Saturday, August 10, 2013

Glen Campbell - See You There

It seems like Glen Campbell has been a part of my generation's collective musical subconscious for what seems like forever.  Never at the forefront but back there in our minds.  If you are of a certain age you can't hear Wichita Lineman or Galveston or Gentle On My Mind and not be taken back.  His performances of these Jimmy Webb songs are classics in America's songbook.
I have to say up front that his records have not consistently found their way onto my turntable over the past 40 years...that is until Meet Glen Campbell came out in the early 2000's.  I had forgotten Glen's way with a song and his great vocals and guitar playing.  Most folks probably don't realize how many records they have heard his playing on over the decades during his time as part of LA's The Wrecking Crew. In 2011 he released what I consider one of the finest records of that or any year. "Ghost On The Canvas" whose compositions were made even more poignant by his recent Alzheimer's diagnosis.
The songs on See You There were recorded during the sessions for Ghost On The Canvas and the tracks include several of his biggest hits recorded in a more modern, Americana approach.  No strings, just Glen and a crack group of musicians.   It's so nice to hear the peddle steel shine through opposed to the strings.  In addition to the tracks mentioned above there are also new versions of By The Time I Get to Phoenix, Rhinestone Cowboy and Postcard From Paris along with some newer Campbell tunes.  Each and every one is a great listen...not necessarily better than the originals, but more emotional.  Rhinestone Cowboy in particular hits far harder than the original with a depth that enormous hit was missing in the original arrangement.

This isn't a record for the kids, although they could probably use a dose of superior songwriting, singing and playing that this record has in spades.  Our musical institutions are getting old folks, we need to take advantage of whatever we get from performers who are still vital and making great music in their later years.  There are still great records being made by the "old guard" and See You There is one of them.  You should check out.

Here's the official video for Hey Little One

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