Do Is Dance.

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